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Reading Habits

Up til now I’ve been adamant about keeping this blog meme-free, but I thought this seemed suitable. Enjoy.

Do you snack while reading? No. However, I always bring a book to the table with me when I’m eating meals alone. Always have. My parents eventually had to make a rule about bringing books to the dinner table. To this day both me and my brother read while we’re eating.

What is your favourite drink while reading? Usually coffee, but when days like these throw you 90+ degree weather … iced tea. Or just water.

Do you tend to mark your books while you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? I’ll mark textbooks or other “utilitarian” books. Other than that, no. I actually need to find some way of marking books; I always think I’ll remember things (quotes, passages, ideas), and of course I never do.

How do you keep your place? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book open flat? Often I just leave off at a natural break so I can find it again without marking it. But I also use makeshift bookmarks. Receipts, prayer cards, slips of scrap paper, etc.

Fiction, non-fiction or both? Both, but I need strong doses of fiction for my well being.

Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter or can you stop anywhere? Usually near the end of a chapter, but if I’m interrupted in the middle of a scene I can pick back up again pretty easily.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? I think I’ve only done this once, and–anticlimactic–I don’t remember what book it was. I will slam them down on the couch/table and trash talk them.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? Almost never, unless I really can’t figure it out and it bothers me.

What are you currently reading? Spirit Seizures by Melissa Pritchard and Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

What is the last book you bought? People I Wanted to Be by Gina Ochsner and Character Building by David Isaacs are both in the mail. I also recently bought John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read? Before falling asleep; at the table while I’m eating; in the morning before I get started; whenever I want to procrastinate something.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones? I think I prefer stand-alones. I don’t read any series, per se, although I do like some trilogies. However, if there isn’t a good reason for a trilogy to be a trilogy, they annoy me.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over? Flannery O’Connor’s stuff. I also recommend The Book Thief a lot, and this year I’ve told several people they ought to read Susan Minot’s Monkeys.

How do you organise your books? By “genre”, mostly. And by “genre” I mean how I perceive or feel about the stories as much as how you’d find them organized in a book store. Tolkien, Lewis, Chesterton, and Madeleine L’Engle have a shelf mostly to themselves, with a few others thrown in. The next shelf is half YA, half poetry (including Shakespeare), with Witness by Karen Hesse standing in between the two. Gina Ochsner’s Russian Dreambook is on this shelf also, next to The Book Thief.

The next shelf is literary/writerly. So I have my literary fiction, my books about writing, my literary journals, and then–my books in Spanish. (These used to be separated, but I’m running out of shelf space.) The final shelf is philosophy, religion, and books in my “to-read-but-not-immediately” pile.

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