Jane Austen discussion

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General Discussion > Reading - what is your style?

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message 1: by Megan (new)

Megan We all love to read or we wouldn't be here. But I am sure there are some differences -

Do you prefer hardcover books, paperbacks, a Kindle, Nook, iPad or an audiobook?

Are you a buyer/collector or do you borrow/swap?

Do you read one book at a time or do you have multiple titles going depending on your mood or interests? Do you prefer stand alone novels or series?

Me - I love to collect books - all kinds. (If I travel, I research bookstores and yarn shops where I am going). I got a Kindle in April of this year and am thoroughly and completely addicted. I am also a large fan of audiobooks for my commute to and from work and while out walking for exercise. I have at least 5 books going at a time - novels of varying styles (serious to total fluff), some history or biography, perhaps something to do with a hobby or new interest. I tend to find an author and then read everything they have written - I do love a long series with the same characters.

How about you?


message 2: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Hey Megan,

You mentioned reading series books --do you have any personal rules on how to tell a good series? Do you tend to gauge the strength of a series in some way? My problem is figuring out if I should continue reading a series if I get to a volume that seems kind of weak. Do you give it a couple more chances before you call it quits?


message 3: by Badlydone (new)

Badlydone I am in favor of paperbacks. I mostly read in bed and hardcovers get a bit heavy and unwieldy after a short time. I buy those books that I think I will read more than once and also classics - the rest I check out from the library or swap.

I too like to read long series, particularly in crime fiction - Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Martha Grimes, Ellis Peters etc. I love to see how characters develop and change with time.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) I am a hard-back collector; especially of my favorite authors or novels. I rarely, if ever, buy mass-market paperbacks. I underline key passages and scribble marginalia notes all through my books too. I rarely read a book without my pencil in hand.

My oldest daughter (the Ph.D. in English) loves to browse my library and look at my marginalia in my novels. She enjoys finding out what I saw in the book as I read it.

I do post a lot of my unwanted books here on Goodreads, using the swap process they've set up. It works well, and I enjoy passing my books on to those who want them. Others I take to the local branch of the LA County library.


message 5: by M (last edited Aug 16, 2010 09:55PM) (new)

M (Umichgirl) | 18 comments Series that I know I will keep for posterity I like to buy in hardcover. Usually though, if I buy new, it is paperbacks. I love used bookstores or library sales and will grab whatever looks interesting. I don't swap, but I too use my LA County library card. I love my ever expanding library. Consequently I prefer bound books to any other form. There is something about the smell of a book or the feel of a page flipping through my fingers that I wouldn't trade for the world.


message 6: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) I'm a fan of the paperback as I quite literally have to grab my opportunites to read - lunch break at work, while the kids are at ballet, in the bath! I can't be carrying a brick around in my handbag - my back is bad enough as it is! I also like to have an audio-book for the commute to work/home and the gym.

I do buy books but have to exercise some self-control so borrow from library and friends as well. I like to keep any book in which I see some value and may like to return to but if I buy anything light or disposable then I donate them to the charity shop or give them to friends/family.

I always have several books on the go - an audio book, one or two novels and maybe a poetry or a non-fiction and maybe a childrens books that I read aloud to my kids at bedtime.

I think I predominantly read stand alone novels but I'm open to series too - my Dad's just lent me Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin, I haven't got around to reading it yet but maybe this will be a series I'll enjoy?!


message 7: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
I love this topic, Megan!

At this point, I prefer actual copies of books as opposed to e-readers, but I actually haven't had a chance to buy or really use an e-reader, so maybe I'll love both methods!

I am always reading 3 or 4 books at a time (4 lately!), and they USUALLY break down like this: a fiction, a nonfiction, a re-read or extra fiction, and an audiobook (which I've recently gotten into as I drive to work--I love multitasking!).

As for buying vs. borrowing, I will do either, as long as I get the book I want! :) If I know I'll be keeping it, I usually buy it, maybe in hardcover. Paperbackswap.com is wonderful and I want to use the swap option here on GoodReads when I get the chance. And I ADORE my local libraries!!

I'll also read both stand alone novels AND series. I usually try hard to keep going with a series--I hate to leave them unfinished.


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Sarah wrote: "Hey Megan,

You mentioned reading series books --do you have any personal rules on how to tell a good series? Do you tend to gauge the strength of a series in some way? My problem is figuring o..."


I find that most series have strong books and weak books. There have been a few that have had a few weak books in a row and then another comes out that is just awesome....I do tend to hang in there before I call it quits but I will abandon a series when I think it isn't any good anymore.

In the last few years (advancing age?), I have given myself permission to quit reading a book that isn't doing it for me - before I was a read it no matter what type. Life is too short - too many books out there!


message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather (medtechknitter) When I first got married I joined a book club that sent you a Hard bound leather copy of a well known classic. I thought that we should have a nice library for the house, but refuse to let anyone read those book for fear we would damage them. Later my oldest child went to work for Barnes and Noble (every readers dream job even if you must live through you child), so I always have a list of books for her to find for me.

I usually collect novels that I want to keep in hardcovers and read from my nook, iphone or mass market paperback, I also listen to audio books in the car. Most of my books do come from Barnes and Noble but I do buy some of them from used book sales.(I hide these purchase for my child...LOL)

I read just about anything fiction, the rare biography, somethings that are just fluff and I love a good series...I will continue with that series no matter how weak they may be, although I hate having to wait a year for the new one to be published. I do love to read anything that was written by a author that I have discovered but will ususally not read all their works back to back.


message 10: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) I love to own old hardbacks, but quality ones that I can afford are few and far between. For the last several years I have been enjoying buying used paperbacks (my favorites are ones from the 60s and 70s with fad-type covers from those eras) since I can usually get them for $2-$5. And since most of my purchases focus around classics or those from the cannon, the books are generally in excellent condition (many look as if they have never even been opened!).

I did just buy a Nook a few months back and am loving it! It is very intuitive to me and I have over 80 books (almost all classics) that have all been free! I can also check out digital books from the library with it, and have been using that function a lot.

I am usually in the middle of a few books at a time, but lately I have been trying to limit myself to 2 or 3.

I love hearing about everyone else's styles of reading!


message 11: by Megan (new)

Megan Joy wrote: "I love to own old hardbacks, but quality ones that I can afford are few and far between. For the last several years I have been enjoying buying used paperbacks (my favorites are ones from the 60s a..."

I have 108 books on my Kindle - of which over 75% are "classics".

I especially like the site http://girlebooks.com/ - beautiful editions. (Yes, the complete Jane Austen or each title individually). There are many sites with free digital books on the internet as well as lots on Amazon to explore.


message 12: by astrangerhere (new)

astrangerhere I'm an attorney, but a corporate one, chained to my desk all day. As such, I always have at least one audiobook going. In addition to that, I usually have 1 classic, and one or two modern books going as well. Add in a graphic novel for good measure and you have my daily brew of books.

I was an English major once upon a time, and my house is packed with paperbacks from then. Recently, though, my lovely lady got me a Nook and I have been in love ever since. I have nearly 300 books on it already, and only 10 or so of them cost me anything. I get most of my classics from Gutenberg.org or other public domain places. The nook, and by association, my new library, goes with me everywhere.


message 13: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Megan wrote: "Joy wrote: "I love to own old hardbacks, but quality ones that I can afford are few and far between. For the last several years I have been enjoying buying used paperbacks (my favorites are ones fr..."

I looked at the girlebooks.com site. It seems a good collection, and are they free downloads?


message 14: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Megan wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Hey Megan,

You mentioned reading series books --do you have any personal rules on how to tell a good series? Do you tend to gauge the strength of a series in some way? My problem..."


I ponder over pursuing those series that become weak for the same reason, Megan. There just isn't enough time to read all thse worthy undiscovered books! I actually think I am less of a series reader by nature though. I love unique stories that aren't a continuation in most cases.


message 15: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "I love this topic, Megan!

At this point, I prefer actual copies of books as opposed to e-readers, but I actually haven't had a chance to buy or really use an e-reader, so maybe I'll love both meth..."


Rachel, I also use Bookins.com, which a pretty good swap site. I don't know which ones are the most popular, I don't swap a lot of books through them but have found some interesting ones.


message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan Sarah wrote: "Megan wrote: "Joy wrote: "I love to own old hardbacks, but quality ones that I can afford are few and far between. For the last several years I have been enjoying buying used paperbacks (my favorit..."

Yes when off their site. Download to your computer and transfer to your e-reader via USB cord. Very easy.


message 17: by Veronica (new)

Veronica There is no restriction on the mode. If i want to read I'll even spend my entire weekend listening to an audio book.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan (soconnor031) I prefer paperback, but I'm often too impatient to wait for paperback when I'm in the middle of a series. I don't do audiobooks because I have a hard time listening to them. My mind wanders. La la la.

I usually purchase my books too, though I'm kindda running out of room, so I'm going to start getting those available through the library. But this goes back to the whole impatient thing. If I can't wait for paperback, I'm not gonna be able to wait for the library to get it.

As far as series, I love them until they are no longer any good.

I definitely prefer fiction. I want to be taken out of my environment and thrown into someplace that I can never be. I rarely read nonfiction because I don't want to be reminded about how tough things can be. If it is nonfiction, it's usually a comical book.


message 19: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I like to use my local library, in which case I like the Hardback books. My book purchasing tends to be more spontaneous, so I generally end up with paperback.

I also have a few audiobooks on my ipod that I like to listen to while driving. They are great on long road trips.

Regarding series, I will generally continue reading them until I grow bored with them. But I may also go back to them years later.

I like to read classics, fiction(nothing to depressing), fantasy and romance. Anything that will allow me to escape for a while.


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan (soconnor031) Teresa,

I'm the same way. I'm reading a few series but am getting sick of two of them now. Sometimes I wish that they would stop while they are ahead.

Love fantasy! And of course classics or else I wouldn't be here.


message 21: by Paula (last edited Aug 17, 2010 08:42PM) (new)

Paula I love books in all sizes, shapes, etc. I love displaying hardcovers, tend to read paperbacks, and take my Kindle with me everywhere.

I'm a buyer - it's a wonderfully terrible addiction. I own 800 books and counting, about 300 of which I haven't read. Since I recently gave up my 'library' to a temporary house guest I'm getting better at reading more and buying less. I was recently sent to a few different countries for work, and only felt 'settled' after I found a good local bookstore.

I am the only one I know who doesn't own an MP3 player of some sorts, and I just ordered one yesterday for the purely geeky purpose of downloading audio books for my commute.

I usually have 5-8 books going at once, with one non-fiction, a few for different groups and a few just because that's what I want to read.

Genres? Yes, please.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Paula wrote: "I love books in all sizes, shapes, etc. I love displaying hardcovers, tend to read paperbacks, and take my Kindle with me everywhere.

I'm a buyer - it's a wonderfully terrible addiction. I own 80..."


Well, good on you, Paula! Welcome to the club! The only exception I have is that I rarely read anything concurrently. One after the other is my style.


message 23: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Oh, definitely paperbacks are my favorite, because they are so portable and easy on the wrists that have to hold them close to the oh-so-near-sighted eyes! I cannot confess how many I actually have, because it's embarassing. But they are all neatly in place in lovely bookcases-- which I am an expert at building! (And I've read every book that I own except maybe one or two that I haven't quite got around to because I'm addicted to re-reading my favorites.)


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Susan wrote: "I prefer paperback, but I'm often too impatient to wait for paperback when I'm in the middle of a series. I don't do audiobooks because I have a hard time listening to them. My mind wanders. La la ..."

I'm quite the same way. Unfortunately, my bookcase is close to overflowing. I raid thrift stores and used book shops for alot of my books.


message 25: by Megan (new)

Megan I have LOTS of un-reads laying around. I tend to collect and collect and then dash off after the newest shiny one....Every once in a while, I force myself to finish off a few before starting something new - but am not usually too successful at that!

Do you shelve your un-reads with your all ready reads or do you keep them separate? Are your shelves organized by author (like the library) or are they just randomly shelved? By genre? Subject?


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan (soconnor031) I have that problem too about buying and collecting and then not reading because there's somehting else out there I want to read. I'm trying not to buy any books until I read at least three of the ones I already own. So far I've read one, but it is taking every piece of will power I have to not buy any. The two books I ordered from Barnes & Noble that are to be shipped on Aug 31 do not count. I made my goal after I placed that order. :-)


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum I rarely buy new books, and then only if it's by an author I really, really like. I find mine at used book stores and thrift stores,too, Annie. But thrift stores are harder because they rarely alphabetize their books, and searching can be eye-crossing after a while. And I shelve mine by type first and then alphabetically-- might be confusing for anyone else, but I know where they all are!


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan (soconnor031) Used book stores are great! There are a few within an hour of my place and I love, love, love them. I always leave with a few everytime I visit.


message 29: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I usually shelve my books by type or genre like several people have mentioned. Lately though I have been shelving my books by New Acquisitions and by Moods. Some of my other GReads friends and I have talked about having books that are Fall Reads and Winter Reads and I guess I have been sectioning them on my shelves per that. And I DO have quite a few that I haven't read. My niece would say that makes me a collector. But I usually do trade many books off over time, rather than keep them all.


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula Megan wrote: "Do you shelve your un-reads with your all ready reads or do you keep them separate? Are your shelves organized by author (like the library) or are they just randomly shelved? By genre? Subject?
..."


Mine are clearly kept apart; I'm a bit OCD about that. Shelves of unread are organized based on my own thoughts, but non-fiction are organized according to the dewey decimal system. Yes, I said it.


message 31: by Paula (last edited Aug 18, 2010 08:42PM) (new)

Paula Sarah, I love the seasonal sorting you use! It's so appropriate! For example, I keep picking up one of my Dostoyevkys, and setting it back down because it doesn't feel right to read over the summer. Now it all makes sense!


message 32: by Megan (new)

Megan Paula wrote: "Megan wrote: "Do you shelve your un-reads with your all ready reads or do you keep them separate? Are your shelves organized by author (like the library) or are they just randomly shelved? By genre..."

And that is a problem how? ;-)

I keep my unreads shelved separately also by genre and author.(I am sure there is some long name for all this......and probably a medication!)


message 33: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Yes, but be wary of those medications, Megan! :o


message 34: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
I try not to buy too many before I finish the ones I'm reading now, though the library has been my source lately. And I do keep the ones I haven't read separate from the others! :)

I shelve my books according to genre and then alphabetically by author. I keep the series I own together and in order. I also like to shelve my books from smaller to larger in size--is that weird?


message 35: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum That's definitely weird. I shelve mine larger to smaller. (giggle)


message 36: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) I shelve mine in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible to me; a sort of haphazard elegance. I have one of those bookshelves from Ikea that are a series of squares, so usually books of about the same size end up in a square together, along with picture frames, candles, etc. However, I have a rather good sight-memory, so I always seem to know where each book is even though the order changes frequently with new purchases.


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan (soconnor031) I shelve mine where ever there's room. I do try to keep the series together and in order, but other than that there is no organization. It's not good when I want to reread something. I do know exactly where to final all of my Jane Austen books though :-)


message 38: by J. (new)

J. Croft | 7 comments Megan wrote: "I have LOTS of un-reads laying around. I tend to collect and collect and then dash off after the newest shiny one....Every once in a while, I force myself to finish off a few before starting someth..."

LOL! I know exactly what you mean about dashing off after a newer, shinier one. My un-reads are usually those I bought used or discounted. I do have every intention of getting around to them ... just ... not ... yet. **Sigh** So many books, so little time. I generally have more than one on the go, but they are of different genres.
My bookshelves are full to overflowing, and floor space is starting to fill. I should switch to eBooks, but there's something satisfying about cracking open a brand new book with crisp-paper pages, especially a hardcover. I probably have an equal mixture of paperbacks and hardbacks; but wherever they are stacked, my books are definitely in order. I sort them by genre first and then by author.
If I could add one room to my house, it would be a library with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcases ... ooh ... and one of those rolling ladders to reach the upper shelves. **Sigh again**


message 39: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) J. Marie wrote: "If I could add one room to my house, it would be a library with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcases ... ooh ... and one of those rolling ladders to reach the upper shelves."

Yes, yes, yes. This is my one true dream.


message 40: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) A nice start:
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message 41: by Paula (new)

Paula Is it wrong that I worry about the sunlight on those books and possibly fading of the covers? It does look beautiful, though!

Another library I envy is Neil Gaiman's, and while the author is completely inappropriate to mention in a Jane Austen group, the library fits the topic:

http://blog.shelfari.com/my_weblog/20...


message 42: by Paula (last edited Aug 19, 2010 09:14PM) (new)

Paula Megan wrote: "Paula wrote: "Megan wrote: "Do you shelve your un-reads with your all ready reads or do you keep them separate? Are your shelves organized by author (like the library) or are they just randomly shelved? By genre..."

And that is a problem how? ;-)..."


You I like :)

edit: and all the rest of you, obviously!


message 43: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) Those Neil Gaiman bookshelves are amazing! I've got shelf-envy now - I wanted floor to ceiling bookshleves in my (and my husbands) bedroom, all along the left wall but just couldn't get him to agree to it! Sigh....


message 44: by J. (new)

J. Croft | 7 comments We're getting off topic here; but can anyone guess the place I imagined this library to be located?

Floor-to-ceiling shelves lined the walls; and lower freestanding bookcases were arranged, row after row, around the massive room.  Full-length windows, draped with ecru material to keep direct sunlight away from precious leather-bound volumes, were open; and the curtains billowed inward thanks to a refreshing breeze.  The northern aspect of the room rendered it delightful for summer; and a glance through the windows revealed the high woody hills behind the house as well as the beautiful oaks and Spanish chestnuts scattered across the immediate lawn.  Sconces, candelabra, gas lanterns, and an enormous chandelier would provide illumination once daylight vanished.  The desk, mantle, bookcases, and shelves were made of scrollwork mahogany; and comfortable armchairs and sofas, covered in cream, green and burgundy upholsteries, sat upon woven area rugs of varying shades and patterns of the same hues.  Ladders on wheels allowed easy access to the uppermost shelves, and greenery cascaded from hanging planters and urns standing against the walls.  The smell of wax permeated throughout the room, and the only sound therein was the gentle ticking of a grandfather clock.  The older gentleman was quite content to spend the remainder of the afternoon, if need be, in the cool comfort of the room amidst the tomes covering just about every subject under the sun.  Refreshments had been brought, and he sat sipping tea while perusing a book on angling he had always wanted to read.  The younger man bided his time by browsing the shelves, until the tantalizing breeze from the open windows lured him away.


message 45: by Megan (new)

Megan J. Marie wrote: "Megan wrote: "I have LOTS of un-reads laying around. I tend to collect and collect and then dash off after the newest shiny one....Every once in a while, I force myself to finish off a few before s..."

I have a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves (2 walls - L shaped, the third wall is windows and the 4th wall is open to the entrance foyer) and the books are packed on the shelves, stacked on top of the shelved ones and there are piles on the floor. (Plus the bookshelves in the bedroom....)

This is the second house we have had that my husband has built me a library. Our previous house had the sliding oak ladder on a brass rail. My cat's favorite haunt was the second from the top step of the ladder. We moved 9 years ago and I still miss my ladder!


message 46: by Megan (new)

Megan J. Marie wrote: "We're getting off topic here; but can anyone guess the place I imagined this library to be located?

Floor-to-ceiling shelves lined the walls; and lower freestanding bookcases were arranged, row af..."


My guess is Pemberley with Mr. Bennett or Mr. Gardiner and Darcy, hanging out after the nuptials.


message 47: by J. (new)

J. Croft | 7 comments Megan,
I am envious of your library and impressed by your correct answer of Pemberley. It was, indeed, Mr. Gardiner reading. The angling book gave his identity away, didn't it?


message 48: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Can't talk. Have to run to Lowe's for the lumber for my new library. Except, she wailed, now I'm not sure how I want to build it!


message 49: by Megan (new)

Megan J. Marie wrote: "Megan,
I am envious of your library and impressed by your correct answer of Pemberley. It was, indeed, Mr. Gardiner reading. The angling book gave his identity away, didn't it?"


Yes, the fish were a dead give away. However, your description was lovely and so inviting!


message 50: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (last edited Aug 20, 2010 04:46PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) Joy wrote: "I shelve mine in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible to me; a sort of haphazard elegance. I have one of those bookshelves from Ikea that are a series of squares, so usually books of about ..."

I have the same shelf from Ikea in our living room, Joy! LOL! I am forever surreptitiously removing my wife's tchotchkes and replacing them with new acquisitions (books, that is). I also have a library/office with several large bookcases crammed with books. I am actually running out of room. I have started to go through my books over the past few months and winnow the chaff from the seed. I am making slow but sure progress.

I also absolutely do not ever, ever, ever, buy and shelve a mass-market paperback. They are produced so shoddily that they all simply go to pieces in about ten years, even sitting on the shelf. For my good books, I typically hunt them up in hardback. They shelve, read, travel, and move a helluva lot easier.


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