Variations on Reading

Most of the readers I know don’t just “enjoy” reading—we love it. Must read. Can’t imagine a day without it. With this in common, it’s very interesting to consider how differently we all do the same thing.

Some favor routine: a favorite time and location, perhaps with a desirable beverage. And many people are fond of reading in bed, snuggled under a cozy blanket with a book to send you gently off to dreamland. (Or, if you’re like me—routinely jarred awake when the book falls onto your face—not so gently.)

Others can read anywhere: on a crowded subway, at a loud restaurant, halfway up a mountain. Have book, will travel. These days, with reading apps and audio books on our phones, it’s almost impossible not to have something to read in your pocket at all times. Remembering to bring your reading glasses is the hard part.

Some wish to talk about the book they are reading as they read it. They want to delve into their reactions, share their blossoming thoughts, compare notes. Here’s wishing them enthusiastic listeners galore.

Others want to make it to the very last page before hearing a single word from anyone; they prefer to process the experience at a pace of their choosing before speaking to a soul about it. Prepare to be shushed if you even inquire.

Some absolutely must have a brand-new book. They savor the muted crack of the spine being opened for the first time, the smell of the printing, the pristine pages. It’s like an undiscovered country: no footprints allowed.

Others are fine with a book that’s been circulated before, perhaps even welcoming signs of previous readers such as intriguing margin notes or dog-eared pages. Sometimes little treasures are left behind: love letters, enigmatic receipts, amusing to-do lists, curious pictures. (Once I found a band-aid. That was not a treasure.)

As for me, I have two primary modes. For work: sitting up, pen poised for annotation, responding analytically. Goes on as long as it has to. For fun: lying down, no pen in sight, flipping pages joyfully. Goes on until the book falls on my face (see above).

Obviously, there are a zillion ways to read—as many as there are readers—and all of them are fabulous!

How about you? What are your reading habits?


Originally posted July 2017: sometimes it’s fun to rerun/revisit!

61 thoughts on “Variations on Reading

  1. I cannot sleep unless I have read for at least an hour. But I also love to read in the afternoon either in my air conditioned den or out in my yard with the birds singing in the background. One particular afternoon, I was very engrossed in my story. All of a sudden I felt as though someone was watching me. I looked up and there were 21 wild turkeys standing there, staring as if to say, “Are you going to just sit there, or are you going to get up and get us some corn?”
    (We feed them daily, and they are like big dopey friends)
    I love country living, and I love my books. I also enjoy waking up to these blogs while I drink my morning coffee!

    Liked by 8 people

      1. These birds know us and if they are just coming out of the woods and we bring out corn, they come running and clucking as if to say “Oh BOY!!! FOOD!!!” They are not afraid of us at all.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Since having eye surgery and now having eyes at two different focal lengths, I now read everything on an e-reader because reading glasses force them to a different focus & that gets tiring. (Somehow, my eyes have no problem adjusting to that).
    That being said, anytime/anywhere is right for reading. I get lost and rarely hear the outside world. I’m averaging a book a day right now (thanks to retirement and COVID!) so its wonderful to have all of these escapes from current doom/gloom.
    Plus, I love reading the Chicks blog! Y’all always have interesting insights and topics of conversation to intrigue my brain. Hope you’re all doing well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. OH, and I have an average of 20 books on my e-reader so it’s light, portable and easy to download massive amounts without the weight to carry around. (2009 – trip to Alaska cruise – 18 books read 4 days into the trip and my first introduction to the first large E-reader by other passengers. They had no problem with having lots of books on hand!!!)

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Ruth, I use an e-reader as well. I can make the print bigger and read much longer. I also have issues focusing on the small print of a paper book. And yes, I have a lot of books on the reader all the time, so I am never without.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Ruth, I LOVE my e-reader for traveling! I used to get into such a dither when trying to pack for a trip … what if I run out of book halfway through a flight?? Thanks to my Kindle, I never worry about that anymore. But I can’t believe you only have 20 books on yours. I think I must have 20 pages of titles!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I do most of my reading for fun at the end of the day, Cynthia. I’m usually in bed with kitty cat Maria close at hand, and vying with the book for attention!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I’m a polylectorum. (I made that up. It’s from the Latin for “many reader.”) I listen to audios when at work, working out, driving, cleaning, cooking, gardening. I read at night in bed with a dog sleeping beside me, e-reader or book. And there’s always a book in the car for doctor’s visits or waiting in the car for someone to come out of doctor’s vist. I don’t generally talk about the books I’m reading to people because the people I talk to don’t read; however, I post my reviews.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. In college, I was a TA for a film teacher who came from Greece. He was forever explaining to us things like microphone comes from the Greek for “little ear” or some such (it was a long time ago) so I started making up Greek-based words to annoy him.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do most of my pleasure reading these days in bed before I go to sleep, and I definitely prefer paper over electronic (partly because using an e-reader before bed can effect your sleep). But there’s a lot to be said for lounging on a chaise longue in the back yard with a book…when I have the time….

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I read that if you read on a tablet or phone it will affect your sleep. I use the Kindle Paper White. That has a different light that you can turn down and it is much easier on the eyes, and I have no issues sleeping.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. My fave spot at home is sitting in a platform rocking chair next to a window. I have a pedal exerciser (like the pedal part of a stationary bike) in front of the chair. As the action builds in a scene I find myself pedaling faster and faster. Aerobic reading, lol!

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I’m a read-anywhere kind of gal, Cyn. However, I prefer reading indoors most of the time; I think it’s because I like that lighting consistency.

    I try not to read in bed, though…maybe to avoid the book falling on me. Ha!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Lately I’ve gotten into a bad habit of using the Kindle app on my phone because my Kindle reader constantly needs a recharge. But I ordered a hardcover edition of a book (very Chick-lit-y rom com) by mistake about a week ago and when it arrived I was in awe of its general beauty—and weight. It’s gonna hurt when it falls on my face!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I read both books and ebooks. If I’m finding a new series and they are on like the 8th in the series, I ebook all but the last one.

    For me it depends on the book where I read. Seriously. Normally I read until I am ready to fall asleep. Most of the time I can put the book down before I zonk. And I do sometimes read on my 45 minute commute, when I am allowed to go to work. Usually takes me a week or so to read a book this way.
    However, if I am seriously into the book, I will have it with me at all times. So if I say I read it in 2 days, hint, hint, it’s a page turner I can’t put down.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Commute reading–good one!

      Have to say, I adore the feeling, with a page turner, that I can’t WAIT to get back to reading it. Like I will be walking along during the day and suddenly remember that I get to read it later and practically start skipping.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m a bit of an anywhere reader, but I do prefer quiet with little distraction around while I read. As I’ve shared before, I do read on my breaks and lunch time at work almost every day. I’ll read when I get home. I read in bed. Recently, I’ve been reading in line waiting to get into Trader Joe’s to do my weekly shopping. Have a few minutes – read.

    Oh, and I only read on days that end in Y.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I read novels for about 90 minutes in the very early morning in my chair in the living room with my coffee next to me. I post photos on facebook of Nala staring out the window while we have our “reading club.” I feel too guilty to read during the day, except on weekends, of course, but then I’m usually on the patio. I try to plow through my enormous stack of magazines before bed, but I usually fall asleep pretty fast … maybe only an article or two. In my defense, though, those New Yorker or Atlantic articles are loooooong! Less hurty when they drop on my face, too!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yeah, we have one at night too, but one or both of us usually snore through that one.

        “Reading Club” is something my kids came up with when they were pre-schoolers. One of them would get tired of playing Legos or being in the back yard or something and say, “Wanna have a reading club?” Then they’d all pile on the couch with stacks of books to read alone or to each other (or the dogs). A nice respite for all of us!


  12. Count me as another anywhere/anytime reader, although my fave is the nighttime read.

    I chuckled at your description of finding treasures in previously-read books. No BandAid for me, but I did find some family photos and an appointment card for a haircut. I can imagine a mystery with the premise of finding clues in a pre-loved book!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am totally a bookmark person, since I have a huge collection, but hubs uses any old thing. And lately, he doesn’t always read books completely, just pulls one randomly off the shelf when he can’t sleep. So we have a huge library with random things as bookmarks. it’s a bit annoying, but we’ve come across some real treasures all these years later. You never know when you’ll find them, either!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They were super-fun finds!

        And ha ha about the haircut! The appointment was for the early 90s, so I imagine myself going in to have my satellite dish bangs coiffed. (At least that’s what I was sporting in those years!)

        Liked by 1 person

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