I saw this post over at Book Riot a while back and it got me thinking. Then last evening, I was trying to read a book quickly because it was due back to the library and after paying some late fees last week, I was determined this one wouldn't be late. But while I started it, I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't compelling enough to make me want to finish it. Plus I only had a couple hours til it was due, so I stopped reading. (And yes, I returned it to the library. No late fees this week! Yay! ;)
All of this combined to make me wonder what my reading habits actually are. Because we all have them! Whether consciously or not, I believe we all have a set of guidelines we use to determine whether we want to read a book or not and whether we'll finish it once started.
I mean really now. If you stop and think about it, doesn't this make so much sense? I thought so too. Therefore, here is a list of reading habits/rules/guidelines/etc that I use. But please remember that these are what I use at this point in time. If I'd written this post ten years ago, I bet my list would be a bit different. So these are my current guidelines and rules!
1. There has to be a love story involved.
Yes, I am quite aware that this one will make me seem kind of shallow. But it's the truth! I enjoy a story so much more when it has a love story attached to it. Now granted, it doesn't have to be the main storyline (although I like those too), because I do enjoy quiet love stories in the background of the main plot. Just so long as the love story is there in any capacity, I'll be satisfied. Probably. ;)
2. There has to be a happy ending!
I like my happy endings, okay? I want to end the story on a high note. I want the guy to get the girl. I want the family to be happy and healthy. I want all the things that I can't guarantee in real life! Real life is hard. Real life can stink some days. Fictional life can be anything I want. And I want my happy ending!
3. If a story isn't working for me, it's okay to stop reading. No matter how little or how much I've read.
You know, I've read several places where people say that this particular rule used to be a big no-no to them. A lot of them have since changed their minds, but they used to feel that if you started a book, you had to finish it. I say not so! In fact, I've always felt this way. If I'm not enjoying the story, what is the point of my reading it? I read because I like to, not because I have to! You may then argue, but what if it gets better farther into the story? Then you'll be sorry you didn't finish it! Well, that's kind of a silly argument because if you don't finish it, you won't know how the rest of the story goes, and therefore you won't be sorry. That's my theory anyway. And besides, there's nothing saying that I can't pick the story up at a later date and then it just might be the perfect thing I want to read. Some books you have to be in the mood for, you know.
4. If a story is awesome, it's always worth re-reading someday. Or even re-reading as soon as I finish it!
I love to re-read! That's part of the beauty of reading great stories. They are just as lovely no matter how many times you've read them. I try to only buy books that I want to re-read. Occasionally I have to go through my shelves and weed out ones I haven't read for ages and don't think I will again. But for the most part, my shelves are full of books that I've loved and aim to read and re-read and re-read until I'm old and gray. :)
5. If you feel the desire to write in a book, if your words need to be beside the quote that gave the thoughts in the first place, then by all means write in the book. So long as it's your book! And for goodness sake, don't give the book away to be sold again. If you're going to write in it, you should keep it. Because I don't much like getting a used copy with writing all over it.
Okay, so that one's long. Sorry. But I do think it's self-explanatory.
6. I like spoilers.
I am going to admit to something that most of you will probably be absolutely horrified over. I'm sorry. But you'll just have to deal. I read the end of the book first a lot of times. Not every single time. But most of the time! I like to know what's going to happen. Okay yes, there are certain books where it's way better to not know the ending. And I can restrain myself! But unless I've read lots of reviews that warn me not to, I'd just really like to know what's going to happen. It's simply a weird quirk of mine. I hope you still like me. I know most people think it's a terrible thing to do. I'm okay with that. Just as long as you don't think I'm a horrible person. We can agree to disagree, yes?............please say yes. Oh good! So we're still friends then? Yay! :D
7. I dislike dust jackets on hardcovers.
This is mainly because while I'm reading, they slide up and down and bug me. So I usually get fed up and take them off until I'm finished reading. Just a pet peeve.
8. I wish publishers and booksellers would stop putting stickers on covers.
I realize they need to put the price somewhere. But when it's on the front, it detracts from the cover. When it's on the back (of a paperback copy), it covers up the synopsis which really bothers me. If the stickers were easy to remove, I'd have no problems at all. And some are (thankfully!). But most are horrible to remove and if you try, it just leaves a bigger mess than the sticker itself. *sigh*
9. I don't fold or bend the covers.
It leaves them all wonky and then they won't lay flat. I like them to lay flat.
10. There is no rhyme or reason to how I choose which book to read next.
I simply pick one and try it. If it's not working, I put it down and try another. If I have a library book that's due soon, I usually try to read it quickly. Or if I've borrowed one from someone, or I need to get my review done by a certain time. But other than that, it's just which book catches my fancy at the moment!
So there you have it. Ten of my reading habits. Perhaps you agree and perhaps you disagree. Either way, this was fun to think about! What are some of your reading habits? I know you have them. :)
Happy reading, y'all!