Our Favorite Reading Habits

June 25, 2013 2013, discussion post, june, tonya 82

Happy June, everyone!

Each month we’re picking our favorite facet of the reading experience to talk about together. We hope it will help you to get to know your friendly neighborhood gardeners, and that we’ll get to learn more about you through your comments as well.

This month we’re focusing on our reading habits.

Are you the curled up in the quiet type? The anywhere, any time reader? Do you protect your books like Frodo’s ring, or are you the trusting sort who loans without a wince? Are your books in mint condition, or do they look a little lived in?

Whatever your style, there’s no wrong way to read a book. Here’s how we do it.

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Miss Darling’s Persnickety Rules for Reading

Whilst Reading:

  • Spines are never to be creased on paperbacks.
  • Dust jackets are to be removed from hardcovers.
  • Distracting noises make Miss Darling very cross.There must be no disturbing sounds to distract from the story, including music, television, or pesky conversation.
  • E-readers are primarily used for travel, waiting in lines, or pleasure reading.
  • Post-It Notes are used to mark particular passages or beautiful quotes, which are removed from the ARC after a review is published.
  • An assortment of bookmarks ensures that Miss Darling never loses her place.

Lending Books:

  • Only the most trusted of friends are afforded the loan of a novel from the Darling library. Those who return a book with a creased spine, bent pages, suspicious odors, or a worn cover will have their privileges summarily revoked.
  • Miss Darling has been known to hold a grudge if a favorite book is not returned. Or if the borrower fails to recognize the greatness of the aforementioned book.

Book Purchases:

  • If a book is sublime, it must be obtained across multiple platforms, and often for friends and family as well. Miss Darling generally prefers paperbacks, but some treasured tomes are purchased in hardcover, with additional clear mylar jackets to protect the precious contents.
  • As fussy as she is about keeping new books pristine, she also adores buying secondhand ones, and once rescued a yellowing copy of 84, Charing Cross Road merely because it had sentimental articles tucked into it.


  • Reading in a com
    fortable bed or lying down in the great outdoors is ideal. (It helps if one is already in a swooning position.)
  • Miss Darling is often overcome with the uncontrollable desire to consume food described in books, which can be most inconvenient during the wee hours of the night. During more reasonable daytime hours, she enjoys pairing food to books when she can. There’s no reason why the characters should be the only ones enjoying tea and cake.
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K’s Bookish Habits
I love to read. I read all the time, whether it’s one paragraph in a day or an entire book over night. There’s almost always a book about my person.

Thinking about reading habits for this month’s favorites, I realized how personal and unique each reader’s habits must be. Reading is so individual and intimate, even spiritual. It isn’t something you can share with others. It is a process you’ve carved for yourself. You snuggle into your routine, close your eyes to this world and open them to another. So here are my habits, strange or otherwise:

  • I do most of my reading in bed or the couch (anything with cushion). During the day, of course, I read on the bus, though only in the afternoon. I feel like my brain first needs stimulation before committing to reading, like a warm-up. So no morning reads for me.
  • I don’t mind noise — but I dislike sounds with words like music, television, or people talking. I don’t want words I hear in the air competing with words I read on paper.
  • I use postcards as bookmarks. Also, I do not dog ear or highlight. I take notes by jotting down page numbers in a book. In said book, I also like to write down quotes, scenes, ideas burst into being after reading something good.
  • When a book is particularly gripping, for whatever reason, I cover the portion of the page I haven’t read yet and go line by line. Because I will always be tempted to look ahead, especially when I see something is in caps or italics. Or those cursed one-liners in the end of the chapter. Curse those!
  • I’m a fast reader but I choose to read slowly.
  • I prefer soft covers to hardbacks.
  • When something is moving me, I like to re-read and replay each scene in my head. Savour it. Then continue. I don’t want to miss a glance, a pause, a blink.
  • I don’t mind my books looking a little worn. 
  • A book that looks like it’s lived is a beautiful thing.
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Tonya’s Horrible Habits

  • I am an anywhere, any time kind of reader. I carry books with me everywhere (usually a couple physical books, as well as my Kindle) just in case any opportunity to read arises during the day. In fact, I’ve taken to listening to audiobooks during my (ridiculous) commute, so I can even read during the hours it’s physically impossible to read.
  • It doesn’t matter if the room is silent, or filled with twenty people. I can lose myself in a story just about anywhere.
  • I am that reader who probably horrifies you. I underline. I dog ear. I crack spines, spill tea on pages, and sometimes, when I love a book very, very much, I read the cover right off. And I do not feel bad about it.
  • I mimic the facial expressions of the characters. If they furrow their brows, I find I do the same. I smile with them, and frown, and narrow my eyes. I am probably hilarious to watch as I read.
  • My favorite way to read is curled up in my bed with a cup of tea, a bit of toast, and a few alternate books within arm’s reach. Just in case I need a change of pace. 
  • I find myself reading mostly ARCs these days, but if I truly love it, I must have it in ebook (so I can have it on hand constantly), as well as hardback (because it’s pretty). And I’ll likely buy it when it comes out in paperback too (because that’s what I prefer to read). 
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Well, now you know our reading routines. So what‘s yours?

82 Responses to “Our Favorite Reading Habits”

  1. Carroll B. Merriman

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  2. Kailia Sage

    -I have a kindle app on my phone so I read on there when I don’t have my kindle on hand.
    -I write in books for school ONLY.
    -I am SO strict when it comes to lending out books!
    -I CAN NOT read lying down because I ALWAYS fall asleep! It’s great when it’s night time and I need to sleep anyways, lol

  3. Sunny Duvall

    I LOVE this post because I can relate to many of these things! I read in bed which is probably bad because I don’t get much sleep ;) I wouldn’t let anybody just not return my book and if it comes back looking worn, they won’t borrow again probably. However, I can make it look worn because it’s my book. I have many other preferences, but you ladies worded them all well wonderfully :)

  4. Lena

    I will read especially when i’m traveling- long road trips or airplane flights. I do listen to music or tv (sometimes) when I read, usually its to block out any other noise(dorm rooms) if that makes sense. I love reading my kindle, however i do like reading hardcovers, arcs, paperbacks, and on my computer as well. I usually can be found reading on the couch, or my bed, when i am not traveling. Those are preferences for reading :D

  5. Nikki Vanderhoof

    My absolute #1 reading rule (that I unfortunately do not get to do as often as I’d like) is sitting on my balcony in the blaring sun with a ridiculously large wine glass filled with a Merlot and a book in my hands. No preference on formal except that if it’s a book I absolutely adore, I need to feel it’s weight and existence in my hands. I’m also absolutely obsessive with the smell of new books! I have a whole shelf of leather bound collector’s editions of many of the classics and there have been more than a few times that my husband has come around the corner to find me with my nose in a book, literally, smelling it. I want an air freshener that’s new book smell instead of new car smell :)

  6. Lyn Kaye

    I am shocked that so many people love to get their books naked before reading. I can’t buy a used book without the dust jacket.

    I loved this so much, I linked to it for our end of week rundown! I love this idea! I might have to beg to copy the cool kids and do my own post.

  7. Belle

    Love this! I like my books to look loved too. Cracked spines, dog ears, even missing covers! But I am with Wendy in that I always crave what’s being eaten on the page.

  8. Jaime Lester

    It depends on the day, honestly. I am pretty much the same as all 3 of you, but on different days with a mix between the three. The 1 that is always the same? Like K, I make the same faces as the character(s) in the book. If there are different expressions at the same moment, I rotate between them. Like Rorschach in the Watchmen movie.

  9. Tina

    Oh fun! :D

    I think I am like Tonya the most, because I dog-ear, I don’t mind cracked spines or creased covers, as long as the book is mine. I used to use post-its, but I got tired of it. I underline on non-fiction books, but for fiction, I rely on dog-ears. And sometimes when I reread, I try to figure out why I dog-eared the book in the first place. :)

    I don’t mind lending, since most of the people who borrow my books are my book club friends. :)

    Kindle is always for traveling, and for times when the book is too thick to carry. Sometimes, I read faster when I read from the Kindle, so even if I have a print copy, I get an ebook so I can read more.

    When I really, really love the book, I have an ebook and print copy, and I always give them to people as gifts. My friends call it “Doing a Tina” — gifting your favorite book to people. :) I also “rescue” books I love from secondhand bookstores and ask friends if they want it and if they can give it a good home. :)

  10. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    I absolutely adore this post. It’s so wonderful getting to know all of you and your reading habits. I’d have to say I’m the most like Wendy. My books are always in mint condition… no bent spines, no bent pages, no marks whatsoever. If you were to look at my bookshelf, you would have no way of knowing which books I’ve read and which are new. I have a hard time purchasing used books… they must also be in “very good” condition for me to be able to read it. I don’t like the feel of a bent spine in my hands. I know… slightly obsessive and a bit weird. :P

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and habits, ladies! So entertaining and enjoyable to read! :)

  11. Ava

    I think my one main reading habit is, whenever I read a hardback (which is often), I take the slipcover off. My books are like treasures, so I like keeping their slipcovers as neat as possible (sometimes it’s hard, though).


  12. Ava

    I think my one main reading habit is, whenever I read a hardback (which is often), I take the slipcover off. My books are like treasures, so I like keeping their slipcovers as neat as possible (sometimes it’s hard, though).


  13. Nomes

    love this post <3

    i never bend paperback spines.

    i loan my books, but only to my good friends. they know i am anal and feel very privileged.

    i use my kindle for travelling, and night time reading when my husband is asleep (saves needing the lamp on, i have a light in the cover (but i only use the cover at night for the purpose of the light — i much prefer to hold my kindle naked)

    i love the idea of reading outside. but in reality, it doesn’t work for me. i mostly like to read curled up in bed.

  14. Nasha Lama

    sometimes I am raeding but at the same time walking and I like to read walking and then relax my body on a wall and thats it ok is weird whatever:P
    and read wiith the book on the floor or with my dog as a pillow and I talk to her about the book hahaha

  15. Kim

    This is a really interesting post! I love seeing other people’s reading/bookish habits. I have to admit, I’m not that particular about anything. It depends on the day what I prefer: ebook, paperback, or hardback. I read where ever I can, but I prefer not to read in bed. I actually often find myself lying down on the floor in my room (I have a slanted roof, if it weren’t the case, and my bed was propped against the wall, I think things would be different.

    I do prefer hardcovers when I buy a book, but I really, really can’t stand reading a book with the jacket on it. They’re just so annoying and slide all over.

  16. Ashly

    Awesome post!! I like reading about other people book habits. Mines are

    – I love to read laying down on my bed in the dark (right now i use my computer screen as light, I need one of those lights that clip on books) I read on the train or outside, whenever I’m going somewhere.

    – I love to use post-its on my books when i really love a chapter or some part in the book.

    – Like K I am always tempted to read ahead if its a really good book (ex. Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin)

    – In my head I’m always screaming at the character like ‘why did you that or didnt do it? or ‘just tell this person you love them or something’ (again ex. Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. I wrote comments on goodreads about how I felt at certain parts of the book because of the characters action at doing things)

    – I keep some books I’m going to read on my bed, so I sleep with them, lol

  17. Alexa Y.

    This post makes me really happy! I love that all three of you shared your habits, as it’s really cool to be able to take a look at each individual’s habits – since they’re different.

    Let’s see…

    I can pretty much read anywhere. I prefer to read in a comfortable chair or on my bed, of course. But I can read while riding on the subway/bus/plane/car. I also read while walking on the street (which is hazardous, I know). I read at the table and while waiting in any kind of line too.

    In terms of condition, I buy used and new books without discrimination. I do try to take very good care of my books, which means removing slipcovers on hardcovers and trying to put them in a separate bag so they don’t get spilled on or creased. I am, however, notorious for underlining lines that stand out to me and dog-earing when I’m desperate.

    I really don’t mind lending out books, but usually only to people I trust. It’s even rarer for me to lend out books that are signed, unless it’s someone I know will take care of it.

  18. Luce Bourne

    Wendy! This is so funny. I completely agree with literally every one of your Lending Book Reading Habits rules. Thanks for this. :0) I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  19. talesfromthegreateastroad

    “Spines are never to be creased on paperbacks.
    Dust jackets are to be removed from hardcovers”

    Thank you! It really bugs me that so few people seem to get this. When I was a teenager my then boyfriend borrowed one of my paperbacks and it came back to me in tatters. I was so mad.

    I think when you’re borrowing a book it’s just respectful to try and take care of it. I wouldn’t scratch a CD, so don’t bend or crease my book.

  20. Melanie

    WOAH… I am becoming really fond of these types of posts. I saw a couple similar to this around the blogosphere lately and have been tempted to make one myself. Hmm…

    Anyhoo, I am fast reader as well, K. I try to be slow but there are way too many books in the world, and if my life goal is to read them all… *speed reads*

    Wendy, you are hilarious, talking in thrid person, eh? Love it. I am also a fan of paperbacks and hate lending my books to my friends as they don’t share my love for them. I actaully made them fill out a sheet with ‘Terms & Conditions’ before I let them borrow my book. Creased spines are the worst. Bleh.

    Tonya, YOU SCARE ME. *pets books* LOL. But I am a reader who will take every opportunity to read.

    Love your post, ladies! <33

  21. Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

    Fun post, ladies! :) I think I am a mixture of all three of you. When I go to a used bookstore and pick up paperbacks those spines better not be creased ;) I can read in almost any environment, although I prefer music as a noise background rather than the TV. I still prefer hard copies, I’m holding on to that tradition for dear life!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland

    • tonya

      I was surprised how much I grew to love my Kindle, but I will still always prefer reading hard copies. Nothing feels like turning that last page!

    • Melody Silverleaf

      I ordered a book from a used book store and was rather disappointed when it arrived. With the condition it was in there I thought the price tag was too high.

  22. Andrea C.

    I’m like a mix between Wendy and K. I like my books to be pristine, but a little love-worn is okay. I lent a book to my mom’s friend once and it came back with a bent spine. She hasn’t gotten a book from me since.

    I can pretty much read anywhere, though. My boyfriend watches TV a lot when I read so I’ve pretty much learned to tune out background noise.

    I have a love of both physical and ebooks. It really depends on connivence. I will never give up physical books, but over the past few years, ebooks have wormed their way into my heart.

    • tonya

      I’m the same with ebooks. When I first got my Kindle as a gift I was so skeptical, but it’s so convenient to be able to carry (literally) thousands of books with me, or buy whatever I want at any time of day or night. But I’ll never be able to give up actual books.

  23. Rachel C

    It was such fun to read through everyone’s reading habits. I’m a combination of a lot of what others have said as well.

    1. I don’t have an e-reader yet, so I don’t know what I would do with one.

    2. I prefer paperbacks to hardbacks because they’re so much more conducive to reading. Easier, smaller to hold in one hand and feel less weird. When I do read hardbacks, I take off the dust jackets because I find them annoying–they slide off the book, they bend funny, they feel weird to the hand; so, if it’s not a library book, the dust jacket comes off.

    3. My spines do get bent, but I try not to actually break them. I hate dog earring, highlighting, or writing in books. So, I do use bookmarks and just flip through the book to find any quotations I wish to write down.

    4. My books do get splashed with food or drink occasionally because I do read while eating. And even though I get annoyed by every splash or stain, I enjoy reading while eating too much to stop doing so. :)

    5. I only lend books to my parents who live nearby because I trust them to return my books. I just don’t trust my friends that much.

    6. I have gotten to the point where I can read while anything is going on. :) My son loves having the radio on when he’s awake, so that’s on most of the day while I’m reading and he’s playing. When my husband’s home, the radio gets turned off and the TV on because he’s a movie fan. I have therefore gotten really good at tuning out noise. Usually, people have to gain my attention so that I will hear whatever they have to say to me while I’m reading.

    • tonya

      I think when you become a mom, you can learn to tune out just about anything, hee. ;) I read while eating too, mostly during my lunch breaks. I always feel bad when I spill, but like you said–I can’t give up food, and I won’t give up reading, so… *shrug*

  24. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    Fun topic!
    I will read hardcover, paperback, or Kindle. The Kindle goes in my bag everywhere with me — convenient — but I hate the fact that I can’t easily take notes. When I read at home I have my trusty reviewing notebook in which I record all my crazy stream-of-consciousness reactions to what I’m reading.
    I take really good care of my books, and I have a million bookmarks but I can never find one, so I do use strange things as bookmarks. Like my driver’s license — not a good idea!!!

  25. Melody Silverleaf

    This is a fabulous post!
    It seems I have a little bit of all of you in my reading habits.
    I read anytime, anywhere, any place and always have a book with me. It could be hardcover, paperback, or nook. My hardcover have their dust covers on and their spines are not cracked. My paperback look as if they haven’t been read (unless I’ve read them 10 times or more or I purchased them used).
    I don’t mind lending to dear friends, but they know how persnickety I am. Privileges can be revoked if 1) books are not returned in the same condition I gave them, 2) they do not come back in a timely fashion, or 3) I find out the books were lent to a third party without my consent (horrors).
    Noise is not an issue. I can read anywhere. I’ve been know to read during commercials of my favorite TV show.
    Marking my page…any scrap of paper will do, but I also have a variety of bookmarks to use as well. The paper scraps com in handy for taking notes and marking quotes.
    Thank you again for sharing. [I apologize if this posted twice.]

  26. Melody Silverleaf

    This is a great post!
    It seems I have a few qualities from each of you. I read anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I don’t mind noise in the background and if the book is really good, I’ve been known to read during the commercials of my favorite TV shows.
    It may be a hardcover, paperback, or Nook. My dust covers stay on, but my spines are not creased (unless it is one I bought used or have read 100 times…there is only so much you can do after so many reads).
    I try very hard to return books lent to me in the same condition they were given. I lend to dear friends who know I am persnickety about the care of my books, but they can be cut off from my personal lending library if 1) the books do not come back in the condition in which I gave them, 2) they have them longer than necessary, or 3) I find they have lent them to another person without telling me (HORRORS).
    I use any scrap of paper to mark my place, but also have a nice variety of bookmarks to use as well. Scrap paper is perfect to make notes and mark quotes.

  27. jarkin33

    love this post!!

    I never ever ever write or mark up a book … I use tags like Wendy… I actually cringed when T said she writes in and dogears and marks up!

    I will lend books but it has to be to a person I trust and knows the rules ahead of time :)

    I’m always carrying my ipad, but I also usually have a book that I carry because who knows what I will be in the mood for and when.

    I don’t mind a book that is a little bit worn, but mostly they are meant to look pretty on the shelves because I prefer reading an ebook and if I fall in love… well that’s when I actually buy the hardcover… paperback if I must. Sometimes I’ve been known to acquire all available prints of a book I truly love!

    thank you for sharing your habits with us!

    • tonya

      I know, I know. I’m terrible. But I guess I like to leave my marks on books, just like they leave theirs on me. (I’m being poetic to make my horrible habits sound better.)

  28. Livvy

    I loved this post, it was sooooo quirky! I think it’s a fantastic thing. And it has made me realise how picky I am with my own reading habits too.

    Book Condition: I can buy second hand as long as they are not falling apart.
    I don’t like to break the spine, but if it occurs I’m not too put off.
    I don’t write on books, crease pages or fold corners to mark my page. I simply abhor it.

    Loaning Books:
    I hate giving them to my mother, she folds pages right back around the book and destroys them.
    I give them only to trusted friends and then very rarely do I like to borrow my books after a friend ripped a page on one of my favourite books.

    How I Read:
    I was appalled by the e-reader, but I have slowly come around and find it easy to read everywhere, and particularly whilst eating, as I can’t read a normal book and eat. It’s also great for journeys.
    I prefer music in the background to read or silence. Sometimes I can read with the TV on but I often find myself distracted by that and people talking.
    I find reading in the chair most comfortable, and in bed I have to change positions a lot because it’s hard to get comfortable. I also like reading out in the sun on the bench.
    I also prefer paperbacks to hardbacks which are a little bulky and heavy to carry around.

    Generally I don’t take notes for quotes I like, I tend to just flick back through the book after as I tend to remember. However I am starting to believe note taking would be a good idea.

    Fabulous post guys! :)

  29. Disquietus

    I love this post! I was starting to think I was the only person who uses post-it notes to mark the best passages/quotes in books. I always get weird looks when I admit to this. I prefer soft-covers but I usually buy the books I truly love in both hard and soft because soft covers are easier for packing around with me and hardcovers are prettier on the shelves. My e-reader is only for travelling so I can pack the Harry Potter series with me whenever I leave the state.

    • tonya

      Well, you can’t leave home without Harry. That’s like leaving behind a limb. I was skeptical when I got my ereader, but it really does make reading the huge books so much easier.

  30. Amy

    Great post! Our topic for Book Girls this week was our reading spots and anything we need while reading. I love seeing other people’s reading habits, and snacks and such. This is a really fun post! Thanks for sharing how you like to read with us!!

  31. ahz1

    I love this post! I’ve always got a book or 2 on the go as well as 1 or 2 audio books (1 for the MP3 player, the other for the car). I am very particular as to who I loan books to. While I prefer to read ebooks, I will always buy a paperback or physical copy of a book that I love. I love technology, but all it takes is one of those EMPs and everything is gone. (Yes, a little bit paranoid about books, lol).

    I had to laugh about the beautiful quote disappearing from the book once your review was published. Too funny!

  32. Shannelle C.

    I totally wonder if I’m the only one who wraps my book sin plastic cover, or do you guys do that too?

    And I find I can relate to Tonya. Sometimes, I don’t get distracted by noise at all, but to really grasp and fully appreciate a book, I like being the only person in the room. But spilling tea on a book? *cringes*

    • tonya

      I know. I probably made everyone go fetal with my confessions, didn’t I? I’m sorry. Like you, I *can* read anywhere, but I do always prefer to be curled up in my quiet bedroom so I can fully immerse myself. There’s nothing like losing a few hours in another world. :)

  33. Ashley D.

    I can only read when I’m alone, otherwise I get distracted no matter how good the story is. Also because I usually read out loud and I don’t need people listening to my random voices. :P Normally I read on my bed because my “reading chair” is usually inaccessible due to the clothes that have a tendency to pile up there. :P

  34. Amanda

    This is such a fun post! :)

    My reading habits are much like Wendy’s. I’m just glad I’m not the only one kinda picky about my books!

    – I prefer paperbacks over hardbacks because they feel more flexible to me
    – the spine on a paperback is never to be creased.
    – I don’t like letting anyone but my sister borrow my books
    – I cannot read with music or any other noise in the background because it distracts me way too much from the story
    – the pages are never to be dog-eared or ripped or I become hostile
    – bookmarks are a must!
    – I either read on the couch, my bed, or my big comfy zebra print chair.
    – I always have my kindle with me. My textbooks for class are on there so i can study anywhere.
    – I always find myself snacking while reading.
    – the dust jacket has to always come off a hardback while reading. I feel the need to keep it looking perfect.
    – I usually can’t get myself to spend more than $5 on a book, unless it is one I REALLY want or I’m at a used bookstore. (Used bookstores are my weakness)
    – I also find myself mimicking the characters facial expressions when I’m really into a book. My boyfriend loves to point that out. Lol

  35. Becca Bee

    I love this post! I also always try to have at least one book around, and I like to read in bed. I prefer hardcovers most of the time (I think they’re prettier), but paperbacks work better if I need to carry the novel around with me. I’m cringing at the thought of underlining and dog-earing! I’ve learned to tune out other noises like TV and stuff when I read, but I prefer it to be very quiet. This is probably partially why I like to read at night after everyone else has gone to bed.

  36. Bookworm1858

    I always have a book with me of course! I feel like my worst habit is grabbing random pieces of paper to use as bookmarks. I’m always losing the sheets and having to scrounge around for new ones. But at least I don’t dogear!

  37. ang

    Wendy Darling, you lovely thing, reading your list is a bit like reading an autobiography.

    I’m so crazypants about the condition of my books that one person – yes, one – is still willing to borrow them. And she got a smudge of peanut butter on the back of one of my hardcover books recently, for which she apologized so profusely that I started to feel bad…. and then didn’t. ;) That said, I don’t generally volunteer my books to people because I know I’m so… persnickety. Yeah, that sounds better that ridiculous. Hah.

    And I cannot handle notes in margins or highlighting or dogeared pages or any of that. Makes me completely neurotic. Tonya and I are polar opposites in that regard. I’ve been known to replace books if the condition starts to bother me enough, so you can probably guess that I don’t frequent previously owned book shops for myself often.

    I never eat and read. I will put a book down, bookmark in place, note tabs marking quotable passages, just to take a bite, and then pick it back up again once I’ve finished it. As an illustration of this, I was at Starbucks when I began reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (5ish PM). I sipped my iced coffee there. Once I finished the coffee, I came home, ate the quickest dinner known to man, and then started reading again – and didn’t stop until 2:30 AM, at which point I was a sobbing, flaily mess, and I was also starving. This is my life, ladies and gentlemen.

    And finally, I have an overstuffed, oversized red chair that is bigger than I am, and my favorite place to read is in that chair, draped in whatever way is comfortable at the time – sometimes this involves a cup of coffee on a side table, but usually, it’s just me, folded up or stretched out across it (depending, of course, on the tone of my read at that moment).

    And for the love of WORDS, people. Do not continue to chatter at me when you see my book is in hand. Even my 4 year old knows better. Nothing irritates me faster. And actually, she’s showcased the same trait while she’s reading, so…. oops? Or something.

    This is a fabulous post, ,gals. Thanks for sharing! :)

  38. Ning

    Great post!! It’s weird to think of our different reading habits.
    1) I have to read in the quiet. I hate having TV in the background cuz I usually get distracted listening to the TV, especially if the book is not as fast-paced.
    2) No bending the spine when reading paperbacks, just like you. I’ve stopped lending out my paperbacks because people kept destroying them and creating creases. I love new books.
    3). Definitely take off the dust jacket. I used to work in a library where I had to cover the dustjacket of the new hardbacks with a plastic cover. I need to get some of those plastic covers for my books.
    4). Favorite reading positions is sitting in bed usually with something to drink. If it’s a nice day, I’ll sit outside, but usually it’s too hot here.
    5). I don’t always have my Kindle with me, but I always have my iPHone. and the Kindle app is a well used one and I have same books on my iPHone, iPad, and Kindle. I like to switch between the three.
    6). I usually get a book via Kindle, then if I really loved it and the cover is amazing, I’ll shell out the money for a hardback. I’ll also get books from library first and buy later after reading, becuase I don’t want to spend money on something I won’t like lol

  39. Bojana Zozinska

    Oh, you are gonna be horrified by my reading habits:
    – I dog ear, I crack spines and I remove jackets from hardcovers and bend them flat right in the middle. Oh, yes and I highlight parts with yellow marker, and write in the side of the pages with pen.
    – I prefer reading on my Kindle and take it everywhere with me, even in the store, or a 10 minute walk, or when I’m driving (its more of a habit now, lake bringing your phone everywhere.)
    – I highlight a lot! (I’m impressed easily)
    – I can read everywhere, chaos doesn’t bothers me (when I’m engrossed in a book, I can even read during a movie – it ruined quite a few movie nights with my boyfriend)
    – I also read while walking – on my phone so I don’t look weird (I kissed a few street lamps that way but I’m not sorry – they were a great scenes i was reading)
    – I can read only one book at the time (maybe two if they are a very different genre)
    – when I start reading a book, after introducing my self with the characters, I go and read the end of the book to see what will happen. (it might have ruined a couple of books for me, but I’ll never admit out loud)
    – if I’m reading something i really like i can’t stop even for peeing (I some times get up and stay like that for 15 minutes squeezing my legs together hoping to finish the chapter!)
    – this one is a little embarrassing: i bring book with me in the bathroom (and stay there until somebody reminds me i have to get out – because they have to go!)

    I might have a lot more habits that I can’t remember now!
    Fun post girls, love your reading habits, Tonya’s most of all! :)

  40. Julia :)

    Ohhh love this post! It’s so interesting how we can all have such different ways of reading and connecting with books.

    I like to read outside and in bed most. Couches and easy chairs tend to be too hard. I like to be all curled up and snuggly while I read. I also don’t really like to read e-books. I find them distracting for some reason.

    As for my books I am very particular about them, but not as particular as Miss Darling. :P I like to keep my books in really nice condition and I will rarely, if ever, lend them out to people and only my most trusted book loving friends.

    I tend to buy books in hardback (because I have clammy hands so I’ve discovered that when I read paperbacks the covers always end up morphed. :P) and normally only books that I really treasure. However, I treasure a lot of books so I have a HUGE book collection. I also buy a lot of stuff from Library book sales and used bookstores.

    Finally I definitely have a weird reading style. If I’m alone and reading I’ll tend to pick out a character and read their dialogue aloud. This is partially because it helps me connect to characters and partially because I’ve always wanted to be a voice actor so it’s fun for me to pretend to be characters when I’m reading. STRANGE BUT TRUE. :P

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

  41. Abbey Thomas

    I just found your blog today through Twitter and let me say that I am thrilled to find myself in good company. I love your rules and practices. As a high school librarian I have the perfect opportunity to read and enjoy YA fiction often and love talking to my teen students about the books I and they are reading. But it will be nice to hear from other adults who enjoy the same books as I do as well. Thank you for your fresh website.

    • tonya

      I’m so glad you found us, Abbey! I love hearing from librarians about what YA books teens are enjoying. I’m so immersed in the Adult YA Reader world, that sometimes it’s easy to forget that the books I enjoy are primarily written for those much younger than I am. ;)

  42. Christina (Christinareadsya)

    Uh oh. I’m never getting lent a book by you, Ms. Darling. I have a friend who, when she reads my books, undoes the “doggy-eared” passages. I suspect you would do the same, and frown upon me for ever bending that page lol. But that is a great idea for taking off the hardcover jackets. A friend of mine has returned several books with the crease on the jacket and the sides worn. It makes me so sad to see. *sigh*

    “A book that looks like it’s lived is a beautiful thing.”

    YESSS, go K!! :) I too dislike a lot of noises in the background and like the quiet places and like rereading my favorite lines, though it looks like you are a lot more precise about it and reviewing (you and Wendy both!) the novel. Though I have no idea how you and Tonya are able to read while traveling… that just gives me a headache.

    Tonya – nice! I don’t mind a book looking worn. It’s almost impossible not to bend the spine on mass market paperbacks… And and and I tend to unconsciously mimic their expressions too. People have looked at me funnily while I read. Apparently I’m mouthing the words.

    What a wonderful post! I love how different all your styles are–and also how that came off in how you all wrote about them too :)

    • tonya

      FINALLY, someone who isn’t horrified by my confessions! and I’m so glad someone else does the facial expression thing too. I always get weird looks, but I can’t help it.

  43. Sam

    I actually don’t mind when books look a little worn (I buy a lot of second-hand books and also have a very old-fashioned bookshelf – so they all match quite nicely), but if they are in great condition to begin with, then I do get very OCD about creased spines and torn covers. Dog-earing must NEVER happen though – I’m pretty particular about that. I read in bed mostly (if I had it my way, I’d be in bed all the time) and also get the majority of my reading done at night. Who needs sleep, right? ;)

    Great post, ladies! It’s always great to get a glimpse into other people’s worlds.

  44. Donna Smith

    My Nook rarely leaves my side. I have an android sd card in it so that I also have the Kindle apps for those books I have in Kindle format. I am usually going back and forth between reading an ebook and listening to an audio. Audio books are my preferred reading format & I usually listen at my computer while playing Facebook games like Candy Crush or Zuma.
    If I love a book, I buy the hardcover and it goes on my permanent shelf. I will only loan books out from my “reading” bookshelf. The books on my “permanent” shelf never leave my sight, I’m not even comfortable with people opening them if truth be told. I’m a bit eccentric.
    If I’m reading a hardcover or paperback, I do dog ear, highlight, crack spines, etc. I have many well worn, marked, stained, and generally loved books on my “reading” shelf. Usually those books have a matching hardcover on my permanent shelf in pristine condition.

    I loved reading about all of your reading habits too!

    • tonya

      Yes, another member of the Shabby Book Club! I was beginning to think I was all alone. ;)

  45. Ems

    My reading habits are very definitely similar to Miss Darling’s. I do not lend books very often, because of the potential for books being returned in a horrifying condition. This happened once and I nearly died. I also NEVER break spines. I wince very visibly when I see people doing it, and I may have been known to speak up. Oops.

    Hardbacks are my poison of choice, though I recently capitulated and bought a tablet for my galleys. They’re much easier to keep track of that way.

    Fabulous post! I do so love reading about other people’s reading habits!

  46. Rashika

    I freak out when someone touches my books without asking me first. Like “GET AWAY FROM MY BOOKS RIGHT NOW” kind of freaked out.

    If someone borrows my book.. I will start bugging them after two days because I get scared that it’ll get damaged and then life will never be the same.

    If I am reading, it might take a while before anyone can get through to me because I won’t hear them and if they try to bug me while I am reading… I can get a little physical. .-.

    I can be kind of scary.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  47. starryeyedjen

    And I thought *I* was particular, Wendy! Wow. I don’t even come close to being as persnickety as you. :P I do prefer my books in pristine condition, though I don’t mind saving books from the used bookstore and giving them a good home.

    I prefer hardcovers for my shelf, but I prefer paperbacks while I’m reading because *gasp* I can fold the left side behind the book when I’m reading on the right. Shameful, I know. I didn’t always do this, but after reading on a Nook/Kindle for so long, it’s second nature to only have one page of text in front of me.

    I am such a mood reader these days, and so I usually have a Nook, a book, and a Kindle with me. And a notebook for notes. Can’t forget that. I usually use small Post-It notes to mark favorite passages in a book, and I NEVER dog-ear my pages. That’s just cruel. And I would unfriend anyone who returned a book to me that had been mistreated as such.

    I need to get in the zone when I’m reading, to completely lose myself in a book. So, if I’m around my family, I put the headphones in and listen to music. It’s usually something lighter that won’t hold my attention over the book. Like some Explosions in the Sky. That’s great contemplative music right there. I like to read outside a lot, too, and then I usually forego the headphones for nature. But it’s already 100 degrees in Texas, so that’s kind of not an option at the moment. :(

    I also listen to a ton of audiobooks these days for the times when I can’t physically read. I am almost always plugged into a book, in one way or another.

    Such a fun post! But this is the best (and I do this too!): “I mimic the facial expressions of the characters. If they furrow their brows, I find I do the same. I smile with them, and frown, and narrow my eyes. I am probably hilarious to watch as I read.”

    • tonya

      I’d just like to note, for the record, that I would NEVER treat a friend’s book as casually as I treat my own. ;) I am very careful with everyone else’s, but let life happen to mine, hehe.

      I’m glad I have another face maker in the bunch! I get so many weird looks, but it just happens naturally!

  48. Misti

    My iPad is always in my hands or by me at all times. Night time reading is always a must for me. No matter what time I make it to bed I have to read at least some before I can sleep. I wish I had a bookshelf full of books. I think that will be on my list of things to do before I die, collect every favorite book of mine so I can pass them on to my future children. Thanks for sharing .

  49. Kritika

    I usually read on my bed because I read every night before I go to sleep. It’s a habit that I picked up when I first started to read and it’s sticking with me through college. When I’m on break and I’m not running to class or doing homework all day, I read curled up on a sofa or a comfy chair.

    I prefer paperbacks, especially the matte/textured covers (not the glossy ones!). I also hate when the spines of my books are creased, but my favorite books invariably have creased spines because I’ve read them and lent them so often. I only lend my books to a few people, and they know that they have to return my books in pristine condition or I will pull a Queen of Hearts and say “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!”

    I’ve started reading on my phone so that I can read during those awkward minutes between classes or when I’m on the bus. I don’t own an ereader, so my phone has a bunch of apps for all the different formats of ebooks I can snag from my library. I still prefer paper books to ebooks, but it’s convenient to have books at your fingertips without the added weight.

  50. Ariana

    Oh my gosh, Wendy, I do the same with craving food from books. I read the first four books from the Song of Ice and Fire series two summers ago, and it was SWELTERING outside, but I wanted to eat stew and hard cheese and other weird, medieval dishes. Not to mention the week I read Bear Daughter and ate salmon three nights in a row.

  51. Wendy Darling

    For K: I adore your handwritten notes on Shiver. <3

    For Tonya: I love your button for this feature. Even though most of your post made me hyperventilate, hah.

    Funny how we all prefer paperbacks! And a lot of the people who have commented so far do, too. I’ve just seen so much more chatter on Twitter about hardbacks.

    • tonya

      I knew you would be horrified. ;) But in my defense, I am extremely careful when borrowing books from others, because I know my own habits aren’t the norm.

      I think most people like hardcovers because they’re prettier, but paperbacks are so much easier to curl up with! In a perfect world (with unlimited funds) I would always own both, so I’d have a pristine, untouched hardcover, and a lived in paperback.

  52. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    This was fantastic, ladies! I am always LIVID/heartbroken when a borrower returns my book in less than pristine condition. Bending the spine is grounds for immediate revocation of borrowing privileges!

  53. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    What a fun topic, I always love to read about habits :D I have a lot of habits myself.

    1. Never NEVER dog ear a book.
    2. Don’t bend the spine.
    3. My bed is my favorite reading place.
    4. I have a book with me all the time.
    5. I don’t like silence. I love music on the background. If I’m reading, I get lost in the story whether it’s busy or silent.
    6. I don’t lent my books to anyone, ever. Not that anyone is interested, ’cause I’m the only reader around here.
    7. I love my Kobo. I read several books at the same time, so I’m always switching between the e-reader and physical books.
    8. I prefer paperbacks.
    9. I write quotes down in a special notebook. And I use another notebook to keep track of my thoughts: so much easier for writing a review.
    10. I have a book buying addiction. I can’t stop myself. Buying books makes me so happy and I love to see my collection grow :D

    Those are some of them ^^


  54. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I denied my dad my paperback copies of the GoT because I knew he’d mess up the spine.
    I can only read one book at a time.
    I prefer laying on my couch or bed when reading.
    I have to have something close at hand to drink. Usually it’s water with crystal light. Many times, it’s a frosty beer, though.
    I’m relatively reformed in my reading habits: I don’t dog ear pages anymore, I try not to crack spines and I now prefer to read without distraction.
    I like my Kindle & carry it everywhere but prefer a physical copy because I’m a total cover whore.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, I love that you denied your dad access. I steer certain people away from my shelves, too.

      But man, I could never read just one book at a time. I’m such a mood reader, and I’m always in the middle of at least a half a dozen different books at once. PLUS WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT WITH YOU?

  55. Sarah (Escaping Through Books)

    I love this post because I like to see what other people’s reading habits are because I’m nosy like that!

    I prefer hardcovers over paperbacks because they look much prettier on my shelves. I will always take the dust jacket off when reading a book to keep it in pristine condition.

    I never dog-ear pages. I used to just memorize what page I’m on when I had to put a book down, but I now LOVE using bookmarks. Having a bookmark that matches the book I’m reading (like when authors give swag away at signings) makes me a million times happy!

    I often purchase books in more than one format–a hard copy for my shelf, an e-book for my Kindle, and the audiobook for my iPod so I can get through books faster.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hee, we enjoy poking our noses in everyone else’s reading business, too! I do the same thing with favorite books, I have some in ebook, paperback, hardback, AND audiobook. It’s a sickness, I tell you!

      I only just started using the sync function with a book I didn’t have time to binge read. Having the reading progress match up on my Kindle and my iPhone was awesome.

  56. Laura Spencer

    (This is such a fun post)

    -My Kindle is always on me, it’s batteries always charged and ready to go.

    -I only buy the physical copies of books and series I seriously fangirl over.

    -Paperback book’s spine is never, ever to crack, or it’s pages roll over to read. Under no circumstance are pages to be folded to keep a place.

    -I collect bookmarks and color coordinate with the mood or color scheme of the book. XDDD

    -Hardcover book jackets are always remove and kept with extreme care.

    -I like my quiet while reading but I also listen to classical, it helps to shut out any background noise. In the train I use my ipod.

    -I don’t lent out books, the person has to be very, very special to get books from me.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hee hee, I coordinate bookmarks to what I’m reading, too! Both with themes and color. Also, hardbacks and trade paperbacks need long bookmarks, not short ones. My husband does not understand this concept and often has to be corrected.

  57. Liz

    This post was sublime and I love it when Wendy describes what makes her ‘cross’ LOL! <3

    I almost ALWAYS carry my kindle with me just in case I find myself with time to kill at one of my childrens various sporting commitments.
    When I read paperbacks I was very careful to not crease the binding when it was new. Rereads made me less careful!
    I love to read at the beach, it’s my favorite!
    I too will cover the rest of a page and read line by line when something is super exciting or tense so as not to jump to dialogue lines. It also forces me to SLOW down.
    I read waaaay too fast, luckily I am not a blogger because it would kill me to stop certain books to take notes.
    I have only recently started using the highlight feature on my kindle so that I can quote the lines that inspire me.

    Jeez, sorry to ramble on..we readers ARE a peculiar lot!!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, so many things make Wendy cross. :P Reading at the beach is my favorite, too! And I sometimes secretly resent having to take notes, hah. My Kindle is old school so the highlighting feature really sucks, but I may invest in a Paperwhite sometime. I hear that feature has been improved.

      And ramble away, m’dear–we’re pretty nosy and enjoy reading everyone else’s habits, too!

  58. Krista@Cubicleblindness

    I have a hard time concentrating when I don’t have background noise playing. I seem to fall asleep whilst reading if I don’t.
    I read my kindle while out of my house and physical books when at home. Ipad when on vacation.
    I hate hardcovers because they have covers, because they must be removed and are still vulnerable to rips and tears whilst off the book, and I don’t like holding hardbacks it hurts my wrists.
    I loved this post! so much fun! Keep them coming :)

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s so funny how people are so different! From what I’ve seen, a lot of readers seem to like to have music playing when they read. I just can’t deal, so the memes with “musical accompaniments” to books is something I can’t relate to at all.

      I don’t like propping up hardcovers while reading either! My wrists are puny.

  59. Bonnie R

    -My kindle is always with me in my purse (so no tiny purses for me, ever).
    -I also always carry a notebook with me because I’m constantly taking notes while reading.
    -I listen to classical music when I read because I have 4 kids so my house is ALWAYS noisy and I sometimes have trouble concentrating.
    -I love reading in bed but in the summer time I love sitting on my balcony.
    -Dust jacket ALWAYS has to come off hardcovers for me too. :) I hate checking library hardcovers out since they tape them on.

    • Wendy Darling

      I always have my Kindle and a notebook with me, too! Those crinkly library dustjackets drive me crazy with the noise, especially when I’m trying to be quiet and not wake the husband. I like to take dust jackets off because I don’t want to damage them, which is sort of weird since they’re supposed to protect the book. :P

      Depending on what it is, I can deal with classical music sometimes when I’m reading. And if it’s short spurts (like lines at the post office), I can do it, too. But I prefer silence, hah.

    • Bonnie R

      I know, my hardcovers always have greasy little fingerprints but I get nervous about damaging the dust jacket too. lol

      I don’t like big symphony classical type music but just… soothing non-vocal music. I have to have something to help block out the background noise in my house (because I prefer silence too).