TAG: How I Read

I saw this over on Zezee with Books, and honestly, I think I get most of my tags there, so thank you! The questions for this one are going to severely call me out in several different ways, and I am hyped for it. Let’s get controversial up in here!

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

It depends! During the work week, if I have spare time to read, I just do it at my dining room table with my laptop open in front of me. I’m still working remotely, and so I keep an eye on email during slow moments while I read. On the weekends, I’m almost always on the chaise part of our sectional couch. One of my cats likes to nap between my legs, so I can sit with my legs all the way out and just rest my book on top of her while I read. (Sim, I know, she’s the freaking best.) At night, I read in bed. I usually start out sitting up, but the later it gets, the more I slouch, and I’ve found one of my favorite reading positions is leaning back against my pillows with my head supported on top and book balanced on my thighs.

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

I generally have to read at least fifty pages a day, and I always have to stop at the end of a chapter. I’ll 100% forget everything that came previously in the chapter if I stop in the middle of it, so I’ll do everything possible to make sure I can get to the end before moving onto something else.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

lolllllll here’s the first call out

I dog-ear my pages. Honestly, I think I’ve talked about this before, and I really don’t care if you think I’m a monster for it. They’re my books, and I misplace things so often that using a bookmark sounds annoying, so every single one of my books has been dog-eared at some point. It’s kind of fun, actually, when I go to reread and I can see exactly where I’ve stopped before.

Multi-tasking: music or TV while reading?

Usually music. I can listen to music with lyrics or without, though, sometimes, if the book has been adapted into a movie/show, I’ll specifically listen to that soundtrack while reading. I find it difficult to read without music during the day since everyone’s awake, and there’s usually a lot of noise going on in my house, but I almost always just read in silence at night. I absolutely cannot read while watching TV. Even with headphones on, I get distracted by the TV if it’s on.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Sometimes! I read my book during lunch at work for a little over a decade, but I’m finally in a company where I really enjoy my coworkers, so I spend lunch with them. I miss the ritual of eating in quiet and reading, but, at home, I haven’t gone back to it. I usually eat with my mom or watch Good Mythical Morning. I love to have a cup of tea while I read, though, so I’ll drink at least one or two extra cups on the weekend while I’m reading.

Reading at home or everywhere?

Due to the pandemic, the only places I read now are at home or the beach, but, before, I would read pretty much anywhere. My favorite spots at home are my couch, our outdoor pergola, and my bed. I usually bring two or three books to the beach, which is always way too much, but ya girl needs to have options just in case. Pre-COVID, my favorite spots to read were Life Alive in Salem, which is a vegan/vegetarian cafe that has the most incredible aesthetic ever, and Jaho in Salem, which is where most of my sister witches trilogy was written (they have an incredible chai + apple cider drink that I’m hyped is about to come back). I always have a book with me, though, so I’m always prepared to read.

One book at a time or several at once?

Usually several at once. I like to switch between genres & age groups, so I’ll usually read a fantasy at the same time as a contemporary, and, if I’m feeling it, sneak in a nonfiction, too. I like switching between because it keeps things interesting, and I’ve never entered a slump because of it.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently, oh my gosh, one of my biggest pet peeves is reading out loud. I don’t like to be read to at all, so I don’t listen to audiobooks, either. It’s not even just that I get distracted easily, I have to actively work to focus, and it just aggravates me pretty quickly. Thus, if you’re trying to read something to me out loud, I’ve definitely stopped paying attention after the first sentence.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I don’t know how people do this. Sometimes, when I’m excited, my eyes will immediately skip down, and I’ve been known to cover the page with my hand so I don’t accidentally do that. I also read with a mechanical pencil that’s closed to follow the line I’m on so I don’t skip ahead. I like to know how long the book is, too, in exact page numbers, and I’ve become an expert at looking at the page number while I’m flipping so I don’t even kind of see the last lines.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Y’all are gonna hurl stones at me for this one. If it’s hardcover, obviously, I’m very gentle with it. But if it’s paperback, all bets are off. If it’s a mass market paperback, I’m usually liable to fold it in half and not in the normal closing a book way. If it’s a thinner paperback, I’ll still fold whatever I’ve already read around back. So, uh, honestly? With paperbacks, I sometimes break it before I even start reading. I KNOW, this is actually horrible, I am a monster, but again, they’re my books, so who really cares what I’m doing?

Do you write in your books?

It depends on what the book is. If it’s poetry, yes, always. I highlight, write in the margins, and sometimes dog-ear both the top and bottom if I want to mark it as a regular favorite and a holy hell favorite. My poetry books are a mess. If it’s a memoir, I might highlight sometimes if there’s a specific line I really want to remember, but I don’t write. Anything outside of those, I won’t write or highlight at all. Although, I would love to write a complete dissertation through my LOTR paperbacks, and I just might.

15 responses to “TAG: How I Read”

  1. Chelsea D.G. Bartlett Avatar

    I am EXACTLY the same about pages! I can’t even fathom skipping pages or reading ahead, and I will also put my hand up in front a page to keep my eyes from skipping down when I’m excited. And I also always need to know how many pages are in the book! So I’ll check before I start reading, and I’ve gotten good at doing so without spoiling myself for the ending. (Weird fact: my fiance doesn’t read much, but when he used to read more, he would always look at the ending first to make sure he still wanted to read the book??? What even is this?????)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! I almost accidentally saw something because I was looking at how many pages I had left last night, and I was horrified with myself.

      MY BEST FRIEND DOES THAT! We’ll be watching a movie, and she’ll literally look up the ending on Wikipedia while we’re still watching. It drives me crazy! What kind of masochism!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chelsea D.G. Bartlett Avatar

        That is so bizarre to me! I definitely do rewatch things, or reread them, even when I know the ending, and I do find that it lessens my anxiety if I already know the ending, but like…I would never spoil myself on a first read or first watch! That would suck so much of the initial joy out of it for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Zezee Avatar

    Gah!! Dog ears and broken spines!! 😥 Lol! j/k Your books; do you. (But I’m crying inside lol)

    Lol at covering the page to avoid skipping down.

    Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I am The Worst, I’ll always skip ahead on accident and spoil everything! It’s like a kid in a candy shop, gotta keep a tight leash on what I’m allowed to see on a page, haha.


  3. waytoofantasy Avatar

    I will admit that I dogear my mass market paperbacks haha whoops! I haven’t ever thought out writing in my books–what I’ve done is gotten those little colored sticky tabs from the office store and I’ll place them around passages I like to come back to. (It also gives me a good excuse to go to the office store and look at office supplies lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Huzzah, I’ve found another person! It’s just so much easier than remembering a bookmark.

      That’s a good way to do it! I should probably do that because I’m forever trying to find a quote using nothing but my memory, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. waytoofantasy Avatar

        It helps that the tabs stick out as well so the pages with the passages are easy to find. I started it when I was doing a readalong and needed to mark things to come back to when I wrote up my notes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. marydrover Avatar

        That makes so much sense!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lais @ The Bookish Skies Avatar

    i am totally guilty of skipping ahead when reading. especially if i am at the end of a chapter or in a page with a lot of dialogues, i’ll just go straight to the last line or only read the dialogues, lmao. it’s a habit i’ve had for quite some time now and it’s been impossible to break. i think the only moment when i read a book ENTIRELY is when i am listening to it on audio, because then i can’t skip a thing, hahah. but i do understand that audiobooks are not for everyone. i’ve always thought it would be so cringey having something read out loud, but because i read in english, i realize this is not as much of a problem. however, reading books out loud in portuguese (my native language) is awful. it makes everything seem kinda overdramatic and weird, hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Oh gosh, I don’t know how you do it! I get so stressed out and mat at myself if I accidentally read ahead, haha. I don’t even like hearing my own things read aloud, so I definitely understanding the thought of it being cringey!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Elaine Howlin Avatar

    I love listening to an adaptations soundtrack while reading! Harry Potter is kind of an obvious one but it’s so nice to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      My favorite is to pair those adaptations to the actual book because it just feels like creating magic in my brain.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. How I Read Tag | Traveling in Books Avatar

    […] saw this tag on Mary’s blog, Mary and the Words and I thought it looked fun, so I’m going to do it. I don’t know where it originally […]


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