Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Book Habits Meme

Okay, so I have seen this on Genre Reader and the original post is hosted on The World in the Satin Bag. Howabout joining in with us?

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack:

I don't snack compulsively, but I do like to nibble while I'm reading. Unfortunately, I haven't trained myself to eat snacks like fruit or vegetables! It tends to be crisps or chocolate, which is very naughty!

What is your favorite drink while reading?

Peppermint tea on a very regular basis. If it is a Friday evening or I'm in the bath, then a glass of crisp chilled white wine...

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I'm not horrified by the idea of writing in books - in fact, I did it extensively when I was doing English Literature and wanted to mark pertinent passages or make notes that would help with essays and exams. Now I tend not to write in books, but I willingly use post-it notes and fold down pages to help mark anything I want to use while reviewing.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I will lay a book flat - I am a person who deliberately and maliciously breaks the spines on books! In my opinion, nothing looks nicer than a book which has a heavily broken spine - it shows a book has been read and read often. It is a sign of love. I know other people feel very differently! I also dog ear the pages in a book to mark my place. I am a regular book abuser!

Fiction, nonfiction, or both?

Pretty much exclusively fiction. I read the odd travel book, and a couple of history books, but nothing that really marks me out as a non-fiction reader.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

Oh, I am almost fanatical about reading to the end of a chapter. I get distinctly upset if I have to finish partway through a passage. If not at the end of the chapter, then I like to find the change in a character point of view, or the handy gaps that show the action has moved to a different place or time. One of the most frustrating authors for me is Terry Pratchett - he does not believe in chapters!

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?

Oh man! I have literally ripped the pages from a book! One book disgusted me so much that I couldn't bear to even donate my copy. I tore the pages from it. I'd like to say I also burned them since that seems suitably dramatic, but I merely threw them away in a slightly anti-climatic way. And then felt a little ashamed of myself. But, gotta say, tearing the pages from a book feels SO naughty, so taboo.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

No, I rarely look up words. Instead I will use the sentence context to figure out what it might mean. I don't like to sound boastful but there are few words that catch me out these days - in fact, Adam Roberts is one of the few authors recently to send me to a dictionary!

What are you currently reading?

Ralph's Party, by Lisa Jewell (After the Party, the sequel to this book, was recently released so I am re-reading the first).

What is the last book you bought?

The first six books in J R Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

I am a complete book monogamist. I simply cannot read more than one at once. I have tried, but I really don't like it. If I'm reading a book, then it receives my full attention.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

Anytime and anywhere. I read constantly - at home, in the office over lunch, whenever I am on public transport, in front of the TV, listening to music, in the bath, in my bed. Basically, whenever I am not actively doing something else (such as going to the cinema or visiting with friends) I will be reading.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

Either is good. I love the excitement of starting a new series, loving it, and realising that there are loads of other books in the series. I enjoy totally immersing myself in the worlds and the characters. But sometimes nothing else works than a stand alone book, where I can pick it up and put it down with no commitment to subsequent novels.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

Two. Michael Marshall Smith. Charles de Lint. I don't think there *are* two finer authors. Both seem woefully under-read by my genre compatriots. This makes me beyond sad. For those who are paying attention here, and determined to change your ignorant state when it comes to MMS and de Lint, try 'One of Us' for the former and 'The Little Country' for the latter. Nice stand alone books so you don't have to invest in a series and can just dabble your toes in the water. If you read them and love them (WHICH YOU SHOULD!) then come back and tell me so I can bask in your undying gratitude for bringing these authors to your attention!

How do you organize your books?(by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)

Some of my books are organised by genre and then in alphabetical order. Most recent books, including all review copies, are stacked in untidy piles on my coffee table in the living room so that I get to look at them constantly and feel the book guilt!

So, those are my answers! Please do join in - link back to both blogs (and mine, if you will!) at the top of the post. Look forward to reading your answers...


  1. wow great meme amanda ,great to know the reader behinnd the blog ,all the best stu

  2. Ack! Folding books flat, AND dog-earing the pages? I need to hop on a plane and save your books from you! ;-) (Actually, folding a book flat gives me the heebies even more than writing in it)

  3. Hmm... ONLY FORWARD by Michael Marshall Smith happens to be one of my favorite books. I recommend it a lot.

  4. I'm with Jeff. He and I are definitely going to have to come save your books from you :P

  5. Interesting meme. Here are my answers.

  6. I will be posting mine as well, but as to breaking the spine and dog-earing as a show of love, Stephen King feels that there is no great show of love when it comes to a book. When he sees one of his books and it is dogeared, torn, tattered, etc..he is proud because it shows that it was well loved!

  7. Thanks for the lovely comments, guys!

    @Stu - it was really fun giving the answers to these and revealing a little about my reading habits!

    @JeffC and S.M.D. - haha, my books love it! :-p It is so very odd how readers can be completely separated on this issue. If I borrow a book from someone I am always really clear on how to treat it - I can be gentle to books, but mine are always a little roughly treated.

    @Kathy - I really enjoyed reading your answers as well :-)

    @Tracee - ah, vindication! What is good enough for Stephen King is good enough for me :-p

  8. I like this, very interesting. Have given it a go myself -

  9. I enjoyed reading your answers! I also liked the meme, here is my go at it: