The reading habits of a bookaholic

One thing I’ve noticed over the years (and I’ve noticed many things because I’m very perceptive and wise πŸ™‚ ) is that the reading habits of bookaholics are as diverse as the bookaholics themselves. What seems a perfectly normal way to shop for, buy and/or read a book to one bookaholic may seem completely random and bizarre to another. Β There are even some habits like whether a person prefers an e-reader or paper books that have led to the type of heated debates that haven’t been seen in the reading world since Team Edward vs Team Jacob.Β 

You could write a whole book about reading habits and the reading experience, and some like Sara Nelson, author of the fascinating So Many Books, So Little TimeΒ have done just that. But here in my humble little blog, I’m just going to focus on some of the reading habits that I’ve come across most often in my lifelong journey as a reader. Have a look and see if you can recognise yourself in any of these!

1. Paper books vs e-readers – I can totally see the rationale for having an e-reader and I’ve thought about it. My nightmare of being bookless if I finished a book on the train to work wouldn’t happen as I’d have the next one lined up on my e-reader and if a book was incredibly long, I wouldn’t have to carry a heavy weight around. I just don’t think I could do it. There would be something missing for me. I love the feel of a book, I love curling up on the couch with it and turning the pages, and being surrounded by years worth of books at home (I’m a bit of a hoarder too!) makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Looking at them, I can remember the time in my life when I read them and some are just really pretty to look at. πŸ™‚ If you prefer e-readers or you like both e-readers and books, that’s great but for now, I think I’ll stick with paper books.Β 

2. Double-booking – Β If there’s one thing that all us bookaholics have in common it’s that we have a TON of books on our to read pile and/or Amazon wishlist and it can be tough trying to find the time to read them all! So to try and make a dent in the pile or maybe because we like the variety, some of us will read more than one book at a time. It is definitely tempting but I don’t think it would really work for me. When I’m reading a great book and I’m forced to put it down, all I want to do is pick it up back up again as soon as possible. I wouldn’t want to dive in and out of different books and styles, and to be honest I’d probably get myself pretty confused. Which isn’t hard, trust me! πŸ™‚

3. Re-reading – I never used to re-read books. I was always a bit afraid that if I were to re-read a book I’d loved the first time around that it wouldn’t be the same and it might lose some of the original magic. Then something terrible happened and I hit a MAJOR reading slump. I went through all the books on my to read pile in a matter of days and it was a week before I was going to be paid so there was no money for books. It was a very dark time. 😦 Β I had no choice but to take the risk and turn to old books. And it was a risk worth taking! It might not have been the same as the first reading but there is a lot to be said for spending time with old friends again and exploring worlds that we’ve loved in the past. I’ve also found that there are things I maybe didn’t pick up on the first time around so there’s always something new to experience.Β 

4. Binge series reading – This is when we fall in love with a series and proceed to read every single one of the books available one right after the other. I have been very guilty of doing this in the past because if I find a set of characters I love, I just have to find out what happens next. But the flip side is that you plough through them all so fast that you’re usually left with a really long wait until the next one and as we know that wait can be torture! So now if I find a new series to get obsessed with, I am trying to pace myself more and ration out the books. It’s not been easy and probably won’t last but so far, so good!

What about you? Do you have any of these reading habits?

What other reading habits do you have?


27 thoughts on “The reading habits of a bookaholic

  1. As far as 1 goes I’m an unwavering paper lover, if a paper book’s too heavy to carry around then I save it for long journeys/holidays. And I’m also a hoarder, I love having them on my shelves.

    As for the others I do all of them! I frequently have two or more books on the go – I have a dedicated breakfast book although that’s slipped a little bit recently. I re-read incredibly often and I’ve only once found that I didn’t like the book second time round although it was a bit devastating as I really loved it the first time and hated it the second but it hasn’t stopped me going back to others. My favourite book ever is Chocolat by Joanne Harris and I’ve read it at least 10 times!

    I also binge on series with the downside not only being a long wait to the next one but also I occasionally get fed up of the characters/plot lines. If you read too many all at once you start to see how they can be quite similar which can be off-putting.

    My other bad habit is trying to do too much while reading – ever tried blow drying your hair without putting a book down? It doesn’t really work all that well!! Oh and I dogear the pages because I can’t keep hold of a bookmark!

    • I love Chocolat! Have you read any of the sequels to those? I’ve not tackled those yet. Blackberry Wine is another good one from her. Harry Potter, Divergent and Hunger Games are probably the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’m so glad I started doing that!

      That is another downside to binging on series and another reason I try not to these days. If I love a character I really don’t want to get fed up with them by getting overloaded.

      I haven’t ever tried to blow dry and read at the same time – impressive effort! I’m going to pretend you didn’t mention that you dog ear pages though! πŸ˜‰

      • I’ve read them both, I didn’t really like The Lollipop Shoes/The Girl with No Shadow but I did love Peaches for M. le Cure (shameless advertising of my review here: Harry Potter I’ve read quite a bit as well!

        Absolutely, I had a huge fantasy phase when I was younger and I read The Belgariad and The Mallorean series by David Eddings back to back along with a number of other quest style series and noticed so many similarities that I was very disappointed.

        It doesn’t really work because the book gets wet, your hair goes everywhere and it’s so complicated trying to stay the right way up that you can’t concentrate on the book at all, not a good idea!

  2. Ha! I suppose it can get rather heated, debating Team Paper vs Team E-Reader! For me, I’ve always preferred “real” physical books, and still do. BUT, I did get a Kindle a few years ago and grudgingly admit that it’s useful, especially (as you point out) when out of the house. People who are crazy readers πŸ™‚ can’t stand the thought of being without a book for even a single second, and an ereader guarantees that we never have that problem! I actually got mine when I was leaving on a long overseas trip and was trying to pack light (rather than putting 7 or 8 books in my suitcase) and it was perfect for that purpose. Plus, now that I’ve gotten busy blogging and requesting books from NetGalley, it’s really a necessity for all those e-ARCs. (But given my druthers, I’ll take a paper book any time!). I’ll try to be short for the rest — I only read one book at a time. I can multitask in the rest of my life, but not when it comes to reading! Yes, I do re-read books that I love, and it usually feels like spending time with a best friend! Binge series reading — been there, done that — love it! I love the sense of getting so caught up in a world and not having to leave! That’s how I read A Song of Ice and Fire, the Outlander series, Codex Alera, and several more!

    Great topic!!

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ An e-reader is definitely, in some cases, the practical choice and would resolve the potential bookless nightmare. Unless of course something were to happen to the e-reader, smashed or something, and all the books would be lost! The horror! As long as we’re all reading I suppose that’s the main thing! πŸ™‚

      I’ve looked at the Outlander series but never read any of them. Did I hear that they’re making a tv series of that or am I just making that up?

      • You’re definitely not making that up!! We devoted fans are practically swooning over all the little teasers about casting, filming, etc. It’ll be a Starz series, tentatively scheduled for summer/fall 2014, I believe. I adore the Outlander series… don’t get me started, I’ll never stop raving!

      • I knew I’d seen something on E! I’ll really need to check this series out before the show comes on air! I just hope it’s not one of the shows that it takes a loooong time to air here in the UK! Are you happy with the casting?

      • Oh, yes, based on looks alone, I think the cast seems amazing! I have no idea how that will translate into actual acting ability, but they’re certainly all very easy on the eyes!

  3. I am a paper book hoarder! I actually need to get a new book case soon; books have taken over my kitchen pantry! I do on occasion buy an e-book and read on my laptop. This has only occurred when I need a book for research and the library is closed. Most of the books I’ve needed have been free to download.

    What are your thoughts on audio books? They’re a must have for me during road trips, but I otherwise can’t listen to them.

    • Another paper book hoarder! Nice! πŸ™‚ I really need to get a new bookcase soon too. I’ve been saying that for months but I literally have no more room left so I’ll need to get it done! I do read a lot of stuff online for work – research articles and things so maybe that’s why I prefer paper books out of work.

      I’ve thought about audio books for when I’m running and I know people who’ve used them for road trips as well but I’ve never tried them. They’re quite expensive here in Scotland too!

  4. I’m definitely a re-reader, I think it started when my parents where trying to get me to use the library more rather than buying the book, so I started constantly taking out the same books until it was a agreed I should probably just buy them and give other people a chance to read the library books. I used to be bad at reading more than one book, at first it would be when I hit a low point in a story so I’d start another, soon it was three books at a time, then it was five… it got really hard to keep story lines and characters straight for example, Harry potter and Frodo where separated from Dumbledore’s army and set off to the Emerald city alone. It did get interesting though πŸ˜‰

  5. As a writer, I have found that more bloggers want to read actual hardcopies when I contact them, though that may be changing. As a reader, I prefer to have the option, especially when traveling as a couple of books can add serious weight to my luggage. In terms of re-reading, I find it hard to do. I’ve had fond memories of books read as a child that were kind of ruined when I picked them up again to read as an adult (Charlotte’s Web, The Giving Tree, Catcher in the Rye to name just a few).

  6. I love my Kindle, but I do like paperback books more. Even though, I must admit that I’d be lost without my Kindle – it’s portable and easy to take anywhere. You never know where you might end up πŸ˜‰

    Talking about re-reads, I’m due for a couple re-reads in 2014 πŸ˜€

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