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Currently reading

Three Men In The Dark
Jerome K. Jerome, Robert Barr, Barry Pain, Hugh Lamb
Progress: 263/311 pages
The Intrusions (Carrigan & Miller)
Stav Sherez
Progress: 173/340 pages

My Reading Habits

Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?

A chair in my room. It's not that comfortable. I end up shifting around a lot--routine position most adopted seems to be legs slung over left chair-arm with spine nestled in niche where right chair-arm meets back of chair. This is a soft chair, so it's not so bad as it sounds. I don't know why I can't last longer sitting straight--I think it's to do with the light source, actually.


Bookmark or a random piece of paper?

Bookmark. Virtually always a free one from the bookstore. If I've left a bookmark in my pocket or something--between books--or bent it too much, time for a napkin or a receipt until I get an extra bookmark saved at home. As a kid, I had a bookmark with what I considered to be frogs, sitting on lily-pads, but the text on the thing seemed to refute my zoological assessment: "We were toad to wait here." A later favorite bookmark--a Boba Fett bookmark--went bye-bye forever, when I was about to start reading on the subway train, and the bookmark slipped out of by fingers, and fell right into the tiny crack left between the metal seat and the housing it was attached to. Not retrievable. It was a tough moment getting off the subway without it.


Can you just stop reading, or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?

I feel that I must read at least 100 pages per day. As for taking breaks, I vastly prefer to stop at the end of a chapter. If I'll be late for work, or I'm getting exhausted and thought I could get to the end of some horribly long chapter and it's just not happening, the next best stopping point is one of those gaps in the text when the scene shifts within a chapter or I hit some asterisks. I'll settle in a pinch for a page that ends in a completed sentence. If some annoying aspect of the real world makes me stop in some awful spot like at the end of a paragraph that is one-third down a page, I will make a point of making sure that I get to a cleaner break, like a chapter end, before putting the book aside for the day.


Do you eat or drink while reading?

Most of my reading is done in a coffee shop. I get a simple coffee, not one of those things that takes ages to make, and which Nabob is trying to ridicule in TV ads, in an attempt to get more people to just get a simple coffee like I do, and stop getting pretentious concoctions that hold up the line and just complicate life unnecessarily (the ad campaign, by the way, is not working; skip it, Nabob). If I am at home, it's a diet soda (yes, there's a caffeine issue in my life, but since my other unstoppable addiction is books, I'm not really wallowing in guilt), pineapple juice, or water. Back at the coffee shop, I get a wild blueberry crumble muffin (which I usually end up having to say four times--every time there's a new trainee it's a given--except that if I am prompted to say it more than twice, I do not, and I instead say "It's okay. Just the coffee.", at which point, the trainee tries to save the sale by sheepishly getting me to reinstate whatever it is I've been saying, or if a manager or veteran staff member comes over to try to mollify me, that also does not work; we will try again next time--I am not spending my life saying "wild blueberry crumble muffin" four times for my whole life...and I can't just say blueberry muffin, because apparently the default blueberry muffin is the bran muffin, not the wild blueberry crumble muffin. I also get brought a blueberry scone a lot, usually by a trainee, and that one baffles me: yes, I get that the word blueberry figures into both treats...but how muffin filters into the brain as scone, well I don't know. If I have to say the type of coffee I want more than twice, I go up the street to Starbuck's. Reluctantly.).


Do you multitask while reading?

Yah, I guess. At the coffee shop, if I successfully get ahold of a wild blueberry crumble muffin, I eat the whole thing before getting into the book. But at home, I'll often have a sports event on TV, volume down a bit and as background noise. Again, I don't read as much at home, but if a hockey or baseball game ain't grabbin' me, it stays on while I give the main attention to a book. I do not watch scripted TV or movies while reading, in any way shape or form.


One book at a time, or several?

One book at a time. I don't want to get distracted from one story by another story. I want one story, and then on to the next.


Where do you read, at home or everywhere?

Anywhere, beyond what I've already mentioned. Obviously, if I'm in some Waiting Room, the book is with me. Sitting in foyers, waiting to go in to a movie...rarely during my lunch break at work, because I often just want to eat and chill, and with what's left of the break, I feel like it's Beat The Clock reading, and I know I'm limited only to a taste, can't really go wild on the page count. But lunch breaks at work are great for finishing a chapter that I couldn't manage to finish earlier, that sort of thing.


Do you read out loud, or silently in your head?

Silently in my head. I have noticed that when I try to have some fun, and read aloud (but softly) in an effort to do character voices and turn the thing into a private theatrical performance, I don't absorb what I'm reading. So I be quiet, back up a bit, and stop trying to do a one-person-show or an audiobook-reader audition tryout, or whatever that was.


Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Are you serious? No. No skimming, not jumping ahead, no skipping, no reading the ending, none of that. Although, I have noticed that I'm lazy about reading chapter titles that are anything beyond "Chapter 10", and instead also have things like "The Next Body Drops", or "A Sudden Discovery By The Bidet Changes Everything", or whatever.  I guess I skim Chapter Titles, but I don't mean to; I try to register them in my brain if they are simple things like "Paris", or "5:00 PM", or "Jupiter, August 21, 2067", because that's info that could be helpful. Bad puns as chapter headings are the first thing my brain stops noticing.


Do you break the spine?

I don't think that's ever happened, certainly not due to my behavior. I hate even creating a visible crease on the outside spine, and you don't want to see my face if pages start detaching from a new book while I read it.


Do you write in your books?

No. Trust me, I get top dollar at the used bookstores for my pile. They love me.