Yesterday evening I spotted a tweet from the ever so lovely Laura of My Life As a Mummy about taking part in a meme about reading habits, and you can read her post right here. I couldn't resist - I've loved books for as long as I can remember. The allure of stepping into another world or being inside someone else's head was always such a draw - being immersed in someone else's life always felt safer than being me, living my life (which in all honesty it possibly was). Obviously my tastes have changed over the years - from Judy Blume and Douglas Adams to Terry Pratchett, Jodi Picoult and Karin Slaughter.Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
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Tucked under the covers in bed, sat on my snazzy new garden chair on the patio, laying in a hot bath full of bubbles, snuggled up in a blanket on the sofa, laid out on a picnic blanket in the garden - pretty much anywhere I can get comfortable.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Random bits of anything - Asda receipt, a bit of ribbon, a sweet wrapper, those cards you spray perfume on, a post it note...
Depends on the book. I can't stop on a cliffhanger, I have to keep going until the situation is resolved, so sometimes that means I have to just keep going. I don't sleep well, so often read to the point of exhaustion and then wake up with my face literally in the book.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Do you eat or drink while reading?
I try. I couldn't eat because it would put me off, but I often settle down with a cup of tea next to me, then (almost without exception) emerge from the story summoned by the phone or the door bell or a child demanding food to find my tea is stone cold and I have yet to take a sip. Oops.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?
As a teenager then a university student I always had music on, no matter what I was doing, but since having the kids I tend to need to be available if there is some sort of crisis (you know, 'muuum, there's no toilet paper left and I just did a massive poo' or 'muuum, Noah said I smell' or 'muuum, Meg coughed up a furball and Smiler keeps rubbing it on his head') so no music or TV for me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~One book at a time or several at once?
Again, something that has changed since the kids. I used to have seven or eight on the go at a time, now it's just three or four. I choose which one to pick up based on what kind of mood I'm in - if I want to laugh or cry, relax or be scared, intrigued or turned on.
I do have an ever rotating shelf (combined with a virtual kindle app shelf) of books to read next - right now those include a couple of what I think of as happily-ever-afters (Mills&Boon type romances); Nigella Lawson's How To Eat, Kate Adie's Kindness of Strangers (biography); Lady Chatterley's Lover; Trainspotting; When Dan Lived in the Woods by Ben Wakeling (@Benwakeling) Girl, interrupted; The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings (@mandajjennings); and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere. Hospital waiting rooms, on the bus, before meetings . . .
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Reading out loud or silently in your head?
In my head - do adults read aloud on purpose to themselves? Obviously I read to the kids before they could read themselves (and still do read to Smiler) - does that count? I've started reading to them again recently, sharing favourite pieces of poetry, as well as what I consider to be childhood classics such as the BFG and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - I know they can read them themselves, but I think it's a nice thing to share. Oooo - or if I'm reading something I'm finding really funny - then I have to read out little bits to Mr Manley in between snorting and coughing and giggling, even though they mean nothing out of context.Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
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I do sometimes check out the end if it's a thriller or something with some kind of reveal at the end, but I'm not really enjoying it much. In my head I do this so I can approach it with more enthusiasm, but to be completely honest I then don't usually bother reading the rest of it. If it's a favourite that I've read several times already then I might just read a section of it - that might be a chapter or three or just a few pages.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I try and keep them nice but when it's a book that I've had for a long time (since I was a teenager for example) then a certain amount of spinal cracking is inevitable.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Do you write in your books?
No no no no no!
I studied English lit at A level and it was physically painful for me to actually take a pencil to the pages (never did manage to do it with a pen). What I ended up doing was buying two copies of every set text and read one - my 'clean' copy, and did all the annotating in the second copy. As a law student at uni the books were ridiculously expensive (as in up to £70 each) so there was no way I could have two copies, so I used hundreds of post-it notes to mark everything instead. Seriously, I think my post-it spending alone was probably keeping WHSmiths afloat for a few years.
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So there you go - what, where, why and how I read. I now have to tag in some other bloggers, but of course you never know how busy or otherwise occupied people are - let's try these...
...and anyone else who is reading this and fancies joining in. Don't forget to share the link in the comments so I can come and take a peek!
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