21st Century Literature discussion

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Question of the Week > What Are Your Reading Predilections and Eccentricities? (8/12/18)

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2874 comments Mod
What odd or specific reading habits do you have?

Examples: You only read one book at a time, you like to read everything by a single author back-to-back, you love/loathe marring a book (dogearing, marginalia), you have set times of day you read, you only read hardbacks, you refuse to even try certain genres, your reading is scheduled years in advance, you only read poetry on odd-numbered days, etc.


message 2: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 702 comments I'm not sure if I have any odd habits myself, but I have a friend who always reads either the last few pages or last chapter of a book to help decide if she wants to keep reading a book.

I have no idea what factors help her decision (sad = keep reading or stop reading?!), especially since a lot of times the ending wouldn't make sense without the rest, but I found it fascinating. Mostly fascinated by my own reaction - that I was horrified and kind of looked at her different after that! Ha!


message 3: by Neil (new)

Neil | 309 comments My only real weirdness is that I read one book at a time unless reading non-fiction when I have to have a fiction book on the go at the same time. In practice, this tends to mean I read non-fiction episodically often mixed in with a short story collection. If I am reading a novel, I don’t like to read anything else at the same time.


message 4: by Doug (last edited Aug 13, 2018 02:40PM) (new)

Doug I DO only read one book at a time, mainly because my memory/concentration isn't what it used to be, so I'd be hard pressed to keep things straight in more than one thing at a time.

I sometimes go through spurts of either reading an entire author's oeuvre (Deborah Levy being the last such one, I think) or a very specific genre - Gothic and Victorian sensation novels being recent examples. I don't really care if it's hard or soft cover or even Kindle, which I didn't used to like, but am fine with now.

I am meticulous about keeping books clean and neat, so if I need to make notes (usually if something has a lot of untranslated foreign words or phrases), I use post-it notes, rather than (quelle horreur!) actually write in the book!

There ARE certain genres I don't care for: romance, horror, true crime, graphic novels - but I make occasional exceptions. I currently have 916 books in my various TBR shelves, so at approx. 240 books a year, my reading is 'booked' for at least four years, assuming I'm always adding to it!


message 5: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 702 comments I guess my reading habit (you can decide if it's odd or not) is to almost always be reading one "read with your eyeballs" book and one audiobook. Because I can't pass up having something to listen to while you fold laundry, walk the dog, walk to the bus, etc. I like podcasts and music, but I find I end up choosing to listen to my audiobook most of the time.

Doug, I like your post-it note idea because not only do you not have to write in the book, but you can also easily find your notes. I may have to pick up that habit! :)


message 6: by Chris (last edited Aug 13, 2018 03:30PM) (new)

Chris I read somewhere that the glue on post-it notes can decay, and damage and stain books after a while, like old tape. I usually make all my notes in pencil inside the cover or on a blank page at the end of the book, and note down the page number to which each note refers, or do the same but on a separate piece of paper and tuck it inside.


message 7: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Hobson | 80 comments Many years ago I bought a book of poetry which had little pencil marks all over it. It set me off on a journey to discover all about the 19 year old son, who was known to me only by his initials, that the pencil-wielding parents had lost in the First World War. Thirty years later I have his photograph and know his whole history during his 70 days at war, before he died at the battle of the Somme. For that reason I always love to find other people's pencil marks or comments in a second hand book, and I am liberal with my own comments or ideas along the margins or in empty pages at the back. There is nothing better than finding "other stories" in second hand books - press cuttings or even old airline tickets all tell secondary stories.

I often use postcards as bookmarkers, ones I have bought at museums or art galleries, and I still sometimes come across these abandoned in books I have not opened for years.
A couple of years ago I had to abandon having my tbr pile on the bedside table and replace it with a whole bookshelf. I will often dip into a book and read a little and then pick up another and read that. These started but temporarily abandoned books sit on the shelf waiting for the right moment when I will pick them up again and read from cover to cover.

Poetry is often best when read a second or a third time, so I will often fold the corner of a pges on poems I want to go back to. These foldings act as guides bak to the place I want to revisit.


message 8: by David (new)

David | 242 comments So I guess I have one ... don't judge me :-)

I like to listen to the audiobook while reading a text copy of the book at the same time, but I listen to a sped up version of the audio, often around 1,8 to 2.0 times normal speed, depending on how fast the reader is. The objective is to speed it up so it goes as fast as I read even when I don't have the audio accompaniment.

The audio recording does a few things for me. (1) Sometimes my mind can wander when I read. I have, at times, found myself having read a paragraph or even a whole page without taking it in because I started thinking about something else but keep scanning the text. This can happen with both books I like a lot and ones I am less enthusiastic about, but want to keep reading. The audiobook prevents this from happening. (2) With a good reader, I get the help (and added value) of intonation, emphasis, and pronunciation of names that improves the reading experience. (3) I can plan whether I have time to read one or two or three chapters before I start if I know how long the audio is for that section. (Yes, I do the math dividing by 1,8 or so). If I know I have 23 minutes before I have to do something else, I know whether or not I have time to read more of my book before I start.

I read the short story that The New Yorker publishes each week. They often also have an audio recording of the author reading the story available as well. Sometimes I will record the audio of the story and then play it back (at accelerated speed) while I read it, so it's not just books I do this with.


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 477 comments Marcus wrote: "Many years ago I bought a book of poetry which had little pencil marks all over it. It set me off on a journey to discover all about the 19 year old son, who was known to me only by his initials, that the pencil-wielding parents had lost in the First World War. Thirty years later I have his photograph and know his whole history during his 70 days at war, before he died at the battle of the Somme...."

Say whaaa? That experience sounds like a book in itself! What a gift! Were you able to find/meet his living relatives?


message 10: by David (last edited Aug 13, 2018 05:35PM) (new)

David | 242 comments Ok, I have a second one. This one I am less apprehensive about sharing. :-)

In the film Reuben, Reuben, Tom Conti's character, Gowan McGland, is a writer. In one scene he is at lunch with a couple of women and their businessmen husbands. One of the men is talking about how great speed reading is to get through all the documents a businessman has to read in a day. He asks McGland what he thinks. He says that reading literature is not like reading documents, and in fact he would pay someone a lot of money to be able to teach him how to read as slowly as possible.

In one series of Peanuts cartoons, Snoopy decides to read War & Peace one word each day. It's an absurd way to read a book, but what can you expect from Snoopy? I don't think that's what McGland had in mind. But a couple of years ago, inspired by these two examples, I decided to try some variation on slow reading.

The first book I tried it with was Tender Is The Night. It has sixty-one chapters, most of which are right around five pages long. So here is how I read it: The first day I read just chapter one. The second day I re-read chapter one and added chapter two. The third day I re-read the first two chapters, and added chapter three. Then each subsequent day I dropped one chapter off the front and added one more new one. So on day eight I re-read chapters six and seven, and read chapter eight for the first time. On day nine I re-read chapters seven and eight, and then read chapter nine for the first time.

It took me two months to get from the start to the finish of the book, and I effectively read it three times over by the time I was done. It turned out to be a great way to read a book. I have tried something similar with other books a couple of times, but it takes a book constructed the right way for this to work.


message 11: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Hobson | 80 comments Nadine wrote: "Marcus wrote: "Many years ago I bought a book of poetry which had little pencil marks all over it. It set me off on a journey to discover all about the 19 year old son, who was known to me only by ..."

I have been writing the book for a little while now! The young man wrote 64 letters home to his father in the 70 days he was in France. I have searched for these, and been in contact with some of his relatives, looked a records of family wills, but in the end decided to re-write the letters myself as a tribute.


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie David wrote: "Ok, I have a second one. This one I am less apprehensive about sharing. :-)

In the film Reuben, Reuben, Tom Conti's character, Gowan McGland, is a writer. In one scene he is at lunch with a couple..."


This would be a great way to read something very difficult since it is very repetitive and immersive. But, as you say, a book has to be constructed the right way. Food for thought on what I might try this way.


message 13: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Laurie, what I found worked so well with this pattern for Tender Is The Night is that the first time I read a chapter I could mostly just pay attention to the plot and character developments. The second time, I was generally familiar with what happens, and so could focus more on the language in the writing. Then the third time, I often knew what sentences were coming as they occurred and could think more about the construction and themes of the book. But yes, it's not a system that works for most books.

I used a similar idea when I read Solar Bones. As a 200+ page book with no end of sentence punctuation anywhere, I started reading ten pages per day - re-reading five and adding five new ones. That slow start helped me appreciate the style of the writing more, but by the middle of the book I abandoned the slow read and just moved forward reading bigger chunks at a time.


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments Oh Boy - the proverbial can of worms

I usually read one book at a time, that way I can focus on each novel.

I have a stack of magnetic bookmarks, when one is ruined (they last a year and a half) I grab one from the pile.

I will not crack spines

I used to have a TBR Jar to choose my books but ever since I moved, I discovered I have a lot of books that I have not read. So I recorded them all into be 'want to read' section on Godreads (there are 256) and once I finish my review copies and Booker longlist I'll be using a random number generator to choose books now. Obviously reading by whim is better but the other method is a great way of reading books that have been sitting there for ages (at the mo William Boyd's any Human Heart has been there the longest)

I have special shelves for my unread books.

I have to read a 100 pages a day or I'll get grumpy or anxious (just inwardly)

I like reading early in the morning

I need silence when I read - I absolutely cannot stand any sort of noise in the background, except my cat purring. If there is noise I'll just read the same sentence 20 times and it won't register unless I read out loud. Maltese love talking at the top of their lungs so forget reading on my commute.

I always carry two books with me - just in case I finish one. This has happened quite few times.

I'll read anything, as such the one and only genres I don't like is those mass market adventure stories like Clive Cussler, Colin Forbes, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham etc and I spent a whole summer (1993 - I was 14 and those were the only books in my house at the time) reading these books and I discovered that there's a formula and all these books blend - in the case of colin forbes, he uses the same name constantly but gives them different roles - how lazy and intelligence insulting can one get??? oh and pulpy romances, which I've read as well


message 15: by Hugh (last edited Aug 14, 2018 06:29AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
I don't have many rules, except that I normally read one book at a time unless I am reading a weighty non-fiction book - the only way I can finish those is to read them in smaller chunks, and I need something physically lighter to read on the move. I never read multiple fiction books at the same time.

I don't have any set pattern to when I read, except that I nearly always read for at least an hour before going to sleep (unless I have been out drinking). These days, I find shorter chunks of reading time whenever and wherever I can, and I am happy to read in a pub while waiting for friends.

Like Robert, I prefer to read in silence, but where I live, real silence is usually impossible to achieve, and I am quite good at ignoring low level background noise. I find it almost impossible to read to music that has words.

As for keeping the books in good condition, I try to keep the spines intact, always use a bookmark (so have to finish on a page break) and very rarely write in them.


message 16: by Neil (new)

Neil | 309 comments I find I can read and watch sport on the TV simultaneously. But if the TV programme has a developing plot (my wife watches several detective series, for example), I am completely unable to filter that out and have to put headphones and well known music on (it has to be music I know well or it becomes another distraction).

Even music is not ideal, though. I read somewhere that it is a characteristic of introverts to not filter out external stimuli. I can’t quite remember the logic behind that, so I may be misremembering. What I do know is that my wife (an extrovert) can read regardless of what is happening around her and, indeed, does not even hear other things when she is reading, whereas I am distracted by the slightest of noises. The sport thing seems to be ok because I look up when the commentator gets excited. And it doesn’t work with cricket as I find I need to concentrate on that.


message 17: by Hugh (last edited Aug 14, 2018 01:22AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
I used to read to instrumental music more, but I started developing weird subconscious associations between the books and the music, for example Five Black Ships and post-Wyatt Soft Machine!


message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments Hugh wrote: "I used to read to instrumental music more, but I started developing weird subconscious associations between the books and the music, for example Five Black Ships and post-Wyatt Soft ..."

As an aside - Strangely enough I used to copy my notes (that's another ritual but for another day) with Wyatt's Rock Bottom as a background soundtrack. I tried comicopera but it was too busy.


message 19: by Hugh (last edited Aug 14, 2018 01:41AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
I love Rock Bottom (particularly Sea Song and Alifie/Alifib), but most of it would be too distracting for me to read anything complex to, particularly the Ivor Cutler sections.


message 20: by David (new)

David | 242 comments All these comments remind me of one of the all time great books. Here is the opening page from that book....

You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!” Raise your voice -- they won't hear you otherwise -- "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed! “Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!” Or if you prefer, don't say anything; just hope they'll leave you alone.

Find the most comfortable position: seated, stretched out, curled up, or lying flat. Flat on your back, on your side, on your stomach. In an easy chair, on the sofa, in the rocker, the deck chair, on the hassock. In the hammock, if you have a hammock. On top of your bed, of course, or in the bed. You can even stand on your hands, head down, in the yoga position. With the book upside down, naturally.

Of course, the ideal position for reading is something you can never find. In the old days they used to read standing up, at a lectern. People were accustomed to standing on their feet, without moving. They rested like that when they were tired of horseback riding. Nobody ever thought of reading on horseback; and yet now, the idea of sitting in the saddle, the book propped against the horse's mane, or maybe tied to the horse's ear with a special harness, seems attractive to you. With your feet in the stirrups, you should feel quite comfortable for reading; having your feet up is the first condition for enjoying a read.

Well, what are you waiting for? Stretch your legs, go ahead and put your feet on a cushion, on two cushions, on the arms of the sofa, on the wings of the chair, on the coffee table, on the desk, on the piano, on the globe. Take your shoes off first. If you want to, put your feet up; if not, put them back. Now don't stand there with your shoes in one hand and the book in the other.

Adjust the light so you won't strain your eyes. Do it now, because once you're absorbed in reading there will be no budging you. Make sure the page isn't in shadow, a clotting of black letters on a gray background, uniform as a pack of mice; but be careful that the light cast on it isn't too strong, doesn't glare on the cruel white of the paper, gnawing at the shadows of the letters as in a southern noonday. Try to foresee now everything that might make you interrupt your reading. Cigarettes within reach, if you smoke, and the ashtray. Anything else? Do you have to pee? All right, you know best.



message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments LOL - true (im a big fan of that book as well!)


message 22: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 27 comments I always alternate paperback and ebooks so that I know I'm not neglecting either.

I also cannot read a series back to back. I have to break them up with at least one other book in between.

I always read a series in order even if the books are very loosely connected, I just can't bring myself to randomly read #6 in a detective series for example. I need to know all of the back story!


message 23: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 66 comments I am mostly reading two books at a time, but I prefer reading only one book.

When I am commuting or traveling I am reading on my kindle, since it is lighter, i have access to more books in case i finish one and I do not damage a book.

At home, I read paperbacks (sometimes I take one with me for traveling) and hardcover (only at home), so that I do not damage them. I never write in my books or break their spine and like it when they look clean and new. The only exception are already old books.

Usually I like to read in silence, but when I read on bus or train I listen to music. This has to be some well known and not too exiciting music (metal works fine for me).


message 24: by Lark (new)

Lark Benobi (larkbenobi) | 247 comments My odd reading habits:

1. if it's June, read The Brothers Karamazov
2. if it's August, read The Magic Mountain
3. if there is a new translation of Dante, read it immediately
4. if you have insomnia, put Sense & Sensibility on your ipod when you go to bed. In the morning you will know how much you slept by the number of scenes you don't remember having heard the night before
5. if you don't know what to read, read Gertrude Stein
6. Marry somebody who loves reading to you out loud...it's better than flowers


message 25: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 702 comments David, I like your approach to Tender is the Night! I'd like to try that some time.

Marcus, what a fascinating project!


message 26: by David (new)

David | 242 comments It's funny how when this thread started I thought "Oh, I don't have any quirks", but the more I think about it the more idiosyncratic I realize I am. Here's another: I prefer, where possible, to read an electronic copy. And whenever I can, I copy or convert the file to a regular word processor document. My preferred font is Trebuchet MS and my preferred font size is 24pt. Now you might think the large size is because I have bad eyes, but you'd be wrong. I discovered many years ago, when I first started reading electronic copies of books (the first was in 2000, I think), that very large fonts help me read more smoothly.

Now here is perhaps the strangest part: I will, when possible, keep two electronic copies of a book. One that has the entire text of the book and one where I delete the parts I read as I read it. By that I don't mean read a chapter then delete it. I generally mean either read a sentence, then delete it or, sometimes, I just hold down the delete key as I read so I never have to scroll down. This means that the text is actually moving on the screen as I am reading it.

I wonder what that would look like to someone unexpectedly coming across me reading, with an audiobook playing at double speed and a large text document file with the words being deleted as fast as they are being read. I might need professional help :-)


message 27: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
David wrote: "It's funny how when this thread started I thought "Oh, I don't have any quirks", but the more I think about it the more idiosyncratic I realize I am. Here's another: I prefer, where possible, to re..."

David, I am inclined to hand you the quirky reader trophy and declare future entries pointless. Deleting as you read is kind of excellent! I wonder, though, does your attention never wander? Are you not like the rest of us in spacing out for a brief period of reading and having to go back? Do you never want to reread a previous paragraph because you got confused as to who was speaking &c.?

I remember I used to imagine books where the text would vanish as you read it. I think it may have even been a thing in a science fiction story I read a long time ago.


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments David wrote: "It's funny how when this thread started I thought "Oh, I don't have any quirks", but the more I think about it the more idiosyncratic I realize I am. Here's another: I prefer, where possible, to re..."

Actually I'm wondering if I can do something similar for my weaker readers during my ILS sessions - huge font, audio (normal speed) and words disappearing.

You could be on to something


message 29: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
It seems like it could certainly aid focus.


message 30: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 702 comments Whitney wrote: "David, I am inclined to hand you the quirky reader trophy and declare future entries pointless."

Ha! Yes!

Robert wrote: "Actually I'm wondering if I can do something similar for my weaker readers during my ILS sessions - huge font, audio (normal speed) and words disappearing."

Like Karaoke for reading! I wonder if this exists already somewhere?

I noticed a reading quirk today at lunch. When I read a physical book and start a new chapter, I flip ahead to see how long the chapter is. I don't think I do this with every book since chapters/segments/parts vary so much, but I do like to get to a good transition before I stop reading, which means you have to know how far that next transition is if you're close to needing to get back to work.


message 31: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Whitney wrote: "I wonder, though, does your attention never wander? Are you not like the rest of us in spacing out for a brief period of reading and having to go back? Do you never want to reread a previous paragraph because you got confused as to who was speaking &c.?"

See my earlier comments about the audiobook helping to keep me focused :-)

But when I do want to go back I have two options. First, Ctrl-z reverses the deletions, so I can easily make the most recent text reappear. But alternatively, I keep a copy of the complete book without deleting from it and I can check it if I need to.




Robert wrote: "Actually I'm wondering if I can do something similar for my weaker readers during my ILS sessions - huge font, audio (normal speed) and words disappearing."

When I took French classes years ago, my teacher recommended that we watch French films with the French subtitles on. That way our hearing and reading could help each other out to fully understand (and the visuals helped when both of those failed).

For something text only, I would think it would be easy using power point to create something with large text and a limited number of words per page to accompany an audiobook.


message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments David wrote: "Whitney wrote: "I wonder, though, does your attention never wander? Are you not like the rest of us in spacing out for a brief period of reading and having to go back? Do you never want to reread a..."

Suggestion noted!!

As for subtitles, I recommend them all the time, however there is a drawback: I've had only one case with a boy (I work in a boy's school) who hated reading and yet managed to maintain a high standard of spoken and written english and managed to achieve great grades in his o and a levels, all due to watching british comedies and book adaptations with the subtitles on. The problem came at uni level when he decided to read for an English degree in which he was kicked out of the course due to failing every exam because the subtitle method (which is a form of bluffing) did not work at tertiary level.

now cause I went off topic. Here's another quirk of mine.

No matter what language a film is, I need subtitles because I enjoy reading and watching the film at the same time. No subtitles and I feel lost.


message 33: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
I watch everything with subtitles as well. Interesting that the boy you mention who hated reading decided to to read for an English degree. What was his motivation?


message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments I asked him the same question - he thought that since he bluffed his way for seven years he thought he'd cruise through the degree and then read for a more serious one but it didn't work. He then moved on to art school.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 245 comments My experience has been that it isn't as easy as I thought it would be to find French films that also include French subtitles. I have a handful that have both, but a lot of French films have only English (or sometimes English and Spanish) subtitles. That's in the U.S.--it's probably easier in other countries. Another problem is that a lot of the subtitles aren't exactly the same as what is being said.


message 36: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
I have less restrictive habits than I used to. These days, I crack the spine first thing to get it over with and have multiple books on the go at once.

I am particular about bookmarks. The perfect one is about 3 inches x 1.5 inches with an obvious front / back and top / bottom, so I can place it on the paragraph where I left off reading. A lot of event tickets are perfect bookmarks. I used to save all of the ones I got at the Seattle International Film Festival (I would see at least 15-20 movies each year), and then sort through them so there was some sort of connection between the film and the book I was reading. Alas, I've lost too many to keep doing that.


message 37: by Hugh (last edited Aug 15, 2018 04:34AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
My books travel too much to use a bookmark for anything at a lower granularity than the end of a page pair. I generally put it on the last page I have completed, but this sometimes means I have read the rest of the paragraph on the next page. I prefer to use something larger than a ticket, but I am not too fussy about the shape or the material - my current one came from Blackwells bookshop.


message 38: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2874 comments Mod
The placement of the bookmark made me think of how regular I try to be about where I stop reading (ideally, at the end of a chapter, but 98% of the time it's where a new paragraph starts on a verso page. If there are no paragraphs, I stop (or just start back up again no matter where I actually stop) at the first sentence-ending punctuation (large-intestine-length-sentence writers like Bolano or Krasznahorkai cause me to break a mental circuit and then I just drink until I can't remember anything about the book and start it over from the beginning).

Other habits:
- Treat almost all spines as if they're newborn infants, but I have no problem folding pages, writing in the margins, etc. (exception: I seem to think it's OK to torture the spines of nonfiction paperbacks; I'm also more comfortable marking up a nonfiction book; I must think of these as more utilitarian and less artistic or something).
- Will read almost any format, but actually prefer paperbacks overall (hardbacks come in 2nd; e-books 3rd); cheap or free over-rides format preference every time (I feel like a junkie when I talk about books)
- Prefer little to no sound when reading (classical or electronic music is fine; can't do anything with lyrics; very hard to read with TV on in the background)
- Usually have anywhere from 2 to 5 books going at one time, but try to mix up genres (novel, short stories, poetry, non-fiction; more than 2 novels at one time is challenging)
- No schedule (have always loved reading right before going to sleep); Last few years, I've started reading while walking (usually a couple blocks and flights of stairs from the subway station to my office; it's kind of like those scenes in the old Popeye cartoons where Olive Oil sleepwalks through the city and narrowly avoids all kinds of dangers).
- Am in constant battle with myself between trying to whittle down the number of unread books I own before allowing myself to accumulate more (for some reason, I don't count unread e-books in this; I "count" them, but they cause me no guilt... probably because they take up no space).
- Books I rate with 4 or 5 stars, I keep; 3 stars or lower ones, I donate or give away
- Sometimes I'll read aloud to the cat(s)
- I think of my favorite authors fondly as aunts and uncles (I don't think I do this with those authors who are younger than me despite their favored status... huh... I guess most of my favorite authors are either dead or older than me... )
- I almost never re-read anything (and I do NOT have a good memory)
- In particular, I seem to forget endings (I must either speed up excitedly for the end or start looking forward to the next selection)

I'm really enjoying everyone's posts in this thread--thanks for all the contributions!


message 39: by Sara G (new)

Sara G | 44 comments I also read aloud to cats but my current one does not enjoy it and peevishly ignores me.


message 40: by Marc (last edited Aug 15, 2018 08:07AM) (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2874 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "I also read aloud to cats but my current one does not enjoy it and peevishly ignores me."

Such picky creatures!


message 41: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 142 comments David wrote: "So I guess I have one ... don't judge me :-)

I like to listen to the audiobook while reading a text copy of the book at the same time, but I listen to a sped up version of the audio, often around ..."


I also listen to audio book while reading the text book but it usually just for poetry. Sometimes I do it for other books.


message 42: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 292 comments How enjoyable it was to read everyone's weirdness! David, I can't wait to try something like your Tender Is the Night process. A great way to pick up the subtleness in a writer like Fitzgerald.

I MUCH prefer paper books, which is becoming an eccentricity. I try not break spines, I will only use thin bookmarks, and never write in the book or turn a page corner. Sticky notes do damage a book page after time, but I put one (or a dozen if necessary!) on the inside of the back cover and as I'm reading, note quotes I want to add to my massive collection. They don't seem to leave a mark if left on only for the time I'm reading. (I know if I read electronically I could just copy the quotes with a few clicks. But I like going back and typing them out after finishing the book. They sink in more that way.)

I always have a paper book with me. I read in line at the Post Office or grocery store, when waiting for just about anything or anyone. People look at me like I'm from another planet. Reading and not on a device? I'm waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me, but do you realize this is 2018?"

I too have read to my animals. I used to gather my dogs and cats around the fire at the holidays and read stories to them. They never said "Do you think you could finish that later?" Plus I think it increased their empathy.


message 43: by Nadine in California (last edited Aug 17, 2018 08:38AM) (new)

Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 477 comments The books I've read look so untouched that I embarrassedly had to explain to Viet Thanh Nguyen at a book signing that I really loved and devoured The Sympathizer, despite appearances.


message 44: by Carol (last edited Aug 17, 2018 05:24PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Nadine wrote: "The books I've read look so untouched that I embarrassedly had to explain to Viet Thanh Nguyen at a book signing that I really loved and devoured The Sympathizer, despite appearances."

Okay. That's funny. Hardbound books I own similarly are almost always in perfect shape when I'm done. I"m glad I'm not alone.

I am fairly certain that God would smite me post-haste if I ever break a spine.

I much prefer reading hardbound books to any other choice. E-books are my least favorite format and I generally only read ARCs on my iPad and that, only because NetGalley and Edelweiss provide them in that format. I can only read lighter fare in e-book form because I don't retain the content nearly as well as I do with print books. It's so much easier for me to flip back, confirm a name or relationship, dog-ear or post-it note family trees, maps or other resources so I can check them frequently. I know that those tasks are capable of being done on an e-reader, but at the end of a long day I am weary of doing tasks electronically, so I don't.

I do dog-ear, but only library books and paperbacks (because they have zero objective value to collectors). I'm a collectible bookseller's daughter and certain rules - right only in pencil and sparingly, no sticky notes or bookmarks that would imprint a shape or bend a page, treasure and protect dust jackets, never buy paper if there's a hardbound available, don't buy books that are printed in million lot first runs - are engrained. My dog-ears aren't to hold my place - I use bookmarks for that - but to mark great quotes for online updates and reviews.

And, yes, I read upwards of a dozen books at a time and can't imagine what my reading life would be like if I read one book at a time. I think I'd resent being forced into a single lane for several days and take it out on the book. It's a Darwinian approach, really. Absent some obligation to others, the best books compete with the then-current in-progress stack and win every time I choose them, and the ones that fall by the wayside (by not being picked up for a couple of weeks, and then declared abandoned) didn't offer enough satisfaction to win the competition. Sometimes, too, though, I have to put books I am enjoying aside in order to read and lead a discussion of a book I nominated, or to make headway in a selection for one of my IRL book clubs, which also drives up the currently-reading quantity.

I don't tote my books around with me on a daily basis because then I'd end up leaving one in a car and it would be just the one I seek to read that night - but at the moment when I'm in my jammies and curled up cozy, I'm not willing to head out to the car. I do tote excessive amounts of books with me when I travel. Like 6 books for a one-week business trip. I can't bear not to have a plethora of contrasting choices guaranteed to match any possible mood or interest. Then more often than not I seek out bookstores where I visit and bring home more. It's a sickness, I admit. It makes my traveling partners laugh and drives up my luggage poundage, but my books are essential to rendering me a happy traveler, so there.


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 477 comments Carol wrote: "I do dog-ear, but only library books and paperbacks (because they have zero objective value to collectors)..."

If I don't have any sticky notes at hand, I've perfected the art of making infinitesimally small dog ears as temporary holders until I get my sticky notes. I love the look of a book bristling with colorful sticky tabs......


message 46: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Nadine wrote: "Carol wrote: "I do dog-ear, but only library books and paperbacks (because they have zero objective value to collectors)..."

If I don't have any sticky notes at hand, I've perfected the art of mak..."


I don’t use them very often for books, except for reference books, but post-it notes in multiple colors are one of life’s greatest pleasures. Pure joy.


message 47: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 5 comments Carol, I do the same thing when packing for trips. What books to bring are as important as what clothes to pack, or more so. And I almost always come home with more books, no matter where I go or for how long. I have the same sickness.


message 48: by Robert (new)

Robert | 461 comments When going abroad i set a target : two thick books or 6 thin ones. Obviously I'll buy a couple but the last time i overdid it was Amsterdam : how could resist whern theres one amazing used bookstore and the American one.plus a well stocked waterstones!


message 49: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2874 comments Mod
For those interested in marking pages or quotes without marring a book, I just discovered book darts (super thin metal arrows that slip over the edge of the page and point to whatever line you choose). I got a used book where someone left these on the pages. They look like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Book-Darts-Line-Marker-Bookmarks/dp/1578503760/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1534604243&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=metal+book+page+markers&dpPl=1&dpID=412LICy3uIL&ref=plSrch


message 50: by SueLucie (new)

SueLucie | 33 comments Robert wrote: "When going abroad i set a target : two thick books or 6 thin ones. Obviously I'll buy a couple but the last time i overdid it was Amsterdam : how could resist whern theres one amazing used bookstor..."

Robert: I know the second-hand bookstore in Amsterdam very well and have traded many of my books there over the last few years. I am fond of the American book shop too.

I used to favour paperbacks, never breaking spines or dog-earing. I have a laminated bookmark given to me by a friend and used it in every book for years until I got a puppy. Nowadays I read almost exclusively on Kindle. I like to highlight and take notes, add 'bookmarks' as I tend to flip back a lot. The best thing about Kindle for me is changing from black letters on white to white letters on black at night, and not having to keep the bedside light on.

How does everyone arrange books on the shelf? I confess I arrange same-sized paperbacks by colour in a rainbow effect. In the old days orange used to predominate (Penguin). Nowadays my book covers tend to be white or blue - agree?


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