This morning I read a blog post on BookRiot all about people’s idiosyncratic rules for reading and what those rules revealed about personality, and of course, I started ruminating about my own personal rules, how they differ from the other book lovers I know, and what, if anything, they say about me. I’m still not sure about that last one, but I did come up with a list…’cause there’s nothing I love more than a good list. So, in no particular order, here are my rules for reading:
1. I always, always, ALWAYS take the book jacket off of hardback books before I start reading. I used to just recycle them (and still do with children’s picture books because they reprint the jacket on the cover), but I’ve started putting them back on all other hardbacks when I’m finished. I started this simply because all my friends at the iSchool gasped in horror every time I mentioned throwing away the jackets; it turns out I actually am susceptible to some forms of peer pressure.
2. I crack the spines on paperbacks. Every. Single. Time. I like to be able to hold the book open with one hand, and it just doesn’t happen unless you break the spine. I know many of you are cringing right now. Don’t worry–I don’t do it to borrowed books, only ones I own.
3. I am a reformed dog-earer, but I cannot stop myself from setting a book face down and open to the page I’m reading. I try to use book marks, and I particularly like those stupid subscription thingies that fall out of magazines, but I’m not very good at it. Again–not something I do to borrowed books…
4. At night, I have to finish the chapter I’m on before I can stop reading. During the day, I just stop wherever.
5. Related to rule #4–I HAVE to read at least a chapter every night before I go to bed, or I can’t get to sleep. I blame my parents, although if you hear them tell the story of my favorite childhood book (Three Friends Find Spring) and the reason I loved it so much (because it’s super long and I could stay up later if I picked it), you might be persuaded otherwise.
6. The only marking I ever put in books is underlining. I’m lucky to have a good visual memory, so I can usually find my way to favorite passages without much aid, and I find writing in the margins distracting when I reread. My obsession with a clean page means that I always buy new or totally clean copies of books assigned for class, and I’m super picky about what I’ll buy from Half-Price.
7. I used to read 2 or 3 books at a time, but since I’ve had kids, I try to stick to just one. I do, however, read A TON of magazines because I’m obsessed with long-form journalism, and I kind of think those have taken the place of the multiple books.
8. I solely read e-galleys now on my Nook, and then only if I can’t get a hold of a physical ARC. Sometimes when I travel, I’ll take it with me so I don’t have to cart a bunch of books around, but let’s be honest, it’s not like I travel all that much. It’s just not the same for me as reading a book…and what do you do if there’s a map at the beginning???????
9. My TBR (“to be read”) pile is so big that it takes up an entire Billy bookshelf from Ikea. I know, I know. I’ve placed a book-buying moratorium on myself for the summer.
10. I hide my romance novels and YA books with bad covers on the bookshelves in my guest bedroom…
11. I put my name in the front and the date I finished the book in the back of all my books.
There they are…and of course, it goes to eleven. Some of these I think are pretty universal, at least for the library crowd, but everyone’s got their quirks, right? What are your rules for reading? Leave them in the comments below!