Hooray for Con, who suggested this reading meme for we #blogeverydayofjune types.
Do you snack while reading? Actually, it’s more that I tend to read while eating. Now that I work at home a lot, I tend to use the time when I stop to grab lunch or an afternoon snack or dinner for a quick dip into whatever it is I have on the go.
What is your favourite drink while reading? Depends on the time of day, but usually coffee, though I do most of my reading in bed before I go to sleep, post teeth brushing.
Do you tend to mark your books while you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? I majored in literary studies in my undergrad, and it made me a book marker, though these days when I’m reading fiction, I read more holistically – with a focus on the big picture, rather than the detail. That means I mark books a lot less than I used to. One of my friends is a book marker, and I love reading her books because I love seeing where she’s added little asterisks against sentences she likes.
How do you keep your place? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book open flat? Mostly dog-ears. Bookmarks tend to slide out in my backpack, although I quite like to use flight boarding passes – there are many scattered in the books on my shelves. They tend to hold better – maybe because they’re wider? They’re also a thin cardboard, so you can push them hard up against the spine. Lately I haven’t been flying as much as I used to, so I’m much more about the dog-ear, though if I have to stop mid page, then I’ll scrounge for a scrap of paper to mark my exact place.
Fiction, non-fiction or both? In book form, fiction. I read a lot of short non fiction (blogs, news, articles) online. I’m not a good non fiction reader, and I struggle to read a non fiction book from cover to cover.
Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter or can you stop anywhere? I’m slightly compulsive about reading to the end of a chapter, or some other logical break (like the end of a section). Even if I’m falling asleep, I’ll push myself to get to the end of a chapter before stopping. And on the train, if I come to the end of a chapter, I flip ahead to see if I can make it to the end of the next chapter before starting it. If not, I’ll listen to music instead.
Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? Ah, no.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? If my laptop is on and nearby, I’ll look it up. Otherwise I’ll just work with the context.
What are you currently reading? I just (as in five minutes ago) finished the latest Sookie Stackhouse, Dead in the family, and I haven’t got anything else in reserve. Perhaps a trip to the Borders eBook store tomorrow? (Probably to get the latest Melina Marchetta.)
What is the last book you bought? The aforementioned Sookie. Oh wait, no, it was Each peach pear plum in board book, along with another picture book (the name of which escapes me), bought for a one year old’s birthday.
Do you have a favourite time/place to read? In bed, every night. On the train on my way too and from the office. At one of my favourite coffee shops. Standing in queues; while I’m cooking toast; basically, whenever and wherever I can.
Do you prefer series books or stand-alones? I’m not phased, but I do get rather attached to characters, so I love a good series.
Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over? Several authors: Salley Vickers (especially Mr Golightly’s holiday and The other side of you); Michael Robotham (smart psycho-thriller); Jasper Fforde (literary sci-fi); Janette Turner Hospital; Audrey Niffenegger… where should I stop?
How do you organize your books (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)? I group authors together, kind of by genre. For example, one section of my bookshelf is dedicated to chick lit (but I put Margaret Atwood in there next to Marian Keyes cause I thought it was kinda ironic). Another section is dedicated to children’s and young adults’ authors, another to books I’ve borrowed from people, another to books I haven’t read yet (though nothing in that section is calling me, at the moment), another to fiction about art history (art history was my other undergrad major, and I have a thesis in me somewhere about art historical fiction), another to art/literary theory. Then I’ve got a classics section, a crime/thriller/trash section, a contemporary fiction section… Having said all of this, I am just about to get rid of pretty much all my books. I’ve decided to keep in print only my very favourite titles (I’m thinking I might keep 20 or so fiction titles of the few hundred I have). The rest I’m going to get rid of. At some stage, when I’ve had time to pull out my favourites, I’ll be inviting friends over to take whatever they like. I had hoped by now that I’d only be buying eBooks. That’s just not possible, so I’ll continue to buy print where e isn’t available, but from now on, once I’ve read them, if my purchases don’t get elevated to favourite status, I’ll be passing them on.
Barbara’s additional question: background noise or silence? Not silence, but quiet.