Reading Habits…


I couldn’t resist Lady Lizelle’s invitation to the Reading Habits tag (thank you, Lizelle!).

I’m a voracious reader and there’s pretty much nothing else in the entire world I like to talk about as much as I like to talk about books or reading or characters I’ve loved from books I’ve read or…well….you get it…

The tag questions:

Do you have a certain place at home to read?

I pretty much read anywhere and everywhere that’s comfortable. Comfortable means that I won’t be needing to get up for a good long while. I love reading in my hammock on our balcony (Saturday afternoons/Sunday mornings) or on the settee (sneaky short reading whilst I’m having a break from work) or in bed (although I’m finding I’m not enjoying this as much recently; I’ve reached that age where my neck doesn’t forgive me for the work it has to do and my eyes are not what they once were, unfortunately). [My Mum will tell you that I ruined my eyes by reading, by torchlight, late in to the night as a child; I blame her, actually, for not letting me just put the big light on! After all I wasn’t ever, as a child, going to stop reading late at night!]

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Oh goodness…definitely random bits of paper. I must have hundreds of proper bookmarks (literally!) but they never seem to find themselves in my books. I think it’s because I actually secretly love it when I pick a book up a few years after reading it and I find some random bit of paper in there and a) the book transports me back to that time and b) the bit of paper somehow makes that time even more vivid (adding extra memories in to the flashback). Love it. [I recently found a love letter from an admirer from some years ago; it was too wonderful to read it again all these years later!]

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or number of pages?

I like to aim for finishing a Chapter but I know that when I do this, I won’t be able to finish just one Chapter so I tend to just stop where I am when I need to stop….in a sort of ‘should have been doing something else ages ago’ type manner….(!)

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Absolutely not. What heresy.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?

Goodness me, of course not. What a silly question (!!) Although, having said this, I’ve recently discovered, after all these years, why tiny white earphones are so popular: they block out all the crap happening around you so if you’re on public transport, you can pop on some classical music and read to your heart’s content without having to read through ‘My boyfriend left me last night’ or ‘What do want for dinner?’ or ‘I can’t believe it!’ (all good story starters, for a budding writer, but not conducive to being able to read as reading should be done: attentively and thoroughly!).

One book at a time or several at once?

Oh goodness, always and forever absolutely more than one book at once. I’m incapable of reading just one book at a time. I’m a schizophrenic reader: I need ‘something’ for each and every reading need as and when that might arise. I have my ‘informative’ books by my bedside, my fiction by the settee, work books on my desk (piled scarily high), my academic books on the bookshelf in the corridor, my ‘just arrived and can’t wait to read’ books under the stereo on the bookshelf in the living room. I think I probably read about six books simultaneously, although usually only one of them (the fiction one) will take up permanent residency in my brain until it’s finished (the others will be a quick ‘in and out’ to gather the information I need).

Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere. I always have a book with me just in case. You never know when you might find yourself with a spare few minutes to fill.

Reading aloud or silently in your head?

Silently. Unless it’s to the littles in which case my ‘out loud’ funny voices would put Monty Python to shame.

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

If it’s non-fiction, or for work, I always skip bits to find the information I need quickly. Fiction books: I never skip ahead no matter how tempting this would be (er-ghhm The Goldfinch).

Do you ever write in books?

Goodness, yes. All the time. I know, I’m the very definition of terrible, but I have to write in my ‘for work’ books, to remember things I want to quote/ponder in the article. For my fiction books (or other non-work/informational books), I write in the margins when something has resonated with me. I kind of like the idea of these notes being a sort of archaeology of my thoughts.

Thanks Lizelle so much. I really enjoyed joining in!

I think I’m supposed to tag other people? [I’m a tag novice]…if so, then I tag:

Julie from Notes on Paper

Sian from From High in the Sky

Alexa from Trimming the Sails

Gabriele from Back on the Floor Again…and…

Heather from Icing on the Cake

[Ladies…feel free to join in or not, as you’re able…I will most definitely not be offended if you don’t join in!]

Helen xxx


14 thoughts on “Reading Habits…

  1. alexa says:

    That’s been a fascinating read :). Yes to reading lots of things at once, though I confess to enjoying a nice cup of tea while I read. But I won’t divulge any more – I’ve clearly got a post to write!


    • iwillbloom says:

      Ooh Alexa, I’m so glad you’ll join in! Can’t wait to read your post! [As you know, I do like a good (and big) cup of tea but it usually goes cold whilst I’m reading so I’ve taken to saving my tea for my ‘relaxation’ moments in the afternoon!!!!]


  2. Ohhhh what a fun post! Thank you for tagging me 🙂 Def. want to do this once blog-tember is over! My favorite! Reading! I also have real bookmarks too but never know where they are and always use little scraps of paper. I love that you have all your different genres all over you house. Mine are just in stacks, with the humorous ones next to the personal growth ones next to the psychology ones. 😉 Someday when we move into a two bedroom, I have plans for all our books in the second room! heheheh 🙂


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Heather, I’ll look forward to seeing your post!!!!! [I’m exactly the same with bookmarks!]…ooh, a full-room library: the stuff dreams are made of!!!!!


  3. Was so fun reading this post, Helen. I was nodding along to almost all of your answers, except two: I wish I could read anywhere. I’m quite easily distracted if I’m not in a still environment and get motion sick on transportation if I attempt to read anything (can barely read a text), so I’m fully a bed- and nighttime reader. Also I absolutely can’t read more than one book at a time or I’ll mix up what I’ve read and get confused; I mainly read fiction so I guess it could be due to that. Great tag and great answers. 🙂


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Kie…glad you liked the post….it was one of those that I really enjoyed writing….(I do sometimes suffer from dizziness if I read on transportation so I hear you…)…..I would love to read your responses but didn’t tag you as I feel I bombard you with ‘things’: the quotes etc…..hoping you’re well, Helen xx


  4. Barbara says:

    Hi there!! Good to read all of your reading habits!! Sounds a bit like me on some of these questions; and others, I’m a bit different…but all in all, I also love to read!! Enjoyed this!


  5. Julie K says:

    Ah, *the* yellow teapot! I’m with you on lots of those points, bookmark/ several books on the go. I’ll make a note to try to get around to joining in [you know I suffer from – I think you politely called it ‘meticulousness’ – I call it an inability to be brief … in my blog posts … so I’ll see what I can do!] 🙂


  6. Sian says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, especially as I found myself nodding to so much of it. The only time I can remember my Mum being really cross when I was little was when she discovered me reading under the covers, with my torch. More than once. And about three months later I did indeed discover that I needed glasses. And, yes, I have reached that age where reading in bed isn’t the automatic pleasure it used to be. Now I have to make sure the light is in the right place..

    Yes, I’ll be thinking about these questions. I haven’t done something like this in ages.


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Sian…so glad you enjoyed reading it. Oh yes, cross Mums: pretty much guaranteed if you were caught reading when lights had been put out! So glad I’m not the only one who’s finding reading in bed nowhere near as pleasurable as it used to be. I was watching ‘The Bucket List’ with Jack Nicholson the other week and when he’s in the hospital he uses some nifty glasses that allow you to see at different angles when you’re laid in bed. I was wondering if that might be a solution (which then led me to wonder if I could DIY some…!)… glad you’re thinking about joining in! I can’t wait to see your responses! [Did you see the fab ‘Humans of NY’ post about libraries? [I did try to ‘patch you in’ on IG….but, as you know, I am most definitely not a technical wizard….!]


  7. Julie Kirk says:

    Here’s my responses [I had *plenty* of bookish photos to illustrate the post … unsurprisingly!]


    • iwillbloom says:

      Ooh yum, can’t wait to read it…but do I jump over now and rush through it or wait and savour it with a cup of tea and some choccie later tonight????….H xxxx


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