Friday, May 03, 2013

My reading quirks and habits

I've seen several bloggers write about their reading quirks recently and it got me to thinking about my own. Feel to share some of your own quirks in the comments below!


Bookmarks

This is one I remember coming across when reading other bloggers' quirks.  Most people who know me know that I enjoy reading now and again. And they might give me a pretty bookmark.  Something more than just a piece of card.  Something fancy or decorative. N gave me a beautiful one for Mother's Day from the boys.  I cannot use it because I will lose it.  I'll put it down when I pick up my book and that will be the end of it.  Gone forever.

And so instead, I take to using other things as bookmarks. Things I won't mind losing - receipts mostly. Train tickets, theatre tickets, scraps of paper.  I've used family photographs as bookmarks before, once I used a dollar bill that was all that I had in my pocket. I don't recommend using money as bookmarks because yes, I lost that too.


Page numbers

There's this thing I do and it's gotten me into some trouble a lot.  I like knowing how many pages there are in a book and by doing so, working out how many pages I have left to read.  So I'll flip to that last page and glance at it as quickly as I can hoping desperately that that corner with the page number will not also contain someone's name or will somehow spoil the book for me.  It's something I have to do though, constantly work out if I'm on page 139 and there are 462 pages in the book, how many pages do I have left? No idea why. (This is partly why I don't like e-books as much)


Acknowledgements and dedications

This has only been a recent thing.  I love reading both the acknowledgements and the dedications for books.  Probably the acknowledgements more than the dedications. I love how there's also so many people listed there.  Family members, friends, writing groups, editors, agents.  Writing always seems like such a solitary affair and yet so many people are involved in the publication of books. Plus it's always lovely to read nice things and to read of one person's gratitude and assurance that the people in their lives mean something.


Moody shortlist piles

N complains sometimes about the piles of books that are everywhere in the house.  But it's something I can't seem to help. I'm a very moody reader and I'm constantly changing my mind about the books I want to read next. So what I do is instead of looking at my to-be-read shelves and being overwhelmed by the number of books on there, what I do is create a shortlisted pile of books. I try to grab a variety of books, some for review maybe, some I bought myself, some by British authors, some I'm DYING to read and put that next to my bedside table for when I finish the book I'm reading. And before I do that, I usually end up making an additional pile to go along with the first pile. And then maybe an exciting new book will arrive in the post and that'll be added... And when I'm done, I'm no closer to having a good idea of what I'll be reading next at all!


Rearranging TBR piles

Oh man, I do this so often it feels a bit like a compulsion.  The last time I organised my books, I put them into two main piles - sent for review from the publisher and books I acquired myself. Then I broke these two larger categories into books by British authors and books that are not. This broke my books down into 4 large piles.  Previous to that, I'd split the books into genres - contemporary, dystopian, paranormal etc. Every once in awhile I'll alphabetise the whole lot instead. I've written a post about my recent rearrangement of my TBR pile and that should be up on the blog soon!


Touching books in bookshops

I don't consider myself a very tactile person.  I usually find that there's a very real bubble of space around me that I don't much care for other people entering.  I'm not a hugger. I don't touch people as I'm talking to them, I don't lean in when we're speaking. There's your space and there's my space.  This isn't always the case though.  It's different with N and the boys and very few other people in the world who I feel comfortable enough to let down my barriers. And I feel very comfortable with books.  I like touching them and holding them.  So I've noticed that I do this in bookstores and libraries. As I'm scanning the shelves and if I come across a book I really, really loved I can't help but touch it and then move on.


I stop reading at emotional scenes

Whenever there's a really strong emotion coming across within the book whether it be something awkward or heartbreaking or really tense I stop reading my book and let myself feel that emotion for a bit before carrying on. It's as if I love the anticipation of what's coming.  Awkward is the best. I love reading awkward scenes.  You get this sort of hint that a character is going to say or do something and be put in this excruciating situation ... and I love it. I like to soak in all those feelings that come with that. Marvellous.


Do you have any reading quirks that you'd like to share?

16 comments:

  1. I've planning a post like this :D And I agree with you on the organising TBR piles - I have a few books next to my bed that I want to read next and the rest in my shelves but I sometimes move those around

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    1. Mine get all a bit ridiculous :) But I'm getting better at figuring out what I want to read next..

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  2. I organise all my books into categories as well, and I love reading acknowledgments and forewords :)

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    1. What sort of categories do you use? I could use some different inspiration :)

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  3. Great blogpost!

    I'm not good with bookmarks - I always lose them. Receipts/business cards (usually my own), train tickets, they all go missing when I use them so I tend to (look away now) turn over a page corner...

    I have this compulsion though, when I go to bookshops. I love touching books too and so I will randomly pick up books and hold them. Oddly, I do it far more with books I've loved reading than with unread books. Also, I always walk into a bookshop, see a book I've read, and then I think: should I buy that again?

    My TBR pile is well...my entire house. The majority of our read books are all in storage - everything else in the house is unread...that works out to about two thousand (if not more) books. Mark recently said to me: we should really put together a bookcase with books that we REALLY want to read. I stared at him as if he was nuts! How could he not understand that there were all these books on the shelves for a purpose. I want to read them ALL right now. Bring it.

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    1. Ooh, yes. I've lost so many of my own business cards! I don't fold over pages in the books I'm reading for pleasure, but I do fold over pages in my uni textbooks. Still winced at what you wrote though!

      TWO THOUSAND BOOKS! Wow. Just wow.

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  4. I actually don't organise my boks in to piles. My TBR pile is shelved by date order and I just pick and choose from there!

    I do lose bookmarks, count pages and read the acknowledgements and dedications though - I love getting a glimpse of the author's life and personality.

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    1. Publication date order? Not the date you receive them? (I've done the 'older' review titles and 'more recent' review titles piles. They didn't work very well for me!)

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  5. Great post! I thought I was the only person who did the page numbers thing... I feel better! I go to the end of the book and see how many chapter there are, then stop reading at an even point, at exactly a quarter or half the way in.

    I love reading quirks. :) Thanks for posting!

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    1. I was pretty sure I was the only person who did the page number thing! Who goes out of their way to do mental maths? :)

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  6. I'm exactly with you on both of those first quirks. I always lose bookmarks and I perpetually use whatever scrap of paper is nearest at the time. My husband is totally baffled by this because I have two piles of bookmarks. He doesn't understand why I don't just use them - but it's as you say, I will lose them anyway, and I like them. Same with the end of the book, I always want to know how I'm progressing and if there's a preview or something in the back of the book, I want to check to see how far the end is.

    What a great idea for a post!

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    1. Yes! Some books contain the first chapter of the new book and that throws me off entirely with estimating how much of the book I have left. I have to know these things. :)

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  7. I'm terrible for using random things as bookmarks. Working in a bookies for 4 years has meant many betting slips being used to keep my pages

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  8. I do the exact same thing with page numbers! I love that Goodreads can tell me the percentage!

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    1. I'm not used to percentages as yet!

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