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Reading Habits Survey: How Do You Read?

Last week, Florinda (The 3R’s Blog) shared her responses to a survey about reading habits — not the kinds of books you like to read, but how you actually read them. I thought it was fun, so I’m taking the survey myself!

reading habits survey

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I typically read in two places, on my couch or in my favorite chair. They’re both upstairs in my living room, which is also the room with our main tv. In the summer that works great — the boyfriend spends a lot of time in the basement where it’s cooler — but in the winter we have some conflicts over reading versus watching. I’m hoping to find space for a reading nook in my office this winter.

2. Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?

I usually use post-it notes for bookmarks. They’re convenient, cheap, and don’t fall out when I lug books all over in my purse. I have been using this cute mustache bookmark for 11/22/63, but that book doesn’t leave the house so I don’t worry about losing my place.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain amount of pages?

I like to stop at a natural breaking point — the end of a chapter, or maybe a scene change in the middle of a chapter. But if it’s late at night and I’m falling asleep, I’ll stop at the bottom of a page or something less obvious.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

I drink a lot of tea and, more recently, a lot of water. I like to snack when I read, but I have a hard time reading while eating a meal.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?

I can only listen to music that doesn’t have words or music that is new to me while reading. If I recognize a song I get distracted! I have a hard time reading when the tv is on, unless I put in headphones to block out the sound.

6. Do you read one book at a time or several at once?

I’m typically a one or two book reader. I like to have fiction and nonfiction going at the same time and often also have an audio book in progress (but I guess I don’t count that one since it’s a different format).

7. Do you prefer to read at home or anywhere?

I can read just about anywhere, but I’m a homebody. I don’t actively go other places to read, but will pick up a book if I’m out and have time to read.

8. Do you read out loud or silently?

Silently. I used to read out loud in the car when the boyfriend was driving, but now we use audio books or podcasts to keep us occupied.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I am not really concerned about spoilers, so I will sometimes skip ahead to answer a burning question (particularly if it’s a love triangle question, since I find those annoying but addicting). Most of the time, though, I don’t skip ahead.

10. Do you break the spine or keep it like new?

I don’t break spines very often, but I guess I never feel like I have to in order to enjoy a book. I try to keep my books in decent shape — no bent covers or pages falling out — but they’re certainly not perfect.

11. Do you write in your books?

Not anymore. If I want to make notes, I usually do it in a notebook or on my phone because it’s more convenient for looking at when I want to write a review. But I do love finding marginalia in old books — it’s super fun.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Beth F August 11, 2015, 6:33 am

    I may have to take this myself, since I’m enjoying reading everyone’s answers. I go back and forth about writing in books. Usually not now, but when I was in my 20s I often wrote in the margins.

    • Kim August 11, 2015, 8:56 pm

      I used to write in the margins a lot more, especially in college, but I don’t really find it convenient anymore.

  • tanya (52 books or bust) August 11, 2015, 7:45 am

    I love reading about other people’s reading habits. As it turns out, our’s are remarkably similar!

  • BermudaOnion (Kathy) August 11, 2015, 8:07 am

    I can usually stop at the end of page but if it’s a dual narrative with voices that aren’t all that different, I like to read until the chapter ends.

  • C.J. @ebookclassics August 11, 2015, 10:32 am

    So much fun to learn about how you read. I don’t care about spoilers either and I like making notes on my phone too.

  • Kay August 11, 2015, 10:43 am

    Love reading these. Think I will do this myself maybe next week or the week after. I’m one of those people who will read the end. My husband thinks that is sacrilege and so, so wrong. I don’t do it for every book, but I sometimes want to know if I have guessed the twist (which is often there because I read a lot of mysteries). And I can’t remember what it was like to be without audiobooks. And breaking the spine – that’s my sacrilege. LOL

    • Kim August 11, 2015, 8:58 pm

      I think I mostly skip ahead to find out how a love triangle works out (because I think they’re annoying and I’d rather just know) or to see if someone survives… I can steel myself for their death better!

  • Florinda August 11, 2015, 11:32 am

    I’m so glad you decided to do this, and not all that surprised that we have some similar reading habits :-D. I know what you mean about familiar music being a distraction! When I’m reading more than one book at a time, the one fiction/one nonfiction mix seems to work best for me too.

  • Amelia August 11, 2015, 1:22 pm

    We have some similar reading habits. I had to do this myself! I’m trying to use Tumblr more so I posted it over there. http://ameliaspointofview.tumblr.com/post/126440254562/how-do-you-read

  • Farin August 11, 2015, 4:22 pm

    This is so interesting! I definitely share some of your reading habits. Also, love Hannah and the side eye.

    • Kim August 11, 2015, 8:58 pm

      That’s probably my favorite picture of her. I think it captures her personality perfectly.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves August 12, 2015, 7:04 am

    On the music front, I was reading in a Starbucks yesterday and a woman near me was talking on her phone (how rude…ha!)…so I looked for music and found a great Jango station called Classical for Studying. All soothing instrumental with no lyrics.

  • Laurie C August 12, 2015, 7:17 am

    I’m nosy about this stuff, so thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle August 12, 2015, 10:23 am

    I know exactly what you mean about conflicts with reading versus TV space. We have way too many TVs in the house, but my husband insists on watching TV in the same room in which I am reading. It is annoying and one of the reasons why I am planning a reading-only room in our new house.

    • Kim August 17, 2015, 8:47 pm

      I like spending time with him — well, adjacent to him, I guess — but it’s hard when his activity of choice is watching tv! I want a reading room, someday.

  • Jennine G. August 12, 2015, 11:49 pm

    I enjoyed reading this. It’s always cool to see how other readers’ answers compare to your own. You’re right about the bookmarks – mine fall out when I lug my books all around in my purse.

  • Shaina August 13, 2015, 3:43 pm

    First of all, can you share your trick for reading in the car? It always makes me feel sick!

    But we’re pretty similar in other ways. I can’t read if I recognize a song either—it just takes over my brain! Also, I really want to learn to read while eating, but I’m afraid I’m going to drop food in the book. That is not the kind of marginalia you want.

    • Kim August 17, 2015, 8:46 pm

      I can only do print books in the car, I’ve tried ereaders and those tend to make me sick. I usually end up listening to audio books though, since then the boyfriend can listen too.

      I’ve tried eating during my lunch break and I get paranoid about spilling food on my book too!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End August 13, 2015, 8:35 pm

    I love seeing people’s answers to these questions! I’m using bookmarks consistently for the first time in my life this last year or two, and it’s excellent. I don’t know how I did without them in years past.

  • Isi August 19, 2015, 8:32 pm

    Very funny, this survey!
    The thing that I caught my attention the most is the fact that you use post-its instead of bookmarks! I only use them if I want to write something down and keep it in the page, but I’m a fan of bookmarks 🙂
    I have read a lot of times about people who have a conflict with their partners or family when it comes to watch TV vs reading; I solved the problem many years ago when I got rid of my TV!! haha 😉 not a problem anymore!

    • Kim August 23, 2015, 4:53 pm

      I have had too many experiences of bookmarks falling out of books. Post it seems more secure to me.