How I Read

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In my experience, every hardcore reader has their own specific reading style, preferences and habits. There are the serially monogamous readers, always reading something, but never more than one book at a time. There are the super busy readers who stick to a straight diet of audio books and e-books on their daily commute. There are traditionalists who read hardcovers and nothing else. The list could go on and on.

As for me? I too have a definite reading style that may be rather foreign to anyone who falls into one of the categories above.

Format Preference

Ahhh the classic debate: paperback vs. hardcover. And now, of course, it's only fair to include ebooks and audio books as well. I don't have a super solid and steadfast answer for this one. Actually, I'm typically reading 5-10 print books, 1-2 ebooks and 1-2 audio books at once. I prefer them all for different reasons. For example, I'm cursed with pretty terrible motion sickness, and struggle to read in cars or on the train. For this reason, I've recently gotten into audio books as a way to fill my train rides and walks to work. I also enjoy reading an ebook from time to time because my kindle is so tiny and light, I can read it in the dark, and it holds so many lovely books in one small place!

However, my preference will always be to physically hold a book. One of the reasons I love reading is because of the physical feeling and experience it provides. It's familiar and comforting, and holding a book immediately puts me in the mood to read. In most cases, I do prefer paperbacks. They're cheaper, lighter, and easier to hold onto. However, hardcovers can be much more attractive, they're more durable, and sometimes I need a book so bad that I just won't wait for the paperback edition to be released.

My Style

Now I say this knowing full well that some people may be appalled by the way I read books. Those who prefer to read one single thing at a time may find it hard to fathom, but the typical list of books I'm reading is between 8 and 13. *gasp!* This, as I said before, typically includes several ebooks and audio books as well as a plethora of paperbacks and hardcovers. And I realize you may be wondering now why and how I read so many different things at once.

Essentially, I like to have options at all times. I'm not always in the mood to read one thing in particular, but if I have 10 books to choose from, I can pick up whichever intrigues me the most at any given moment, or I can read a little of each (which often ends up happening). In most cases, I'll be steadily plowing through my list of "currently reading" titles, and one book will start to pick up speed faster than others. At that point, I may start to focus my attention much more singularly on that book until it's finished, at which point I'll go back to my steady mixture of titles.

As for the question of how I'm able to read so many things at once: it's never really been a problem for me to distinguish between the books I'm reading.  I never overlap the characters or plot points of several books, partly because I've always had a good memory for these types of things, and partly because I tend to be reading a wide variety of things at once. I'll have some YA fiction, some general fiction, a memoir or two, a graphic novel or comic, and one or two rereads or middle grade novels, all at once, and that's the way I like it. I read best when I'm inspired to read something, which is why I like to have such a variety of options.

And when do I read?
I make time (generally 2-3 hours if I can) before bed every night just to read. I bring all of the books that are intriguing me, and spend time unwinding and getting some solid reading done in my bed, so I can simply go right to sleep when I start getting too tired to concentrate. I also tend to read in the morning if I have a little time before work, on the train, in the afternoons, on breaks at work, if my computer is acting up, and so on and so forth. So, essentially all the time. At this point, I'd guess that's not a shocker. ;)

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