Monday, June 14, 2010

A Creature of Habit

The ever delightful Bookiemonster recently posted about her reading habits and it got me thinking about my own foibles when it comes to reading. And then, because I am nice I thought I would share them with you.

So, here goes:

I’ve given up having a designated reading spot, unless you count my bed which is where I inevitably head to when I pick up my book. Completely horizontal is my most favoured position with the blankets tucked up to my chin, electric blanket on during winter and usually a cat or two fighting for my attention. I tend to read for a short period before going to sleep at night and during weekend afternoons while studiously ignoring the housework.

Unfortunately horizontal reading does often tend to lead to my second favourite activity – sleeping. It seems the older I get, the shorter my attention span is. Gone are the days of sitting up reading until the wee small hours of the morning. >Insert sadface here<

When it comes to transport, I’m completely incapable of reading in any form of moving vehicle. I’ve never been able to - even looking down at my cellphone for too long while in a car makes my stomach heavish. I don’t mind this too much except on long journeys which just feel like a complete waste of precious reading time. I should really invest in more talking books.

I’m far too anal about keeping my books pristine to read in the bath. Yes, I am one of those sad individuals who like to keep their books looking brand new and try not to even crease the spines on first read through (and don’t get me started on people who dog ear pages!). So bathrooms, with all that water and steam and risk of damage to the health and wellbeing of my beloved books would be just plain torture.

Which reminds me, I once had a flatmate who, because our flat didn’t have a bathrub, would read in the shower instead. Seriously risky behaviour!

I’m only a recent library convert and even now only in a limited capacity (mostly non-fiction). I just love having my own copies of books too much. That said, like Bookiemonster I have a shameful library secret; I keep my books right until the due date – even if I have finished with them days earlier – just to spite the next person who has ihem reserved/the universe in general. Selfish no?

Also like Bookiemonster (and booklovers everywhere I suspect), I struggle to decide on what I will read next. I can spend hours staring at my touring To Be Read bookcase hemming and hawing like an old woman. I used to ask my beloved to help me choose but he now refuses after too many suggestions being rejected by me because they didn’t feel right at the time.
I really struggle to give up on a book, no matter how bad it is. It feels like a personal failing to put it down and move on to something new, even though I firmly believe life is too short to read bad books. I am nothing if not contrary. That said, there have been some that were a delight to ditch and never sully my brain with again.

So that's me and all my reading quirks. Care to share yours?


Café Chick said...

I'm like you; I want my books to remain pristine and perfect. I get annoyed when I loan people books (my mother is a shocker!) and they come back with creased spines or don't sit perfectly flat any more. I also tend to most of my reading horizontally, but that leads very quickly to falling asleep these days, so I'm definitely reading less than I used to. I also am determined to finish every book I start and get really annoyed at having to declare #bookFAIL. However, I'm a lifelong library lover and always will be; life's too short to read all the books I want to read once, let alone have time to read them more than once! (Oh, and I return my books as soon as I've finished them so I can get on to some more.)

Kylie L said...

Great post! I also can't give up on a book, no matter how bad- sometimse thinsg can redeem themselves ta the very last minute. Voss was a case in point- hated 98% of that book, but the last 10 pages were brilliant!
I keep a to-read list, so I knos what to go for next, but agree that mood and what you've just finished can play a big part in that. And I also LOVE having my won copies of every book I've read but space is starting to limit that :(

Amanda said...

I often give up on bad books (life is, indeed, too short). On the upside, when I discover an author I like, I have to read everything they have ever written, immediately!

I have also been known to return reserved books before I have finished them, if I am only half-heartedly reading them - our opposing policies can cancel each other out :)

I do dog-ear books. I'm sorry. And since working in libraries (nearly six years), I really struggle to buy books - even second-hand.

Oh, and *my* favourite activity is sleeping, followed by reading :)

Rappy said...

I love the story about the flatmate reading in the shower.

I don't mind returning library books early, but if they are reserved by someone that always increases my interest in reading them. I have one book now which is two days overdue and I haven't started it. Usually I would return it at this point, but because someone has reserved it, it feels far more "desirable" to me and I'll probably hang onto it and read it first.