With 2 hours to go of this working year, and my inbox down to zero (mainly due to the creation of a ‘random’ folder), I decided to resurrect this rather old reading habits meme, as previously done by woodsiegirl, jaffne, joeyanne, stupidgirl_no1, ioverlord, and – of course! – infobunny. And probably others I have missed (sorry).

(2 queries arise from that paragraph: am I odd for naturally referring to people by their twitter usernames? probably. did I just link to all those posts just to get more visitors? of course not! perish the thought)

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

Let’s get this out there to start with: I read a lot. I appreciate that this isn’t going to particularly set me aside in this company, but it does mean that if I didn’t snack while reading, I would probably die of malnourishment. I eat whole meals while reading. Favourite reading food? Anything that can be eaten with one hand.

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

Horrify? no. I did this when I was younger, but haven’t done for years, mainly because I have no need to. Writing in a book you own, that isn’t rare/unique etc is fine by me. As long as it’s done in pencil! Pen in books does horrify me. Dunno why.

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

Bookmarks! but not yer proper fancy bookmarks, all with pictures on and everything. I’ll use anything that comes to hand – preferably paper, but have been known to use photos, rulers, random bits of plastic. Train tickets work well, but I have a nasty habit of leaving them in the book when I need them to get off the platform *sigh*

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Fiction all the way! I do read occasional bits of non-fiction, but they tend to be quite narrative-based.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Generally hard copy. I will sometimes listen to audiobooks (especially if the reader is someone appealing), but it takes me much longer to listen to a book than read it, and I’d generally much rather just get on with the story!

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

Actually, I’m the sort of person who tends to read to the end of books! If I’m really into a book, you just can’t prise me away from it. This has led to me having to impose restrictions on my in-bed reading – poetry, short stories/essays, or novels only if they’re not plot-driven. Wodehouse is great for that. Other fave night-time authors are O Henry, James Thurber, John Donne, Alan Coren, E B White, Stephen Fry, Ring Lardner. If I try reading something with a strong plot, I never get any sleep :(

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

If I can’t figure it out from context, and have OED access at hand, then yes. I likes words :)

What are you currently reading?

Horror of horrors, I’m actually between books at the moment! Day-time books anyway, my current bed book is Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

Recent books have included the new Stephen King, General Bramble by Andre Maurois, and an old favourite, Joan Aitken’s Midnight is a Place. I think this is going to be next, when the partying finally stops and I’m sober enough to focus ;)

What is the last book you bought?

Loads for christmas presents. I’ve actually been buying myself quite a few new books recently. This is normally taboo, as it would cost me a bloody fortune to keep myself in new books, so it’s generally library and charity shops all the way. I love charity book-shopping! The thrill of the unknown!


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

More than one, often. I tend to finish books very quickly (my goal for this year has been a book a day, and I’m currently at 1.045! hurrah!), and so I find I can switch without getting too confused. I’ll switch books if I need a handbag sized book for a bus journey etc.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Anywhere. Anytime. My sofa is probably the comfiest, but I’m happy reading under almost any circumstances!

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Series books! There are more of them :) And I can get a bit obsessive about reading them in order as well – no spoilers for me!

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

Depends. I’ll receommend different things to different people, but I do have some staples that absolutely everyone should read: Catcher in the Rye; and Diary of a Provincial Lady.

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

Roughly alphabetically by author’s last name (all the A’s together etc), with works by the same author grouped, and series books in order. This only holds true for the main collection – I have sub-collections in other rooms that are much more higgeldy-piggeldy (ie kid’s lit in the spare room; old-style Penguins downstairs looking decorative).