The reading life (a meme)

This reading meme comes via Dewey at the hidden side of a leaf (open invitation, no tags – I’ll do the same. Join in on your own blog if you want to.)

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? I don’t really remember learning to read, but I know that I was reading by myself before I started kindergarten, so I assume I was somewhere between four and five years old at the time. I remember bringing in one of my own books to read aloud to my kindergarten class, and I was the only one in the class who was capable of that. I also remember that once I could read on my own, I really didn’t enjoy having anyone else read to me any more.

2. What do you find most challenging to read? These days, anything where the print is too small! (I’m serious.) However, I think this question is in reference to content, and in that case, it’s anything highly technical, strangely structured, or without a good narrative flow.

3. What are your library habits? I’m mildly embarrassed to admit that for quite some time, they’ve been nonexistent. I’m a book buyer rather than a library borrower – my schedule has brought me to prefer reading books on my own timetable, and I like to have them right there at hand when the mood strikes. (However, I did just donate two bags full of used books to the Friends of the Library bookstore, where my dad volunteers two mornings a week – does that count?)

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger? Yes, I actually used to go to the library, especially during my school and college years. Since then, I’ve obtained a library card in almost every place I’ve lived, but haven’t really used one for at least five years.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life? I think I’m reading fewer books, and not reading them as quickly, due to the time I spend writing on my own blog and reading (and commenting on) other blogs! However, I consider that time well spent. I’ve also found that I’m reading books a bit more attentively and critically, since I know I’ll be writing about them.

6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other? I don’t really have a handle on the numbers, but I’m not very big on used bookstores (I find them very tiring), so nearly all my books come from new bookstores or online booksellers – and occasionally from Target. Any used books I acquire are usually passed along to me by someone I know personally, who has already read them.

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about books? Occasionally, but I really can’t think of an example since I got serious about the book blogging, which I started to help myself remember what I’d read in the first place. Last year, before my blog, I read several books related to wedding planning because I needed the information, and I don’t think I would have blogged about them; I’m not sure I’d blog about my occasional forays into reading self-help books, but I’ll decide that for certain the next time I read one.

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? Books left open face-down on the table drive me crazy (and yet I occasionally do it anyway).

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? I always have a book with me, and I used to be a regular lunch-hour reader – but these days I tend to spend that time at my desk, catching up on blog-reading and -writing instead.

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them? I tend to give certain people – mostly women – bookstore gift cards more often than actual books, unless I want them to have a copy of a book I’ve already read myself and think they’d like. My father is easy to buy books for – he’ll read nearly anything, but is particularly interested in sports and history. Humor and funny fiction are good genres for both my husband and my son. But unless I know a person’s tastes quite well, I’ll take the cautious way and buy them books they choose for themselves.

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  • Book store gift cards are the perfect gifts!

    I wonder if it’s the relative disorganization that bothers you about used bookstores? I know that the aisles are usually narrower and the sections are usually mazelike at the used bookstores I visit. But I love them anyway!

  • Some of your answers are very true for me too; The library, the amount of time reading and gift giving, just to name a few. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dewey – I think that’s exactly it. It’s just hard for me to find anything in a used bookstore, if I’m looking for something specific, and if I’m not, I’d rather browse tables than shelves.

    Literary Feline – I hope you’ll be doing this meme, so I can see the rest of your answers! ๐Ÿ™‚