Questions about reading

Found at Luscinnia‘s. I needed something to get me churning out some words again, and I thought this prompt was interesting.

Do you have a specific place to read at home?

Not really. At the moment, I usually sit in a corner of the living room from which I can see most of the common living space as well as the front entrance onto our property, so that I can make sure that dad is okay and that nothing unexpected is happening. I sit there to do almost everything at the moment, from grading to blogging to paying bills, including reading. I used to read a lot in bed but I had to switch bedrooms after the stroke and I haven’t really re-arranged the new one yet.

Bookmark or any old piece of paper?

I am not organized enough to keep track of bookmarks, although I’ve been given some nice ones over the years. They remain unused although admired. What I usually use is the call slip from the public library (when I order a book in an advance they put it on a hold shelf with a slip in it like the one above. I then go in and pick up the books waiting for me). I do occasionally use some other piece of paper or even an empty chocolate wrapper, but if nothing’s handy it’s not usually a problem as I can usually remember very quickly where I was in a book.

Can you stop reading anywhere in a book?

Yes, mostly because I have to. Tonight I was reading in the nursing home where Flower is at the moment and dad was ready to go when I had only twenty pages of my mystery left. So I guess I’ll find out tomorrow how it ends.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Definitely. I keep a book or two in the passenger seat of my car so I have something to read if I need to eat in a restaurant. I now eat most of my meals with dad at home, so I don’t read in that setting, but if I am up late reading, I will make a bowl of air-popped popcorn with butter and eat that while reading. But I can also read without food.

Multi-tasking: Music or television while you read?

Only if I can’t avoid them. I prefer to focus on reading alone.

One book, or several at the same time?

Usually three or four at a time, plus whatever I am reading for class.

Reading out loud or quietly in your head?

I used to read out loud to my nieces from time to time, but I read silently to myself. I don’t hear the text in my head as I read, either — I read too quickly for that.

Do you skip passages from a book or even pages?

Definitely, if the story or the language isn’t grabbing me. Sometimes in fiction with multiple viewpoints, I get annoyed by one of the characters and just skip those chapters or sections.

Break the binding or leave it so it looks as much as possible like new?

I don’t try to break the binding, but I don’t see breaking a binding as a catastrophe.

Do you write in your books?

On principle, I don’t write in library books (even if marginalia are some of the most interesting things in some of the books I used to read for work). I don’t usually write in fiction, but if I am going to teach a book (whether fiction or non-fiction), I always write in it so I have the markings to hand when I’m in a class discussion.

What about you? Join in if you’re interested.

~ by Servetus on November 3, 2018.

28 Responses to “Questions about reading”

  1. I have to say I miss reading these days. I only thing I have time to read is textbooks. I have to read with music on to keep me from falling to sleep. There is some reason I fall to sleep even with books or magazines I want to read but the doctors can’t figure it out. Even had a sleep study two years ago that was normal. I got to read over the summer and I will read again over Christmas break.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you saw a doctor about it — that would be very stressful. Maybe you’re just overwhelmed at the moment? I hope you enjoy the break.


  2. I can’t read in bed, it’s uncomfortable for my neck, eyes, you name it. Not to mention a husband who goes to bed super early. I like to read at night alone with the tv on, sitting in a comfortable chair. Hawaii 50 is on right now. I DVR the show while I am reading, in case I get caught up in a book and skip a few important plot points. Or take a long time writing comments on a blog.


    • LOL. Yeah I’ve got the advantage of being alone in bed. I do often have the TV on while blogging, or rather, dad has it on and I am sitting in the same room while blogging.


  3. i’ve been trying to read more, i read a book trilogy over the summer that i couldn’t put down (and also launched me into Armitage fandom-somewhat randomly). I’ve had family stuff the last couple of years-combined with a job that isn’t purely 9-5 -that had left me without even space to read. Now i’m back into it though i need silence to concentrate on reading so have got into the habit of turning off the TV and my computer. It’s also inspired me to start writing for the first time in years though and have started carrying round a notebook for those flashes of inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read at night after I’ve gotten home from work. It helps me unwind. I’m usually in the recliner enjoying the peace & quiet, although I also read in bed sometimes. Most of my reading is on my Kindle or my phone (being nearsighted sometimes is an advantage). The last proper book (hardcover) was written by Gibran. And I found a copy of the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes at my library’s book sale that I plan to dig into.


    • Not awake yet! That should’ve read “the last proper book I read was by Gibran.”
      Alright, time for more coffee….


    • That was the question that wasn’t on this survey — analog or digital book? I am firmly in the analog camp. But I also find it really relaxing, even necessary for that purpose.


  5. So I may be the only one curious but what NY Times best seller is that you’ve got your finger on? Is that the Sara Gan book you wrote about?


    • Sarah Paretsky’s latest V.I. Warshawski novel, Shell Game. I’ve loved this series since it started appearing when I was in college.


  6. Loved reading your answers to this – because I am always impressed how many books you go through, and I am interested in knowing your process. Myself, I do not read enough. Well, books, that is – I read on the computer all day long. But most of it is crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read a ton of crap on the computer, too. I’m having a good recharge at the moment b/c I take dad to Flower’s rehab every day and while I’m there I read for an hour to two hours. (for some reason they don’t have wifi).


  7. I usually lay on my sofa to read a book, but also I have the habit to read in bed before sleeping. Unfortunately I am sometimes lost in the story that I forget time and place. When the book is really good, I forget to eat or drink. So I can’t read in a public space or restaurant.


    • Sofa is great, but someone always interrupts me when I do that. I love that feeling of being completely lost, but reading rarely overwhelms my internal clock.


  8. I read all over the house, but my most intense reading is in bed before sleeping. This past month I have been so tired that I don’t last long. I usually have two or three books on the go, a couple of non-fiction and one fiction. Right now, it’s just two non-fiction. I use whatever is at hand for a bookmark, but have a few postcards and even photos that I just use over and over to mark my spot. I never, ever write in books. I’m not really opposed to the idea, but I go so fast that it would slow me down. I confess that I don’t have the stamina I used to have. Maybe because I read so much for work. I spend way too much time reading crap online when I could be reading good material. This bothers me constantly, and yet I cannot seem to change the behaviour.


  9. You read a lot of books, it’s really nice to see your responses to these questions and see your process. 🙂
    I think I may go and answer these over on my blog as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] read Luscinnia’s answers to these on her blog a few weeks ago and today I read Servetus’s answers. She has so handily translated these 10 questions into English, which makes it even easier for me […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Très bon sujet Luscinnia et merci Servetus!
    Lire à haute voix est la seule manière que j’ai trouvée pour déchiffrer un texte anglais difficile. Cela m’aide à comprendre et à garder toute mon attention, ma concentration sur la lecture. Mais en public, c’est une aventure risquée, même si je chuchote.
    – Quand dans le tramway, j’ai lu le résumé avec analyse en VO (très rarement emprunté à la bibliothèque) de la pièce de théâtre: “The Crucible”, je me suis trouvée face à 2 adolescentes qui ont mis la musique à fond, sur leur téléphone portable. Il y avait un conflit générationnel et culturel sous-jacent, entre nous.
    – Récemment, dans la salle d’attente du gynécologue, je n’ai pas vu passer les 2h30 de lecture. Soit un châpitre de la fameuse étude d’ Angela Bourke a été nécessaire pour que je comprenne que j’avais été oubliée. La secrétaire avait enregistré mon arrivée mais ne l’avait pas validée à l’ informatique. Malgré tout, j’étais fière de mon exploit en lecture et heureuse du temps perdu. Les autres patientes riaient de mon infortune.


  12. Interesting to read about everyone’s reading habits! I read everywhere/ whenever I can but I really enjoy reading in the bathtub which is why I’m glad to have a waterproof phone to read ebooks on 😉 but if I can’t put a book down, I will also take a “paper-book” everywhere, so long as it is my own. I try to take more care of borrowed books – so if I see that the person I borrowed it from, didn’t break the spine of the book, I also try not to. But my own books always look very used from being stuffed somewhere into my bag or coat pockets or from reading outdoors. Therefore I also mostly buy second hand books in the cheapest category – then I don’t feel bad for “ruining” it. I used to read a lot more when I was still in school and university because of the breaks and waiting time during the day. Now with work everyday I don’t have those 5 minutes here and there anymore but I sometimes use the commuter train and then I have about 2 hours reading time – yay 😉 I usually try to have one or two unread ebooks on the phone and there’s never a shortage of books I want to read because of likeminded friends to swap with, books I pick up somewhere on the go or at the library or books I get from my family members as gifts. I don’t really plan ahead what I want to read except for my favorite authors and series I like (The new “Uthred”-Book War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell became available here about two weeks ago and I had devoured it only one day after I got it 😉 that’s the series where there is a fabulous audiobook version of Book Nr. 3 “The Lords of the North” read by RA, but I was a fan of the books long before I even knew RA…) I love audiobooks for all the times, when I need my hands free and almost always listen to an audiobook while making firewood, cleaning, gardening etc. Sometimes also in the car, but as I tend to “fall into the story” that can be a bit dangerous so I have to take care to turn it off periodically. This also leads to the eating/ drinking while reading a book question: When I was twelve I discovered Lord of the Rings and borrowed the first book from a classmate, and then, as soon as I got them, read book 2 and 3 in one go (one afternoon, the whole night and most of the next day) without eating anything – I just completely disappeared in Middle Earth 😉 Good thing that I got the other books like the Silmarillion, the Lost Tales etc. only later, because I think I would not have stopped reading. I absolutely can’t skip chapters and would never write on the pages of a book (I sometimes use sticky notes though), but I immensely enjoy deciphering other reader’s margin notes – so everyone who does write in his/ her books – scribble away! Maybe I buy one of your books second hand 😉
    P.S. I really like your book review blog posts, Servetus, and each time I’m awed by the amount you read in one month!


    • 🙂 Thank for your thoughts! Sometimes, I don’t know If it is better to listen to music or to an audiobook.


  13. I keep books on my phone, my kindle and my laptop. I get a lot of books sent by friends (have no idea where they get all these ebooks, but I can request a book, and an hour later it’s there.) Everything I read is digital with rare exceptions, due to lack of libraries or English book stores. I read in bed mostly, or on my patio in the roofed over area in the hot season, although I always have a book on my for when I’m waiting in a restaurant or somewhere. I used to read one book at a time. Now I read 2 or 3 and also always have one I am listening to. Although, I will sometimes binge read a book for hours if it grabs me- like a mystery.


  14. I meant to write I always have a book on my phone, and an audio book.


  15. How interesting that you don’t hear the text in your head! I guess that really does make a difference to speed.
    I don’t seem to have much time to read now, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. For that reason, audiobooks in the car are huge for me right now, and not just RA.


  16. […] Servetus at me + richard armitage, […]


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