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[General Discussion] Reading Habits
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Matt
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 11:17 PM #1 of 26
Reading Habits

What are your habits when you read a book you own?

Do you mark up the pages with notes?
Do you highlight passages?
Do you dog ear pages because they contain favorite passages?
Or do you leave the book unscathed in an attempt to preserve your precious purchase?

Also, how fast do you typically read?


I generally keep my books mark-free. I wrote in one book (with pencil) and it was very strange. Seriously, I couldn't believe I was doing it. But I felt like I had to for whatever reason, like I needed to recognize the themes as they were laid out in front of me.
Since then I've been more open-minded about writing in books, but I still don't do it often. Mainly because I never have a pencil in front of me while I read, but also because I tend to protect my investments (I swear I have OCD when it comes to that stuff).

As for my reading speed, it all depends on the book and the the layout. Double-spaced pages are a lot easier to read than the small-print ones typical in mass market paperbacks. I think I average about a page a minute, give or take.
Sometimes I like to recite what I'm reading in my head as I read it, other times I just scan through it and process it all on the fly. I'm not very good at that though, and usually I'll miss fine details. Usually I'll do that though when I'm pressed for time or reading a boring part.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
knkwzrd
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 11:19 PM Local time: Feb 19, 2007, 10:19 PM #2 of 26
I never write in books, but I always enjoy it when I find a book that someone else has written in, so long as it doesn't cover the original text. There have been a couple papers I've written that have been helped along by old margin notes, actually.

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Schadenfreude
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 04:54 AM Local time: Feb 20, 2007, 05:54 PM #3 of 26
I nearly always try and keep whatever books I read in the condition I started reading them in, although I used to dog ear pages a lot until recently. Now I just make a note somewhere if a certain page contains a favourite passage of mine. I also do that if I can't find a bookmark (and usually I can't).

I read at a decent pace, but I can't say for sure. I usually try and take my time reading but sometimes I just seem to subconsciously speed up my reading and end up reading at a slightly fast(er) pace. I tend to skim through boring/uncomfortable parts, and I have missed some important details when I do that.

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Old Feb 20, 2007, 06:47 AM #4 of 26
I very rarely read non-fiction, so I can't see why I would ever write anything in any of my books. Once, though, I checked out a book from the library and there were about twenty places where someone had written funny comments in it. I can't remember all of them, but one of them said, "ROCK ON!" at a particularly inspiring point.

I try to keep my books in the best condition possible, which is no small feat when you read in the bathtub like I do. I buy hardcovers whenever I can and I use whatever is lying around as a bookmark. I've lost bills, checks and pictures doing that, but I still do it.

I used to devour a book that I liked. Now it takes me forever to read one because of all the distrations in my life. =/ I just finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter and it took me about two months to read, even though it's a relatively small book. If I really love a book I will read it over and over. I'm reading The Stand for AT LEAST the fifth time right now, but this time I'm reading it out loud to my husband, who has never read it (or many other books, for that matter).

One last thing: I always have four or five books going at once. I keep a couple of them in my car, one in the bedroom, one in my gym bag, etc. That way no matter where I am I always have a book to read.

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Old Feb 20, 2007, 07:08 AM #5 of 26
I never dog-ear my books, 'cause it looks crappy that way. I use bookmarks. I try to keep them in good condition, but I keep failing.

I don't have/read many books, but with the ones I do have, I end up reading over and over and over and I don't get tired of them. I must have read Watership Down close to 10 times already.

I prefer paperbacks because it's easier to use them while travelling and won't break my back when I move.

I read fast. I can read a normal sized novel in just a few days.

I was speaking idiomatically.




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Old Feb 20, 2007, 07:19 AM #6 of 26
I am ALWAYS reading a book. I used to keep my books in great condition, but then I found a used book shop near me and started buying recent used books for under a buck each. Some were in crappy condition, but I found paperbacks much easier to read when I bend the spine back, so now I do that even with my new books. The covers and pages are in excellent condition, but the spines are all creased. I mean, who am I keeping them in good shape for?

The fastest book I have ever read was The DaVinci Code. I must have finished the whole book in two days.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 07:27 AM Local time: Feb 20, 2007, 01:27 PM #7 of 26
I always try to keep my books in pristine condition. I have NEVER dog eared a book; I always just use bookmarks or skim through it when searching for a certain part.

As for speed, how fast I finish a book depends solely on how interesting it is. I finished all five books of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in about a month and a half, whereas The Call of Cthulhu is still sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year now. It took me about four months to force myself through both Dirk Gently books as well.

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Matt
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 03:35 PM #8 of 26
One last thing: I always have four or five books going at once. I keep a couple of them in my car, one in the bedroom, one in my gym bag, etc. That way no matter where I am I always have a book to read.
Wow, how do you keep track of the stories? I'd probably forget something crucial in one of them, or blend plot lines together.

I am ALWAYS reading a book. I used to keep my books in great condition, but then I found a used book shop near me and started buying recent used books for under a buck each. Some were in crappy condition, but I found paperbacks much easier to read when I bend the spine back, so now I do that even with my new books. The covers and pages are in excellent condition, but the spines are all creased. I mean, who am I keeping them in good shape for?
See, I can't really justify spending any money on used books when I can get them for free from my local library.
Yeah, that stuff is ragged too, but why pay for ragged books when you can just get them for free?
Creating your own ragged book on the other hand, that's like breaking in a pillow. It's your damage, so its like your personality embedded in the book you've been reading.

So far most everyone doesn't mark up their books at all. I wonder why that is?
It's not like we buy books to speculate on the market, and later resell them for a profit. Granted, some books' margins are too small to write much of anything in, but underlining is always possible.

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Old Feb 20, 2007, 03:43 PM Local time: Feb 20, 2007, 09:43 PM #9 of 26
I never mark my books if I can help it, I always use a proper bookmark to mark where I am in a book. I never dog-ear the pages, I do try to keep my books in the best possible condition.

If the book that I am reading is interesting then I have real difficulty putting it down. I have a book that I started over 2 years ago still to read, I really should see about finishing it one of these days. But I am generally quite quick at finishing books, I don't know why this one is taking me so long.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 04:27 PM Local time: Feb 20, 2007, 09:27 PM #10 of 26
I write in books I get from the library (probably out of a desire to be like Joe Orton) but never in my own, ans as for speed I can go through a page in about 2 minutes if I get into it.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 11:07 AM #11 of 26
Depends on what I'm reading. I'll mark up and dog-ear the hell out of a buisness book, but I don't think I've ever made a mark in a novel. I'll occasionally jot down passages or quotes in novels that catch my attention (I've got an MS Word file of them), but won't actually write in the book.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 12:06 PM Local time: Feb 25, 2007, 11:06 AM #12 of 26
I really don't like to write in books, unless it's something for a class (in which case I figure whoever reads it after me can benefit from my wisdom ), but occasionally I'll write in some comments if there is something about violas/violists or some subject I'm really into.

At the moment I lack the free time to really get into a book seriously, but I usually try to have 2 or 3 books going at once. It's mostly because I have so many books that I haven't gotten around to reading (somewhere around 200 novels), so I start up a few and eventually pare it down to the one that holds the most interest for the longest amount of time. Then I'll go back and pick up one of the others after I'm finished with the "best" one.

As for speed, I'm a pretty fast reader if the novel is really good. I normally finish off most books that are 300-275 pages in a week, given enough free time -- but lately I'm taking forever even for a weak little 200-pager.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 12:38 PM #13 of 26
See, I can't really justify spending any money on used books when I can get them for free from my local library.
Yeah, that stuff is ragged too, but why pay for ragged books when you can just get them for free?
Creating your own ragged book on the other hand, that's like breaking in a pillow. It's your damage, so its like your personality embedded in the book you've been reading.

So far most everyone doesn't mark up their books at all. I wonder why that is?
It's not like we buy books to speculate on the market, and later resell them for a profit. Granted, some books' margins are too small to write much of anything in, but underlining is always possible.
I borrow from the local library on occation, too; but I don't like to be under a time restraint to return the book. I would rather spend 75 cents and keep the book, than worry about overdue book fees on a book I have to return anyway.

I think most people here grew up reading comic books and there is a great resell market on that. (I bought my first new car out right by selling my comic book collection) I think it carries over to books. I know when I first started reading books, I used to keep them in perfect condition, but then I started thinking "why am I doing this?"

Now I take my books to the beach, to the pool. I throw the damn thing around my car, who cares; as long as I can still read it.

I was speaking idiomatically.
JackTheRipper
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 01:07 PM #14 of 26
I'm a slow ass reader. I can't help it, but I just can't read that fast. I never mark up pages in a book, or stop to think about plot development or anything like that. I tend to just read straight through without any distraction.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 01:31 PM Local time: Feb 25, 2007, 10:31 AM #15 of 26
I rarely read books for enjoyment these days, but I don't write or highlight anything in the books I have. Some of my favorite books are still in good condition though even if I've read them more than once. As for speed, I can usually get through one in under a week depending on how much free time I have.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 02:59 PM Local time: Feb 25, 2007, 12:59 PM #16 of 26
I've only read books for classes usually, and there's only a few books that I've actually read that weren't ever for class, usually mainly nerdy or hacker novels. But I never write or put marks in my books. They're all still in very good condition. What I do though is use Post-it notes to tab off pages, and maybe write something about it... important sections or things to remember. Also serves as bookmarks.

Oright, reading speed. I'd say I'm average... I know I'm not fast, but I'm not too slow either.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 03:14 PM #17 of 26
I tend to read for 30mins to an hour each night if I have a book. I can go through books pretty fast, (No I don't skim) and I do dog-ear instead of placing a bookmark because those I tend to lose. Asides from the dog ears, my books are kept in very good condition. Without counting all my complete series and random here and there books, I would say that my personal library contains.. maybe 100-200 books.

I'm an avid reader, what can I say :P

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 03:21 PM Local time: Feb 25, 2007, 01:21 PM #18 of 26
I never mark in a book. I know my memory's bad, but I can usually do a pretty fine job of keeping track of critical plot points without the aid of a pencil or other memory aid.

As for reading speed, I read to the pace as if someone is reading out loud to me. Otherwise, if I go too fast, I'll start merging paragraphs or critical details to the point where the book is just gobbledygook.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 03:37 PM #19 of 26
I'm not much of a reader, sadly. Unless it's a book that I really enjoy my eyes tend to tire out very quickly, and I can't get very far. If I like the book then I usually go through about 100 pages a day. I'm a slow reader, so that's about 2-3 hours for me. I don't generally seek out books to read unless they're strongly recommended to me by a friend and I'm looking for something to kill time.

I never mark in books. What's the point in highlighting sentences here and there unless you're planning to teach a class about it? Even if I'm reading for school I prefer to just take notes on a seperate paper. I suppose if you're the type of person who reads a book several times then marking your favorite spots would be helpful, but I can't do that.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 05:27 PM #20 of 26
I never write in books just use a bookmark. Usually I finish a book the same time I start it....unless it's really long but most that I read are fairly easy reads.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 07:36 PM #21 of 26
Does anyone else just remember where they are in a book without using bookmarks or folding pages or whatever? =o I pretty much fly through fiction, and I just put the book down whenever I'm done with a particular stint of reading. When I pick it up again, I usually remember roughly where in the book I was, and if not, I remember what was happening so I can find the page I left off at that way.

Although most recently almost all of my books are online, so it's a matter of chapter rather than page.

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 12:12 AM #22 of 26
Talking

if it's a textbook or a book I have to read for a class then I'll most likely mark/highlight/underline key points and ideas...if it's reading a novel or just random leisure reading then my habits would consist of memorizing the page I stopped on if I ever have to put the book down lol and if it's a new book I'm really meticulous about keeping the spine in good condition.... I'm a fairly quick reader so it doesn't take too long for me to finish 800+ pg novel...probably 8 or so hours... a manga would probably take me about half an hour to an hour to read.

There are books on speed reading which might help...increase speed and increase comprehension!!!

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 04:22 AM Local time: Feb 26, 2007, 04:22 AM #23 of 26
I hate writing in books that I own because it makes me naseous. But since being in college, I have to make an exception (and last year as a senior in a.p. english) so I write in the margins in pencil, or if I really can't force myself to do so, I carry around a thing of post it notes. Since I'm not really good at anything else, and if the book is around two hundred-two hundred and fifty pages, I can get done in about an hour and a half (w/o bathroom breaks) other than that, it's never taken me longer than that same day.

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Old Mar 1, 2007, 11:00 PM Local time: Mar 1, 2007, 11:00 PM #24 of 26
I know that I read a ton but I try not to dogear at all. I like to re-read my books quite often, so keeping them in good condition makes sure that they will last me years down the road for when I want to read them again.

As far as marking my books up, for novels not at all. Generally when I'm reading a novel, I don't want to take the time to sit and mark something down on the margin or even on a seperate sheet of paper. I get too absorbed in the story and couldn't be bothered to pull myself out from immersion for jotting down notes.

Textbooks on the other hand...

Spped of reading, well I had a couple of days off and I read all of the Honor Harrington series of books by David Weber in those couple of days. If I remember correctly there were 8 or 9 books in the series. I started them Friday night and I had them done for Monday when I returned them to my buddy. That was a good lazy weekend, and damn are those books absorbing. Now I'm trying to get them all for myself (6 down and too many to go...) among other books I'm waiting for (Damn you Jordan and Martin!).

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Old Mar 2, 2007, 12:19 AM Local time: Mar 2, 2007, 12:19 AM #25 of 26
If you don't write in your book for college, either you take outside notes (like in a spiral) or you are wasting your money. I write, highlight, and tab the hell out of my textbooks. I'm very picky though on the way I do it. Yellow highlighters only, thin ones at that, pencil over pen, and small tabs, not the inch wide ones.

As for the library, in college you can't afford to just have the book for two weeks. Even at that, you're better off buying it new instead of handling some disgusting old book that you could get off of Amazon for $5.

As for fiction (the only books I read are classics that are not textbook related), I bookmark and underline or write margin notes in pencil. I usually underline quotes or bracket paragraphs which I find very artistically appealing or beautifully written. Many classics do have those great sentences or "quotables", how I put it. I don't dogear because I buy them new, but at the same time I do like having my thoughts in the novel as I read, as a mental reminder of how I "analyzed" the book.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
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