September 8, 2008

What are your reading habits?

Thought this might make an interesting discussion. I pretty much panic if I don't have at least two unread books on my nightstand. I try to get to the library every week, but sometimes several weeks pass that I can't go. To prepare for such eventualities I go whether I have plenty of material or not, drop off what I've finished and pick up a few more.

I usually read for a little while during the afternoon while my kids play post nap. Then I take my book downstairs with me, thinking I'll have more time to read while water boils or this fries or that bakes, but it never turns out that way. So I take the book upstairs again after dinner and read until I go to bed. That often means trying to concentrate on the book while tuning out Brad who is reading some news article to me that doesn't interest me in the least. And then he tries to quiz me on it and gets mad when he realizes I wasn't listening. You'd think he'd just stop bothering after seven years of marriage.

I don't like starting new books, especially not at bedtime. I prefer to start them in the afternoon, so I've got the preliminaries over with and can get into the meatier bits. When I start a new one at bedtime all the preliminary stuff puts me to sleep and the next day I've forgotten it all and have to rehash. I also hate finishing a book, because that means starting a new one. A really great book for me would be one that starts meaty and never ends.

I like bookmarks, but they don't like me. People are always giving them to me because they know I read, but the kids run off with them. I've tried little pieces of paper, same thing. If I leave the book open someone closes it. I try to remember the page number, but never can. The only thing that seems to work is dog-earing, which is practically illegal.

I like the idea of a book light, but haven't found one that works for me. I'd love to try a light wedge.

Anyone else care to share?


  1. I can only read at night because if I pick up a book in the middle of the day I don't do anything else for the rest of the day.

  2. I read mainly on the metro ride home and then in the evening. Depending on how good the book is, I'll either forgo the morning paper and read on the way into work. Or if it's not so great, I'll only read it on the ride home from work.

    I liken finding a new book to read to dating. I have to decide who I want to spend the next few days with, and will I want to commit to more books by that author/with those characters. If I just want fun or if I want to think. I've wandered around Barnes and Noble aimlessly b/c I'm having a hard time leaving the last book behind, like the Time Traveler's Wife.

    I've grown totally dependent on book reviews. I forgot a book on a quick trip to Detroit, so I wandered around and picked up something based on a great blurb by Audrey Niffenegger. Then I called a friend to tell me what the reviews said.

  3. I don't read as much anymore as I'd like to, especially right now, because I haven't started anything I've been really excited about in a while. But I always have a book nearby; whether I read any of it in the week is another matter.

    I moved to BC after I got married last December, and we don't have night tables or lights to go on them. My husband promised me (before we got married) that if I would give up the lamp I had--which I loved but which had scary wiring--he'd buy me really good bedside lighting. Still waiting...

    I use Post-It flags (paper or plastic arrows) as bookmarks usually, and then it's also handy when I want to mark a line I like or have a question about or whatever. ( has some great punctuation flags)

  4. Time Traveler's Wife was definitely a hard one to leave behind.

    The flags sounds like a great idea, I'm always finding quotations I want to remember later. I'm afraid they'd be too much of a temptation for my kids though. I used to be a post-it addict and had to stop buying them because the kids would find the pad and stick them all over the house.

  5. I read in every spare moment. Just yesterday I was filling up my car and thought, "I betcha I could read while I'm pumping gas!" That's a new one for me, but I got 2 pages read and I didn't have to read the advertisements above the pump over and over again in boredom. Another new thing I want to try is to take a book when I go to Walmart. I waited 40 minutes in line the other day...that would have been 20 or 30 pages at least, even with the distractions!

    Besides reading while waiting I also read for an hour and a half to two hours each night before bed. I don't read one book the whole time, as I'm always in several at a time (just look at the list I have on my blog in the sidebar).

    I usually read with a pen and highlighter in hand. And I used to have the same problem with bookmarks running away (not because of little children, so I don't have an excuse), but not anymore. Some publisher sent me like 15 bookmarks, so I haven't run out.

    I agree with you, Marie, that I prefer to start a new book earlier in the day. I just don't know what I'm getting into at first, and it takes a while to get settled in the setting.

  6. Ronnica- when I was a kid I used to read as I followed my mom through the grocery store. :P I used to read at the dinner table, but it irritates me when Brad does it so I have to hold myself up to the same standards.

  7. Well, I only read at the dinner table if I'm eating by myself (which is more often). I wouldn't if I'm eating with someone else.

  8. Regarding bookmarks...I have the same problem with Emma. She's a bookmark-stealer. I end up just using inserts from magazines or post-it notes. But then she takes the post-it notes to write on.

    Regarding my reading habits? Girl, I read every spare moment possible. Even when I am in the bathroom for like 3 minutes. I am constantly carrying around a book or magazine.

    But now that I am working, I find that I don't have a whole lot of time to read during the day. :-) But I go nuts if I can't read at all in a particular day, so I will pick up my book or magazine after Emma goes to bed. I'll relax on the couch or in the bathtub for about half an hour or so and read.

    Most times Peter will sit with me and read one of his photography books or magazines, but like Brad, he interrupts a lot to show me something. ;-)

    I am reading The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt right now and it is so good.


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