Reading Habits

I’m a pretty avid reader, and I always try to get my hands on as many books as possible. Some I devour, some I couldn’t wait to finish reading (and not always in a good way). I can’t really tell you how many books and stories I’ve read, but I can tell you what habits I’ve developed along the years. :)

  • During the boring classes in school, I would place a book on my lap and read a bit when the teacher wasn’t looking. Sometimes I would also hide a paperback inside the classics they required us to read and pretend to be completely engrossed, while in actuality I would be happily devouring my novel. I only got caught once, and that’s when a girl snitched on me. Mean. =[
  • I never read the ending first. Ever. Actually I'm baffled as to why some people would do that. Books are made in a particular order - beginning, middle and end - for a reason. Sure there are some books that start at the end, but then that's how it meant to be. I just think a novel should be read according to the intended order.
  • I don't like to read more than one book at the same time. It makes me feel as if I'm not giving a book all the attention it deserves. Even if it takes me months to finish a book, I will keep at it before moving on to another one.
  • I will always read every book to the end no matter how much I hate it and regardless how boring and horrible I think it is. In my whole life I've only quit reading two books, and that's because they were filled with sexual content and I was tired of skipping parts every few pages.
  • I will always try to read the book before watching its movie adaptation. In most cases the books are better, and I like to be informed about the plot and the actual story so I can judge if the adaptation is true to the original thing.
  • I don't like to start novels I really want to read when I know I won't have enough time to read it. For example, there's a book on my shelf titled The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers, and I really want to read it. However, it's a big book and I fear I might be unable to read it in the way that befits it due to my complete lack of time.
  • I can read in places like the bathroom, but I can't read while on the move. I end up feeling nauseous, if not distracted by all the passing sights.
  • After reading a book with heavy material (tragedies, murder, psychological issues, etc), I like to take a break and indulge in a light-hearted novel or even a children's book. These books I typically "eat up", but I take my time reading other types of novels. Recently I finished reading Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number in a few hours. Fantastic novel!

Well that's me. =] Can you relate to any of those? Do you have any habits or quirks of your own?

44 thoughts on “Reading Habits

  1. I used to be able to only read one book at a time. But lately I’ve been able to read two or three at once and still enjoy them each fully. There just isn’t enough time to read all the books I want to! :P

  2. I’ve developed a habit of picking up several books at a time but I’m trying to break out of it because, like you said I feel terrible for not giving each book the attention it deserves. We share habits #2 and #3 and the last one sort of. I can spend long periods without needing to relax in a light read.
    Great blog and Congratulations on being published.
    ~Tally

    • I used to read more than once at the same time, but I broke it for that reason! And I suppose that’s a personal preference. I just can’t keep up with a long string of serious novels.
      Thank you, Tally!

  3. I can relate to almost all of these! Although I am guilty of reading more than one book at a time, they’re always different enough that I don’t get them mixed up (usually a non-fiction and a fiction).

  4. I do stop reading books I don’t like and will read more than one book at a time (though always in different forms – ebook, book-book and/or audio book). Otherwise, my reading habits are pretty similar to yours. I even had a teacher confiscate a book from me once when he caught me reading it during class!

    • I’m pretty OCD about not finishing books, but I figured I’m probably the odd one out, haha. I’ve had a book confiscated once too! It got confiscated right as I was about to get to the ending, so after the class was over I practically begged the teacher to return it to me. xD

  5. It’s funny how we are all different. But I agree with you. It would never occur to me to read the end of a book first. It would take all the excitment out of it. One thing I am guilty of is reading a few books at the same time, but only because it serves me well.

    Great post as always!

    • Thank you, Patricia! Reading endings is unimaginable to me; I don’t like knowing ahead of time what’s going to happen. I hate it when someone spoils things for me. =[

  6. some of my quirks are similar to yours and some are not–I too cannot read while travelling which I find a tragedy–but I get sick; but I read more than one book at a time; I do not finish books that I do not love (I suspect I am much older than you as I used to read books all the way through even if I did not like them). You and I both love to read–so we are book mates.

  7. Oh my, I am one of those infamous read the last paragraph first readers! ;-) I’ve always done it , though I’m not sure why. It does NOT spoil the book for me, as I like the “getting to the end” part more. I must be a minority though, which is ok, as I’m used to being the odd one out. I used to read my novels in school also, only got caught once by the teacher. And sometimes I have 2 or 3 books going at once. But since I read fast it usually doesn’t stay that way for long.

    • I admit I don’t really understand why someone would do that. xD I like reading events in order and feel the ending makes up for investing so much time in the book… unless the ending is a bad one, at which point reading the ending first would’ve saved me the trouble. And I don’t have time to read very quickly, so reading a book at a time suits me fine!

  8. Very interesting post! I too don’t like reading the end of the novel. My mother to this day does that and when I asked her about it she totally blew me off. I too often like to read a book before I see the film adaption, but at times I have seen the film and in doing so, that has then influenced me to acquire the book.
    I have a question, if I may be permitted…you mentioned about skipping the sexual content in books. Is this something you do in all books that contain sexualised scenes, or just when they become intensely graphic?

    • You should persist and ask her again! And I know what you mean about being influenced to buy the book… I just watched The Help (a movie and book I wasn’t planning on reading or watching), but I liked it so much that now I’m going to have to buy it!
      Well, I’m okay with books where scenes close just as the characters are about to engage in sex, but once it starts detailing the whole process I automatically skip it.

  9. This post reminds me of this article: What Kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostic Guide http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/08/what-kind-book-reader-are-you-diagnostics-guide/56337/

    I used to glance at the ending when the suspense got to much just to check if people survived, if there was a happy ending. I don’t remember what book it was but one time peaking at the end ruined the whole rest of the story. Now I no longer look at the ending no matter how nerve wracking it is. I just close it for a while, yell at the characters and lament, and then continue reading.

    I think it’s interesting that you skipped detailed sex scenes. I don’t usually skip them unless the description is especially prolonged or disturbing, but I do stop reading books if the story is filled with too much sex.

    • Thank you for sharing that link! It’s interesting to see how many reader types are out there. I could relate to several though. xD
      And I know how tempting it can be to look at the ending, but you never know when it might ruin the whole book like what happened to you. =[
      I just don’t think writing detailed sex scenes adds too much to the story, but then that’s just me.

  10. You’re a reader after my own heart — I can’t read more than one book at a time, either! I can think of only one book I was sorry I’d finished — and that was because I was totally confused by the ending (still wondering if she left the dude or not!).

    • Thank you for your comment! Books with unsatisfactory endings are truly terrible. You’d think after we invested so much time in a book, the writer would do us the courtesy of giving us a good ending. =[

  11. How I read fiction is different than how I read non fiction and I can have two books going at once as long as it’s one of each type. I can’t read on the move either but I have learned to read light fiction during the commercial breaks in the evenings when there are actually shows on I’m interested in following.

    • Reading a non-fiction and a fiction book at the same time would certainly be different! And I do that too. You can manage to sneak in a few pages during the especially long commercial breaks. xD

  12. Zen, thank you for another great post.

    I love how you used to hide a paperback in a classic! Such a great idea.

    Wow I respect you so much for “I will always read every book to the end no matter how much I hate it and regardless how boring and horrible I think it is.” It is amazing you give a book that chance. I must confess if I am struggling with it, I am likely to give up. Unless I really like the authors other work.

    I can’t read on the move either for the same reasons as you. I feel very sick indeed!

    I am the same, I find I easily get into a book, so much so I forget my surroundings. After a heavy book like you described I definitely like to read something a lot lighter to help my mood.
    :)

  13. Really enjoyed this blog! And yes being an avid reader myself, it is indeed a tragedy and waste of time not to read on the move!!! (Same reason here) I always think I’ll take up knitting or crocheting to make up for the waste of time…. I totally agree about reading the book before seeing the movie – even my children do that now…. :)

    • I know right? =[ Commute is the best time to read! It’s really sad. And I think books are usually better than movies, so I make sure to read them first! Besides, I wouldn’t want to read a book when I know it’s ending. Spoilers!

  14. I can relate to so many of them only I can read on the movie and I often read while walking which is risky. I will usually have a fiction and non fiction going at the same time. I like to move genres; if I’ve read one I will try and read outside it next time.

  15. I only read one book at a time too. Some people I know stop in the middle of one because one of their favorites is out and they just have to read it.
    I don’t get that.

    If a book is irritating me, I’ll stop and read the end just to see how it ended. But if a book is irritating me, I can’t finish it.

    • I don’t get that either! I feel like if I stop to read something else I will have to start reading the book from the start. =/
      Well I admit I’m a bit OCD about finishing things, haha. Books, movies… even if they’re terrible, I sit through them. That’s the only reason I sat through a movie like The Love Guru, for example.

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