Saturday, September 15, 2007

Confessions of An Obsessive Reader, Or A Weekend Survey

I have been thinking of writing a blog entry called "Confessions of An Obsessive Reader" detailing all my "reading rules." Sometimes I think I am just an OCD-infected freak, but I thought maybe, just maybe, some of you are, too. So, when I saw this survey over at Becky's Book Reviews, I thought I would steal it, fill it in with all my secrets and hope that other obsessive readers will find it and make nice, comforting comments to convince me that I'm not operating too far south of normal! So, here goes...

What book are you currently reading? Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Since all of my reading for the R.I.P. II Challenge has been more fantastical than scary, I thought I needed something more Halloween-ish. This book, written by Stephen King's son, fits the bill perfectly.

How do you decide what book to read next? Since I've also become an obsessive book buyer, I have tons of choices on my bookshelf. I also make frequent trips to the library. Okay, here's a peek into my OCD - I keep a list (alphabetized by author) on my computer of all the books I want to read. When I hear about a good book, I add it. Then, before I go to the library or the bookstore, I peruse the list for interesting titles. Despite this, my list never seems to get any shorter; at least, I'll never run out of things to read!

Do you always finish books, or do you give up on them? If you give up on them, how many pages does it usually take? I don't give up on books often, but sometimes I do. I have WAY too many books in my TBR pile to waste time on those I don't like. It usually takes me a couple of chapters to decide.

Do you ever re-read books you love? If so, how often? Give examples, if possible. I rarely re-read books, even if I adore them. I also can't stand watching reruns on tv. Like I said, I'm weird.

Can you read books in noisy places (e.g. trains, buses, crowded rooms)? I can't read while I'm in the car because I get really carsick. Planes are a different story - usually I can read in the air without any problem. When I read - especially if the book is really good - I tune everything else out, so I can read with the t.v. on, my kids screaming, tornadoes raging outside, etc. I prefer to read in silence, but I take what I can get.

Where do you acquire most of your books? If you are a library user or borrower, how many books do you borrow at once? If a buyer, how many books do you usually buy at once? I get books any way I can. Lately, I have been buying more because I can't seem to get my library books back on time. But, when I do go to the library, I usually get at least 4 books, sometimes more. Yesterday, I checked out 12, but most of them were YA novels. Likewise, when I buy books, I can't purchase just one. I'm a huge sucker for Borders' 3 for 2 table. I try to shop wisely, taking advantage of coupons and free shipping (when I buy online). New books just make me happy. What can I say?

Do you use bookmarks, or dog-ear the pages of your books? Do you make marginal notes? If so, do you use pencil or pen? Dog-ear pages?? Gasp! No, I would never do that. I use bookmarks - pretty ones if I have them, scraps of paper otherwise. I don't make marginal notes ever. I had an English teacher in high school who wrote copious notes in books she owned. Her spidery handwriting filled every blank space on the page. I thought this was very intellectual of her, but I don't read that way. Also, I find it hugely irritating to read a book that's filled with someone else's notes.

Do you have any unusual tendencies while you read? Did I mention my OCD? I have to read books in a series in order. I absolutely will not start in the middle. Also, I have a hard time with non-fiction. My husband has several books he's been urging me to read for years, but I've put them off because they're not fiction. In addition, I've discovered that I'm not big on reading the classics. I wish I was, but I find a lot of them incredibly boring. Of course, there are exceptions - Little Women, Gone With the Wind (more of a modern classic), Anne of Green Gables, poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, etc. and there are lots of classics I haven't read, but, in general, I'm not big on the classics. I know - you're stunned! Reading is also an addiction of mine (almost as bad as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups one) - I get so swept up in exciting plots that I forget about everything else. My husband and kids often have to pull me back up to the surface.

Do you read through pages at top speed, or do you stop to savor the sentences along the way? It depends on what I'm reading. If the writer uses language masterfully, I will pause to savor sentences here and there before I continue at top speed. In general, I read very quickly.

We know most of us can read just about anywhere, but specifically where and when do you do your best reading? Let's see, I love reading outside in serene places, but that doesn't happen a lot. So, I'd have to say my favorite reading spot is in my room. I have an adjustable bed that lets me achieve the perfect reading position (head elevated, feet elevated,). Then, I turn on a lamp so I have nice, soft light. A glass of ice water completes my perfect reading environment. Ahh...

Okay, there you have it. Remember your part in this? Nice, understanding comments that let me know I'm not too obsessive and weird! I'd love to hear other book lovers' answers to these questions as well - so feel free to steal - I mean, borrow - the survey I stole - I mean, borrowed, from Becky.

6 comments:

  1. As far as OCD...my reading list is in an Excel file. The author names are colour-coded by gender (violet for girls, hunter green for guys, and brown for both). The titles are colour-coded by fic (Tiffany's blue) and non-fic (orange). There's a TBR column that's yellow, a TBA (to-be-acquired) column that's pink, and the 'Read' column is navy blue. Then there're several other columns! Get the idea? If not, I posted a picture of it in this post. You can click on it and it'll get nice and big. :)

    That should make you feel better! I like this meme...I'll try to do it later today. :) And, I didn't know I was on your blogroll! I'll add you to mine as well!

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  2. "not big on reading the classics"??? Have you so quickly forgotten when this OCD/hobby paid you money - http://www.suite101.com/search.cfm?q=susan+jensen

    I'm glad you enjoy all those books - I'll get the hammock set up outside again for when it gets cooler so you can enjoy the outside reading you mentioned! Love you - your DH

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  3. You're very similar to me with most of your answers except that I do read some non-fiction, mainly travel books. I'll do this meme myself over the next couple of days. Great fun. :-)

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  4. Eva - LOVE the spreadsheet. Wow. That's what my little list aspires to be :)

    Eric - Those articles were a lot of work. I kept wishing that I had chosen "Popular Fiction" as a topic instead.

    Cath - I actually do like non-fiction, fiction just always seems to be my priority. I don't know why.

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  5. Oh, I don't think you're operating in any weird reader warp zone at all. Reading is so individual, yes? Then clearly you are just as normal a reader as anyone else, provided that readers are normal. Sometimes I wonder if readers can really be "normal" in the standard sense, because we visit so many worlds and have them constantly floating around in our heads like millions of multiple realities.

    Congratulations, I have just filled your comments with creepy thoughts about other realities.

    I think I share your OCD, though, and maybe am a bit worse, myself. I like having lists of things to choose from. It makes the process of moving from book to book easier when there's a lot of options, doesn't it? That's how it is for me.

    I will now borrow this survey!

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  6. Anytime a new book enters my house, it gets entered into my TBR list (an Excel document) that is divided into book types and alphabetized. I also have a wish list which is of all the books I want to read but do not own.

    You are not alone. :-)

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