My Reading Habits – A Book Tag

My Reading Habits

Guys, I’m sort of obsessed with book tags. They’re fun, they help you get to know me and I just really like to do them, okay? If you find any cool ones, feel free to tell me about them or even tag me in them. These are basically my life now. I found this tag about reading habits at a couple of other blogs and then I realized that I absolutely had to do it. I know these are called book tags but no one tags me, so I take initiative and just do these myself. I love hearing about people’s reading habits and I want to use my Psych student powers to find correlations between reading habits and certain behaviors, but for now, I’ll just stick to filling out this survey, which was created by BookTuber TheBookJazz. Since it is a video, I will also include the questions at the bottom of this blog post, in case you want to play along plus the bonus questions that I’ll also be answering that aren’t a part of this tag but were related.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Right now, I don’t, which is something that I really wish I did have. I spend about most of the year away at school, so it’s not a huge priority because I’m not home all of the time. I’ve gotten into the habit of reading in bed but I would like a place to read that’s mine, like  a nice cozy reading nook with a comfy chair, some blankets and place for my dog (and possible future cat) to hang out with me. I have a lot of ideas for what my future reading nook might look like but I also feel like I might have to wait until I get my own place because there’s not really a lot of space for it in my dorm room (which, to be fair, is a single, but has thin walls that I have to share with other people right next to me who don’t have the same desire to quietly read that I do). So, I guess the tl;dr answer is that I don’t have a certain place for reading right now, but it is of the utmost importance that I get one as soon as I can.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

For me, the correct answer to this question is whatever is nearby. I’ve definitely been in situations where I’ve started book in places where I didn’t expect to (on the bus, for example) and didn’t have anything so I ripped a piece of paper out of something or folded up a piece of paper. Right now, my preferred bookmark is an index card, which I also like because it helps me follow lines. I can’t really read straight lines without a guide, otherwise I’ll end up skipping around and forgetting my place. I do like fancy bookmarks and I want to learn to make homemade bookmarks like the ones you put in corners and can make out of pretty paper and washi tape, but I’d still have to have the index card for the aforementioned reason. I really do like pretty bookmarks, especially the fancy ones Barnes and Noble sometimes had that are made of metal, but the last one I had got ruined by my two cats who really liked the dangly, beaded parts. I tried one of the bungee ones but got really worried about the pages in the book I was using it for.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

It really depends on the book. If I’m really into a book, I can read on and on and on until the book is over. If I like the book but not enough to zip through it like a madwoman or if I have time constraints and can’t read for as long as I’d like, I prefer to stop after a full page break. I hate having to stop in the middle of a sentence and I hate when a sentence goes on to another page because if I stop there, I have to try to remember where I was on the page. I don’t really have a specific page requirement and I feel like if I did, it’d feel like when I get assignments for classes and my professors will say “Read pgs. 112-127” or “Read the first 45 pages of whatever book.” I don’t assign myself anything when I read for pleasure otherwise it might as well be the same as schoolwork. I read until I choose to put the book down, the closer to the end of a chapter, the better, but it’s not a requirement. I can stop whenever I choose to.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Short answer to this is yes, I eat or drink when I read. I see no inherent wrong in reading while eating or reading while drinking. I mean, there’s a chance you could spill but you’re an adult (unless you’re not, but still) and can make your own decisions and accidents happen, but I’m sure you’ll be fine. Sometimes I get hungry. I have read books before for hours before I realized that I was in need of food. I have then gone to get food and proceeded to eat while reading, which unlike drinking and driving isn’t really a crime. In the book community, it seems as though it might as well be sometimes. I love my books and do my best to take care of them, which is why I am careful while I eat/drink and read, but I don’t really think it’s the worst thing someone can do, especially since if you buy a book, you have the right to do whatever you want with it, even if it’s not what someone else would do. Library books, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Library books are not yours, they belong to everyone who may borrow them at any given time. If you spill on them or get them wet or get crumbs on them, that ruins them for the next person. I work in the library at my school and I have seen the damage people have done (probably because these books don’t belong to them, so they are less gentle with them) and it breaks my heart. So yeah, I eat and drink while reading but only if the book is mine. If I borrow a book from you, I will take care of it better than if it were my own and I expect others to do the same.

Multitasking – Music or TV While Reading?

I multitask. It’s a part of who I am. As a psychology student, I’ve read a lot of studies about how it’s not the best way to do things, but it’s so ingrained into who I am that I can’t help it…in most situations, at least. When I read for school, my habits are very different from the ones I have when I read because I actually want to. I am more diligent in my reading if it’s a book I choose. Required reading just kind of makes me anxious and stresses me out. I also am very bad at reading for school. If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it, even if I probably should, so when it comes to books for school, I will listen to music or watch old episodes of shows I’ve already seen for background noise. If I don’t do this, then I have trouble staying awake. It’s not the best idea when it comes to retaining as much information as I probably should but I get most of the general ideas and definitely more than if I hadn’t read it at all. It’s equal parts motivation, distraction and sleep deterrent.

When I read for enjoyment, I try not to have too many distractions. I definitely don’t like to have any kind of TV show on, mostly because I might feel compelled to watch it and that will take me out of the story. Music is on a case by case basis. I like music and I think it adds to a story. For example, when I was reading The Night Circus, I decided that “Notes on Constellations” by Chiodos was the theme song for that novel. It didn’t take anything away from the book, in fact, I think it added to it, but that’s not always the case. With Six of Crows, it was just me and the book. No music or anything. Sometimes it did feel like it was oddly quiet but I didn’t want any distractions or to use the wrong song and keep having to change it. I’m not opposed to background music at all when it comes to reading, but it depends on the book or the situation. Reading while watching TV isn’t really something that I can do, though.

One book at a time or several at once?

Apparently, I am what is known sometimes in the book world as a reading polygamist, aka a polygamist reader. I’m not sure how I feel about that label, mostly because I worry about offending people a lot, but I will say that I do have a habit of reading multiple books at once. I will even stop in the middle of one book to read another I just bought if the spirit moves me to do so. I’m very much a mood reader so if a book I’m reading doesn’t really suit my mood or if I get momentarily bored of it, I might put it down to read something else because life is too short to keep going on reading a book you’re not in love with. I also believe that sometimes it’s not the book itself that’s the problem but maybe the timing’s not right. For example, I can’t bring myself to get past the first 20 or so pages of This Savage Song, so I’ve moved on to something else for time being. This is nothing against TSS but I have other books to read and not enough time. If I really love a book, I can read it without interference from other books, but I also think because I’m always reading something for school (that’s what being an English and Psych major does to you) that it would be impossible for me to read one book without having to read another at some point. But even if I could, I probably wouldn’t. I like variety. That’s why I love my Kindle, because I can read whatever I want whenever I want, as long as I bought it. If I just bring one or two books with me, I’ll probably realize that those aren’t the books I want to read so I like that with my Kindle I can bring multiple books with me, because carrying almost 15 pounds of books through the airport isn’t always an option, nor is it probably the best thing for my back.

Reading at home or everywhere?

I read everywhere that I could possibly read. I mean, yes, I’d prefer to read somewhere nice and cozy, like at home, but I will read anywhere I possibly can. That’s why I always bring a book or two with me in a bag or a purse, as well as my Kindle for the reasons mentioned above. There are places where it’s better not to read, like a movie theater or a concert or something and I know that it is looked down upon to go to a social event and sit in the corner and read but I will bring books to the dining halls when I eat or on the bus when I’m going somewhere. I read in the doctor’s office or when it’s not super busy at the circulation desk. I can also read in the car. I guess there are people that get motion sickness when they do this but that has literally never been a problem for me. I didn’t even know it was a thing until a family friend who was taking me someplace asked me how I didn’t get motion sickness while reading. I read on planes but I really enjoy reading on trains. I don’t know why I do, I just do, but I guess I just kind of enjoy traveling by train sometimes even though it’s usually a six hour journey. So yeah, while I’d rather read in bed in my own space, I don’t mind reading anywhere else.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Once again, it depends. One thing you’ll learn about me and about life in general is that everything is situational. I mean, I know this is about my reading habits, but a lot of that depends. I don’t work in absolutes. Most of the time, at least. For the most part, I am a silent reader, especially in public, because reading out loud looks a lot like talking to yourself and people tend to stare. When I’m by myself, I might read passages out loud, especially ones that I enjoy reading. I also tend to read poetry out loud, as well as plays. I am a firm believer in the idea that Shakespeare wasn’t simply meant to be read silently and so it helps me a lot when I read it for school assignments to actually read the lines, otherwise it’s easy to miss the nuances and stuff. It’s not just Shakespeare, though, most plays are like that. Poetry is also better read out loud. I don’t really read a lot of poetry or verse, but when I have had to for classes, it is more fun to read it aloud as it helps to get a better feel of the voice.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I try really hard not to read ahead but there are times when I do get impatient, especially towards the end of books so I sometimes find myself jumping around or trying to skim pages to get to the end because I really want to know what happens next. It’s a bad habit and I’m very ashamed of it. I’ve never skipped whole pages entirely, I mostly just jump around and then read and then jump around the last two or three pages of a book, but I don’t outright just skip to the end. I just get so impatient.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I don’t really have an opinion on this one, to be honest. I could go either way. I prefer to try and keep my books like new but I’m not gonna stress if I don’t. I barely think about it either way as long is it’s in pretty decent condition. I guess I’ll try to be more careful, though, because I’ve never really thought about this too hard.

Do you write in your books?

Short answer is yes, since they’re mine. I will underline things in pencil or write notes. I mostly avoid this because my notes don’t really fit in the margins of most books. If you had asked me before, I would have said definitely not, but I do highlight and underline in school books sometimes. We read a lot of novels and I usually don’t like them all that much anyway, so I don’t really care that they’re written in. Personally, I think that finding little notes in used books is fun sometimes. I don’t write in my books too often because of the whole “no space” thing, but I do sometimes and I do think it’s the worst thing you can do. Once again, this just applies to books I own, not books I’ve borrowed.

Bonus Questions!*

Disclaimer: I found these somewhere and don’t remember where I got them but I did not write them. If you know who did, let me know and I’ll gladly give them credit, I just thought they went along well with the reading habits tag.

1. When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time?

I read whenever I get the chance. I think that it’s nice to settle down in the evening with a good book, but sometimes that’s not possible for whatever reason, so anytime I can read is fine with me.

2. What is your best setting to read in?

I like to read in bed. It’s usually comfortable (although my dorm room bed kind of sucks) and it makes me feel relaxed. Unfortunately, relaxed can sometimes mean tired, but for the most part, my bed is my reading space, until I got my own little reading nook.

3. What do you do first – Read or Watch?

Read, of course. I don’t really watch movies based on books, especially YA books. I have no interest in most of the movies, unless it’s really good. I feel like YA and comic book movies are the new trends in movies and watching them makes me frustrated because I feel like they’re never faithful enough to the source material.

4. What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book?

Physical book, of course, but I’m not averse to an e-book. I love my Kindle a great deal, it’s small, convenient and holds as many books as I need. But, I’ll always love having a physical copy of a book. Nothing can replace the sensory experience books provide.

5. Do you have a unique habit when you read?

Nothing that I can think of right now, but if I figure one out, I’ll get back to you.

6. Do book series have to match?

I prefer it when they do. Nothing bothers me more than when books change covers and so the first book cover is different from the second one or I have a paperback copy of one book but it’s different from the hardcover second book and it drives me up the wall. I try to keep my editions consistent.

I tag…

Lucy @ That Book Gal and Leah @ Bumblebee Book Blog because they asked to be tagged, but I’d love to see anyone else who fills out this book tag. If you do fill it out, feel free to link me to it in the comments or on Twitter. I’d love to hear about your reading habits.


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