Books on the Nightstand discussion

237 views
Announcements > READING HABITS?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) Renee Rosen (ReneeRosen) | 15 comments

Okay, so here's a new topic: How do you read? Are you a one-book-at-a-time reader or do you have two or three going at once? Approximately how many pages do you read an hour? Do you hear the voice in your head when you read? Do you skim over italics?

I'm a one book at a time reader. I DO hear the voice inside my head and I'm a slow reader (perhaps that's why?). I'm good for only about 30 -35 pages an hour. And I confess to sometimes skimming over italics.


message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Writers who use italics to give special emphasis are probably shuddering right now.


message 3: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) Eric wrote: "Writers who use italics to give special emphasis are probably shuddering right now."

Ha! I know--I know. The editor on my first book made me take out 90% of my italics for that very reason!

I still use 'em and I still skim over 'em--but that's only if they go on for pages.


message 4: by Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius (last edited Dec 28, 2012 02:18PM) (new)

Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius (bookaholic203) Usually I have 4-5 books at a time going. One fiction,one mystery, one nonfiction, and one short story. I read about 25-30 pages an hour faster if I am not disturbed by noises. I tend to skip over (). I also have one audiobook in the care and use my kindle at the gym. I hear the voices and often express the feeling.


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
I usually have a fiction, a nonfiction, and an audiobook going at any given time. I hear the voices in my head when I read plays, because as an actor, I try to imagine what the interpretive spin would be. Otherwise, not usually. Although my first experience with P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves books was audio narrated by Alexander Spencer. Now I can't read Wodehouse without very specific voices for Bertram and Jeeves. The only thing I skim are foreign languages and reference footnotes. If it's an explanatory footnote I'll try to read it, but if it's just a reference to whatever book or journal the fact came from, I will skip it.


message 6: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) When you have multiple books going, do you just read up until you're bored, tired, at a good stopping point and then jump to the next book?


message 7: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
I read about 20 pages of fiction to ten pages of nonfiction. I usually stop at ten page increments, at a paragraph break. It's easy to pick up where I left off.


message 8: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ i can only read one book at a time. i've always read this way. i've tried to juggle a fiction piece with a collection of short stories, but i feel like i must see the book through to completion before moving on to another book.


message 9: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) Elizabeth wrote: "i can only read one book at a time. i've always read this way. i've tried to juggle a fiction piece with a collection of short stories, but i feel like i must see the book through to completion bef..."

Elizabeth, I'm the same way. I used to try and read multiple books at once and found that I rarely finished any of them. It was a hard habit to break--but one at a time works much better for me.


message 10: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Am re-posting and deleting this comment from the "create your own topic" thread, where the OP formerly appeared.)

I tend to have several books going at once (right now, a history of biography as a literary style, an 1836 novel with a comical slant, a first-person account by a film historian, and a 1914 story collection that I keep finding distasteful and setting aside). I can take in most dialogue-heavy fiction speed-reading style--in a swoop from upper-left to bottom-right corner--but feel obliged to read classic works and nonfiction word by word. I got through 88 pages of the biography book on my lunch hour yesterday, but only because the pages are small and the lines set far apart.

Unless fictional characters are written with distinct dialects, I don't "hear the police in different voices." The only time I find myself mentally narrating nonfiction is when an unfamiliar or pleasing word pops up: then I say it to myself several times before continuing to read. That being said, I'm listening to myself read this sentence as I scan it for spelling errors...


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 28, 2012 09:58AM) (new)

I'm a book polygamist, reading anywhere from two to five books at a time, depending on how physically active my life is at any given time. I also usually have at least one audiobook going as well. I attribute the ability to read more than one book at a time to the years I spent watching television: I could watch several shows a week and keep track of each from week to week. I don't think I've ever confused one show with another! Of course, I'm careful to keep my books selections different from each other whenever possible ;-)

I read about 250 words every 1.5 - 2.0 minutes max. and I read everything on a page. Dense material, highly stylized writing or poorly constructed phrases/sentences/passages will slow me down to about 3.0 minutes/250 words. I listen to audio at 45-75 minute stretches before giving my ears a break.

I will skim a ms to get a sense of the book; but I don't count that as having read the book. When it comes to graphic novels though, I tend to read the text first and then go back and soak up the art that goes along with it.

I also will re-read books if I am so inclined. For instance, before I read Finn (by Jon Clinch), I re-read Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I will especially re-read favorites like Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen.) Re-reading a book to me is like lasagna: I love the book/lasagna so much that I want to read/eat it more than the once!

As for voices in my head, um, yes! If I can't find the voice of the text, it's a big problem. Recently, I was reading a popular non-fiction book whose "voice" was very forced, like a socially awkward person who had practiced his cocktail party conversation beforehand in front of a mirror. The material fell flat to my "ear" and I ended up returning the book to the library unfinished. If there aren't enough contextual clues to give characters in a novel their voices, that's also a problem. There should be enough information within the story to give me a clear sense of each character and what each should sound like. And of course, in audio, I would hear voices! In audio, I listen for cadence and naturalness of the characters. A couple of the things that will pull me out of a story in audio is mispronunciations and miscasting. I have been known to drop and audio in favor of the print on such occasions :-/


message 12: by Lara (new)

Lara | 75 comments I read several at a time...One in my gym bag, one on the nightstand (wink), one in the living room, one for the evening, one for the morning. Generally, I read short stories or episodic type books at the gym in spurts. Easier reads that don't take a lot of concentration late in the evening, because I might fall asleep, and I save the meaty ones for morning or mid day when I am wide awake.

As far as the voices: I definitely hear them. And if the voice is strong, I speak back. When I read Fierce Attachments A Memoir by Vivian Gornick I began to speak like a Brooklyn Bubbie.


message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2804 comments Mod
I'm a multi-book tasker. I've had as high as 8 books going at once (no, I have no problems keeping them separate). At the moment I have an audio in the car, a fiction, a nonfiction, and two spiritual books going.

I don't know as precisely as Tanya, but I know that nonfiction often is a slower read than fiction.

I read everything (yes, I intentionally put that in italics). In fact, I've been working on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy for a couple of years. This translation is of the Russian to English, but left the French in tact. I read the French, to see if I can use my high school classes to understand and then check myself with the asterisk at the bottom.

As to the voice, I can "act" some books (as Eric does), but mostly I don't. It did drive me nuts to read books by David Brinkley because it was his voice and cadence in my head.

I'm listening to Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4) by Tana French which takes place in Ireland. I started it on a trip to Indy, but because of road noise and such, I felt I missed some points, so I got the book. I was tickled to see in print "Jaysus" - the Son of God. I evidently have no mouth for dialect, however because if I say it that way, I sound southern, not Irish at all.


message 14: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina (sabrahb) I have at least 2 audiobooks going; 1 at work and 1 to listen to while I'm knitting, cooking, or cleaning. I generally have an ebook and a physical book going as well. Since they are all so different in genre it's easy to keep up. And yes I hear the voices when I read. That's the great thing about books they let your imagination soar.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Linda wrote: "I don't know as precisely as Tanya, but I know that nonfiction often is a slower read than fiction."

LOL, The only reason I know is because of work. It's important to know how you read in order to be able to figure out your load and schedule :-)


message 16: by Tonya (last edited Dec 29, 2012 06:48PM) (new)

Tonya | 51 comments I am what I consider a fast reader usually going through about a book a week, if it is fiction. I am loosley one book at time person. If I find a book is not keeping my interest, I pick something else up and read it. It can be months before I pick that book up again but I usaully don't have trouble remembering the story.I have never thought about if I hear the characters' voices in my head before-I think I do. There is somthing I find interesting about myself when I read: If someone asks me to physically describe a character I am reading about, I usaully can't. Does anyone else have these bodyless voices floating aroud in there head while they are reading?


message 17: by Esther (last edited Dec 29, 2012 02:15AM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) Despite what my GR currently reading shelf would have you think I am a monogamist reader.
I have a real problem finding time for e-books and audio-books so they often get started then left on the currently shelf because I don't want to DNF them.
I like to become totally involved in a world and just can't read 20 pages of this and 30 pages of that.

If I'm having trouble with concentrating the voice in my head will start up and after a few seconds it becomes really annoying. Even worse certain parts of my brain become distracted and started thinking about other things and within a minute or so I realise I am hearing the voice but not really listening. Then I have to put down the book for a minute or so before I reread that section.

When I become truly involved in a book I no longer seem to be reading, more like I am ingesting the words straight off the page and absording them directly into my soul.


message 18: by Libby (new)

Libby (libbyw) | 131 comments I used to only read one book at a time, but now I tend to read, like Eric, one novel, one audio, and either poetry, nonfiction, or short story collection at a time. I sound out every word for the most part, so I am a slow reader, but I enjoy reading more if I don't feel like I am rushing. I might read several novels before I finish one book of nonfiction.


message 19: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Do I get a demerit if my lips move when I read?


message 20: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) Eric wrote: "Do I get a demerit if my lips move when I read?"
Only if they make smacking noises that disturb other reads in the vicinity.


message 21: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 115 comments I usually have an audio and "real" hold in your hand book and I keep an e-book on my phone for when I am caught unexpectedly with nothing to read.


message 22: by Denise (new)

Denise Esther wrote: "Eric wrote: "Do I get a demerit if my lips move when I read?"
Only if they make smacking noises that disturb other reads in the vicinity."


Amen! :-)


message 23: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (KendraP) | 15 comments I'm usually reading three books at a time: one physical book, which I read early evenings; a different book on my Kindle, which I read when I can't stand wearing my glasses any longer; and an audiobook after turning the lights out. I have no idea how many pages I consume during any given time period. I believe it depends on the book, and how exciting it is to me. I seem to read non-fiction slower, which is probably a hold-over from years of school & studying (I guess I feel like I'm still studying). I tend to gravitate toward mysteries, thrillers, espionage, but I do enjoy a good biography or other non-fiction from time to time. As far as voices...yes, yes, yes, I hear voices in my head (but only when I'm reading).


message 24: by Amy Scissors (new)

Amy Scissors (amy_scissors) | 3 comments I read about one book a week (more during school and work holidays, like this week!) and if it doesn't absorb me by the first fifty to one hundred pages, I return it to the library.

Another reading question: where do you get your books from?

I am a library science student, I work in a library, and I am basically obsessed with libraries-so I mostly borrow my books. If I absolutely love a book I will buy it. I rarely buy a book that I haven't already borrowed from the library.


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2804 comments Mod
Kendra wrote: "I'm usually reading three books at a time: one physical book, which I read early evenings; a different book on my Kindle, which I read when I can't stand wearing my glasses any longer; and an audi..."


Oh, Kendra! I'm so glad to hear someone else say something about glasses. Towards the end of this year, I've found myself reading less and less and I think it's because I'm reading in the absolute bottom of my bifocals. I bought a pair of readers at the pharmacy the other day and I've been making up for lost time.

It is sooooo frustrating to be such an avid reader and have to fight to do what I love.


message 26: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 199 comments I read several at a time.


message 27: by JoLene (last edited Dec 29, 2012 01:29PM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) I am mostly a monogamous reader --- but I sometimes have a non-fiction and fiction going at the same time. I read most fiction significantly faster than non-fiction (except memoirs).

I normally listen to podcasts when driving or exercising, but I have downloaded a couple of audio books to try instead. I would love to be able to listen to more audio books because I like to knit and that would be perfect --- however, so far, I find that my mind wanders too much.


message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 29, 2012 03:59PM) (new)

Amy Scissors wrote: "Another reading question: where do you get your books from? "

I get books from Barnes & Nobles, independent book stores, used books stores, book exchanges, library sales, libraries, occasionally from Alibris.com (or, extremely rarely from an amazon/Marketplace vender,) mss from work and, I dnload titles onto a nook, though that has been happening a lot less frequently than when I first got the eReader.

I used to get audiobooks audiobook publishers, from libraries and dnloads from audible.com and weread4you.com; but I've slowed way down in audio acquisitions lately as my time outside the studio has become rather limited. I've actually closed by audible.com account and, of course, weread4you.com is shuttered :-(

Usually, at this time of the year, I'm scouring the post-Christmas sales looking for remainders and bargains; but after a huge cataloging initiative (sorting through the stacks and scanning the uncatalogued) I'm more focused on reading some of these backlist titles and donating at least a hundred over the course of the year. I need space to to walk across my office and maybe even into my closet!


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 32 comments I usually only stick to 2 or 3 at a time. One for home and one on the iPhone/iPad for those moments when you need a book to read. Sometimes one in my purse if the book at home is too large. I like to keep them in different genres though so I don't get confused.


message 30: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) JoLene wrote: "I am mostly a monogamous reader --- but I sometimes have a non-fiction and fiction going at the same time. I read most fiction significantly faster than non-fiction (except memoirs).

I normally..."


Ha--A monogamous reader--Love it! I've never "read" an audio book before. I wondering if that would help get me through my workouts?


message 31: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) Denise wrote: "Esther wrote: "Eric wrote: "Do I get a demerit if my lips move when I read?"
Only if they make smacking noises that disturb other reads in the vicinity."

Amen! :-)"


I'll second that!


message 32: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) | 366 comments Eric wrote: "Writers who use italics to give special emphasis are probably shuddering right now."

This reminded me of when my 11 year old daughter asked "Do you have to read all the parts in between when the people are talking?" My husband and I cracked up and explained that she would be missing a lot if she only red the dialogue.


message 33: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments I read 3-6 books at time, not counting the books I read for work. Usually, one of these is an audio book that I listen to while I run and do housework.

Of course, I hear a voice in my head as read, sometimes several.

I read different books at different paces. If I am reading an easy mystery or thriller, I read very quickly. If I am reading something deeper, with intricate prose, I read very slowly. I read everything on the page. I love footnotes, but I'm not crazy about flipping to the back for notes.

I get more of my books online now that the last bookstore in my town closed.


message 34: by Amy Scissors (last edited Dec 30, 2012 03:51PM) (new)

Amy Scissors (amy_scissors) | 3 comments Sarah wrote: "Sometimes one in my purse if the book at home is too large"

I have this problem all of the time! I like to always have a book with me, and sometimes it just isn't possible to lug around giant hardcovers. Neal Stephenson's Reamde made my back hurt! I'm not really an e-reader person but these huge, heavy books may force me to change my mind...


message 35: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (tracemick) | 217 comments I am definitely a "chain reader." I read 1 book at a time but always need to know that one is on deck to start as soon as I finish the one I'm reading. I read fiction faster than nonfiction and I do hear the voices in my head. Sometimes I pretend I'm reading the book to someone in my head. That sounds weird.

I also read everything from the dedication in the beginning to the about the author at the end. It may be the Production Editor in me...someone worked to make sure it was included in the book, I guess I should read it.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Tracey wrote: "I also read everything from the dedication in the beginning to the about the author at the end. It may be the Production Editor in me...someone worked to make sure it was included in the book, I guess I should read it. "

I will generally read every word too, though I now read the Introduction after the body of the text. I've had way too mant stories spoilt, especially with the Classics, having read the intro beforehand!

One of my favorite things is to read the Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data on the copyright page. For some reason, I always find the way in which the book has been distilled down to a few keywords really funny! It kinda reminds me of the Milestones entries that Time magazine does!

I also like reading the annotated sources in non-fiction. Often, an author will include extra "bits" that are quite interesting!


message 37: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) Tracey wrote: I also read everything from the dedication in the beginning to the about the author at the end"

I do the same -- although I often wait and read the intro after reading the book. That is the one think that I don't like about e-books because I always "inspect" the DTB prior to reading. I like to see all the extras (but not necessarily read them). It's a lot more difficult to skip around in an ebook and then sometimes it throws off your syncing to last page read --- it doesn't know that I only look at it but didn't read it :-D


message 38: by Renée (new)

Renée Rosen (reneerosen) JoLene wrote: "Tracey wrote: I also read everything from the dedication in the beginning to the about the author at the end"

I do the same -- although I often wait and read the intro after reading the book. Tha..."


I totally agree with you about e-books. You can never skip around when you want to and then all of sudden, it'll skip ahead and you have no idea where you are. At least that's been my experience with the Kindle Touch. That and no page numbers--makes me crazy!


message 39: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cwsmith) | 104 comments I echo many of the comments already made. I read many books at once (8 on my Currently Reading shelf) ... one audio, one mystery, some nonfiction (history or science), some serious fiction, maybe a SF or occasionally a romance ... just mix it up so I can read whatever I feel like on a particular day (or hour). I have never had trouble keeping track of what is going on in which book since they tend to be very different books. I read to my mood so I need to be prepared. I read physical books (hardback or paper) and e-books (Kindle, iPad or Android) ... always ALWAYS have a book at my fingertips. On the days I don't feel like reading, I knit and listen to an audiobook.


message 40: by Lara (new)

Lara | 75 comments I had decided a while ago that i can't get into listening to audio books. But a couple of you have mentioned listening while knitting...hmm...I think I must try this as I always feel like I never have enough time for either. Then I wonder why I never thought of that before.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Cindy wrote: "On the days I don't feel like reading, I knit and listen to an audiobook."

I listen to audiobooks while on the exercise bike, walking on the local track (exercise), at work (natch), while driving, and while playing Angry Birds. I don't listen to audiobooks while hiking though: too dangerous in Black Bear country and, it feels weird to be adding a barrier between myself as a hiker and Mother Nature! I also can't just sit still and listen. I need to be doing something else. If I just sit down to listen, I fall asleep!


message 42: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) | 366 comments Lara wrote: "I had decided a while ago that i can't get into listening to audio books. But a couple of you have mentioned listening while knitting...hmm...I think I must try this as I always feel like I never ..."

I recently said that I couldn't do audio books because I got too distracted. But I have recently revived my long time passion for cross stitching. So I got an audiobook from the library last night and its been working out great with my stitching. So I may be a new convert as well.


message 43: by Lara (new)

Lara | 75 comments I tried before listening while doing chores, and found I just couldn't concentrate on the book and had to keep going back and listening again. Perhaps knitting, since I am more still it will be easier to pay attention.


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan (SusanGreggGilmore) | 43 comments Audio books certainly have a place in my life. When I'm really beat,I love to snuggle in bed and listen - like a child being told a soothing bedtime story.


message 45: by Readnponder (new)

Readnponder | 125 comments Susan wrote: "Audio books certainly have a place in my life. When I'm really beat,I love to snuggle in bed and listen - like a child being told a soothing bedtime story."

I listen to audiobooks on my commute and while working in the kitchen. However, my latest discovery is that a few minutes of audiobook will help "turn off my brain" and put me to sleep when I listen in bed. Yes, sometimes I have to backtrack the next day and re-listen to a section when I got too groggy. I love listening in the dark. Just like the bedtime story Susan mentioned.


message 46: by Juny (new)

Juny | 9 comments i read one book at time, i feel like i'm giving each book its' due. I also listen to audio books in my car....I can't say that I consider audiobooks reading, it's as if someone is telling me a story....I never listen to the radio unless i forgot to make a trip to the library for more audiobooks.


message 47: by Amy (new)

Amy | 463 comments Love listening to audiobooks while I am in the kitchen cooking!


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah F | 12 comments Linda wrote: "I'm a multi-book tasker. I've had as high as 8 books going at once (no, I have no problems keeping them separate). At the moment I have an audio in the car, a fiction, a nonfiction, and two spiritu..."

I love Tana French. I live in Ireland right now, and she's amazingly accurate with her dialog.

I read more than one book at once, don't really hear voices when I read them. I have most books on my tablet, but listen to some in the car on the way to work.


message 49: by Mary (new)

Mary Ess (mamankas) | 2 comments So good to read these posts. I always thought I was crazy for reading more than one book at a time. I probably have five books going at all times plus magazines. I tend to slog through non fiction so I need other genres that I can whiz through and feel that accomplishment of completion. I will now add audiobooks to my knitting and treadmill (my doctor will be so happy) time. I definitely hear the characters/author while I read. I also visualize the descriptions of people, places and things. I use to be able to remember each book much better when I read only paper, with e readers and audible my memory is not as good. My family does make fun of my propensity to become interactive with my reading by laughing, crying or reading aloud a difficult passage!


message 50: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Duncan | 43 comments Currently, 1 book on CD in the car, 2 non-fiction books in the Kindle and 3 old fashioned books, 1 fiction, 2 non-fiction, in the house. That's more than usual. I usually only read 3 or 4 at a time.

Oddly, I don't think I ever read one book a solid hour at one time. I am an awful reader and easily distracted. I hear the characters speaking the words, as well.


« previous 1
back to top