In the last few months, I’ve been reading a lot of book-related blogs, and I’ve read about other people’s various reading quirks. This has subtlely prompted me to mentally catalogue my own quirks. Of course, the natural progression from this, me being me, is to do a post on it! So here we go…
Paperback vs Hardcover
This is one that’s stood out for me because although most people seem to prefer hardcover, I would much rather paperback. I will admit that I reckon hardcover probably looks better – on a desk, on a shelf, in one’s arms – but paperback novels are easier to read (in a practical sense). Also potentially a sentimental thing going on here, since I’ve grown up reading paperback novels; they’re just easier to take anywhere and read anywhere. Perhaps if I grew up reading hardcover, my preference would be different…
I used to never read more than one novel at a time. However, I think this changed when I read ‘The Name of the Wind’ (by Patrick Rothfuss). This is definitely not to say that it was dragging on or anything like that (I thoroughly enjoyed reading TNOTW!) but the actual book was so big that it was difficult to read on my daily commute, so I just read it at home. However, since I didn’t want to waste commute time by not reading, I started reading a second book, which may or may not have been ‘Great Expectations’. I don’t really remember; I just think this is how it started. Anyway, point is that I now tend to have at least two books on the go at any one time. You know, just to mix it up a bit. I do find, however, that I will still tend to focus more on one book over the other(s).
Speaking of ‘Great Expectations’, it is actually the only book that I’ve intentionally re-read (technically, I’m still in the process of re-reading it, but I’m almost done…) There are plenty of books that I intend to re-read one day, but there are so many wonderful books that I haven’t read! As far as I know, I’ve only once accidentally re-read a book. It was in my high school years, and I was a fair way into the book before I realised. By that time, I figured I may as well finish it before moving on. For interest’s sake, some of the books I’d like to re-live include ‘Vanity Fair’, the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’.
Reading on the go
As already alluded to, I am lucky enough to be able to read on the bus/train without getting motion sickness. Unfortunately, there are random days when I do get a bit nauseous, and I don’t really know why. Cars are definitely a resonant no for reading. Planes are fine. I have not yet tried boats, but I don’t like my chances.
I like keeping my books in near-perfect condition. This becomes hard when I have to take – wait, “have to”? Well, not really have to, but kind of have to, anyway; I’d rather pull out a book when I’m bored than pull out my phone. Does that put me in a new category of anti-social? Well, anyway, it is hard to keep a book in mint condition if I’m transporting it everywhere in my backpack. I’ve come to accept that a book that looks like it’s been read a hundred times in a hundred different places can be as beautiful as a book that is fresh from the store. I do, however, have an irrepressible need to straighten out folded corners, and people who fold in the corner of a page to mark where they’re up to really bother me. Please use a bookmark or something.
Is it just me…?
I don’t know how/when this developed, but usually when I read and come to turn the page, I will glance at the page numbers to ensure that I’m not accidentally skipping a page. A friend once pointed out that I’d probably notice if I skipped a page just by the obvious fact that the sentence/paragraph would not make sense. A good point, but that still doesn’t stop me from glancing at the page numbers.
My favourite place to read is at home: in the comfort of my bed, on the sofa, or at my desk. It’s best if there’s just a bit of background noise, but not enough to grab my attention and distract me. Music can be helpful or unhelpful, depending on the song, what I’m reading, and what sort of mood I’m in. I also like to read outside: in the park, by the river, or under a big tree – or perhaps all three! A bit of sunlight, a gentle breeze and a good book. Perfect.