What is Your Reading Style?


November 20, 2020

Let’s Talk About the Reading Life!

What is your reading style (Image: someone is choosing a book from library shelves)

I’m in the mood to talk about reading today!

Knowing ourselves as readers leads to a more satisfying reading life.
Enjoy this reading video I saw on Facebook.

Are you a Supply or Demand Reader?

a girl pulling a wagonful of books

An episode of What Should I Read Next podcast discussed “supply” and “demand” reading styles. Supply readers love reading but they usually only read when they have great books in front of them (e.g. if a book catches your eye in the checkout line). Demand readers love reading and read everything…..the cereal box if that’s all that’s available. Demand readers deliberately search out and plan their next reads; whereas, supply readers will read when a book title presents itself and they think “Oh, I’ve heard the buzz about this and I think I’ll read it.” Or maybe they have received a book as a gift. Both types of readers love to read. I’m a definite demand reader….I aggressively search out my next book and don’t wait for it to make itself known to me. Are you a supply reader or demand reader?

What is your Reading Personality?

I did a DNA test and I found out I'm 100% bookworm

I took a quiz on the Modern Mrs. Darcey website and found out that I’m a “social” reader. I love to talk about the book I’ve just read, talk about my favorite books, or talk about what you’re reading. Most of the time, my preferred conversation starter is “What book are you reading?” This blog gives me a perfect platform to talk about the books I love.

If you’re curious about your reading personality, take this short quiz.

Are you a Genre Snob?

Don't you love it when a book kidnaps you?

Davida over at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Blog asked her readers this question recently and my immediate response was, “Yes! I think I am!” The more I read, the more I know what I like to read and I’ve grown in my ability to skip genres I don’t enjoy. Does this make me a snob or just a smart reader? I think knowing what you like and don’t like leads to a more satisfactory reading life and if this defines me as a snob I guess I’ll accept the label. However, what I don’t accept is putting down the reading choices of others….so if Genre Snob involves putting you down for your genre choice, I’m not a Genre Snob in this respect.

My favorite genres/categories: literary fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, gentle mysteries, multigenerational and multilayered family drama, books about books or bookshops, (non-celebrity) memoirs and biographies, narrative nonfiction, and Middle Grade. My favorite themes include reconciliation, second chances, a hopeful future, resilience, courage, friendship, forgiveness, and found family.

Do you have Reading Preferences?

A book fort made of sheets and filled with stacks of books

Do you have a favorite reading spot or location? Does your reading involve a favorite drink or snack? Do you need it quiet or do you listen to music? Do you always read at a certain time of the day?

I can read anywhere! Quiet or noisy. TV on or off. At home or sitting in my car in a parking lot. Eating or not eating. If I’m drinking anything, it’s a Diet Dr. Pepper. I slightly prefer reading late at night when I know I won’t be interrupted and I can completely lose myself in the book, but you will find me reading at any time during the day. Perks of retirement! Some readers set aside a certain block of time every day for reading. Others read (listen) during their commute or on their lunch break. Whatever works for you is the only preference that matters.

Do you prefer Print (physical or e-reader) or Audio?

When I've had enough of reality, I just open a book

This is probably the only area in my reading life where I have a STRONG preference! Audio can either enhance your reading experience or detract from it.  Honestly, I have a difficult time with audiobooks and they are not my preferred reading format. My mind tends to wander. My favorite time to listen to audio is when I’m driving or walking. I’m also sensitive to the quality of the performance. I can think of a couple of audiobooks that had cringeworthy performers and I forced myself to finish those books. I usually listen at 1.25. I have found that the trick for audio is to start at normal speed until you get your bearings in the story and then increase the speed. Listening at a faster speed from the very beginning sometimes affects comprehension and your ability to get into the story. It takes me longer to read a book on audio than in print. Audio often puts me to sleep and then I have to backtrack to find my place. With print, I often scan a section or page, but that’s difficult to do on audio. Audio is great for commuters and readers who are washing dishes or folding laundry or exercising!

Are you a Rereader?

once upon a time there was a girl who really loved books. It was me. The end.

Some readers reread their favorite book every year! I’m usually not a rereader because of too many new books on my TBR. When I put a book on my lifetime favorites list, it’s probably one that I wouldn’t mind rereading.

Rereading makes me nervous….what if I don’t like it as much the second time? This happened to me with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I enjoyed the reread but I just didn’t love it in the same way I did the first time. One book I did enjoy rereading was The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman. It’s a novella, so I read it three times in a row one afternoon. During the first read, I was preoccupied with the outcome of the story (the plot) and sort of devoured it. As soon as I finished, I immediately turned to the first page and reread it slowly to focus on Backman’s craftmanship. Then I read it a third time for good measure! I think I’m more tempted to reread because of the author rather than the content of the book. Some authors have more to offer than can be appreciated in one reading. Do you reread?

Are you a DNFer or a Finisher?

I disappear into books. What's your superpower?

I wrote an entire post on the DNF topic here.

I fall into the DNF (did not finish, set it aside) camp and I promise that it gets easier with practice!

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Have you experienced a Reading Slump?

She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. ~Annie Dillard

You might be in a reading slump when you have difficulty finding a book that holds your interest, or you start multiple books without finishing them, or you spin your wheels trying to decide what to read next. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a true reading slump. For me, it would be like not wanting to breathe. If I find myself thinking I might be burning out and sliding toward a slump, I turn to Middle Grade! MG books are usually quick one day reads and have hopeful themes. Other readers report that what helps them in a reading slump is to reread their favorite book or switch genres or read short stories. Have you experienced a slump? Do you have a tip for dealing with a reading slump?

Do you often have Book Hangovers?

I finished my book and I don't know what to do with myself (a cat laying its head on a book)

I think book hangovers can contribute to reading slumps. A book hangover occurs when you can’t stop thinking about the last book you read or it was so good that nothing else compares. Book Hangovers help me determine my five star reads and add to my lifetime favorites list! I love Book Hangovers! Books this year that have given me a book hangover include Hamnet, The Girl With the Louding Voice, and Transcendent Kingdom. I haven’t yet finished The Choice by Edith Eger, but I already know it will give me a book hangover! What is the last book that gave you a book hangover?

Do you have a TBR List or are you a Mood Reader?

a black and white cat sleeps on a tall stack of colorful books

During the early months of the pandemic, I became more of a mood reader than I’ve ever been. Normally, I think I’m BOTH! Each season and each month, I make a list of a few books I’d like to tackle. This gives me some structure, but it also leaves plenty of room for mood reading or FOMO (fear of missing out)! If I don’t complete my TBR (to-be-read list), it’s no big deal. Sometimes I find that I simply don’t want to read the book anyway or I just put it onto the next month’s TBR. The only MUST READS I have are review commitments. I push myself in a timely manner to read those by their pub dates. Otherwise, I need my freedom! I actually like to think of my TBR as a possibilities list or a shopping list! A TBR keeps me from starting from scratch in the search for my next read or from the panic of thinking I have nothing to read! I wrote an entire post on “How I Choose My Next Read” here.

Do you set Reading Goals or Track your reading?

I've invented a new sport. It's called extreme reading and I'm a black belt (image of a man sitting reading with feet soaking on a bucket of water

I set a reasonable yearly reading goal on Goodreads each year. I set it at a reasonable number so that I never feel stressed about it. I can also raise or lower the goal number during the year. I love using Goodreads to track my reading because I can organize my reading by shelves and also write a review (optional) so that I remember and have a record of the book I’ve read. I like being able to pull up my Goodreads app when I’m with friends (to add a book rec) or while shopping. Check out my Goodreads shelves here and let’s be friends! I wrote a post about using Goodreads here. In addition to Goodreads, I also keep an Excel Spreadsheet 1) as a backup, 2) to track additional data, and 3) because I’m a nerd!

FAQ: How do readers read so much?

I spent my life folded between the pages of books (words surrounded with a border of flowers)

This is a question I often see asked and these are the most common responses: 1) schedule a time in your day to read, 2) people make time for the things they really want to do, and 3) take advantage of every minute! One of the reasons I enjoy reading on the Kindle is that I have the Kindle app on my phone and carry my entire library with me in my back pocket! In a pre-Covid time, if I were in a long line at the grocery store or Target, I would pull out my phone and read! Waiting rooms? Perfect for reading! Traffic? An audiobook to the rescue! Bath time for littles (who need a bit of supervision) equals reading time! Ditto for park excursions! Washing dishes or other household or yard chores are perfect opportunities for audiobooks! When my children were in middle school and old enough to go on rides by themselves at Disneyland, where was I? On a bench reading of course (along with a check-in time!). Taking advantage of all the little minutes adds up to significant reading time throughout the year. What tips do you have for making time to read?

Thank you to ShelleyRae @ Book’d Out for reminding me that one can always opt to do “less housework”!

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

What is Your Reading Style?

a woman lies reading on a tropical beach

Know you know all about my reading life! Have you determined your reading style? Do we share any preferences?


I’d love to hear about your reading life!

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Let’s Get Social!

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com


  1. Great post Carol, we are definitely “book twins” in our genre reading preferences. I’ve got a folder of saved posts of yours and others that I go back to from time to time and this post is going in that same folder. I’ve enjoyed your posts over the last year or so that I‘ve been following you. I’ve discovered new books based on your reviews and your Goodreads post awhile back was fantastic. I learned new things about GR that have added value to my endless supply of books to read.

      • Yes, but work has been so crazy and my busy season will start again at the first of the year. Since I still have 4 1/2 years before I can retire, I think my goal for 2021 will be starting to use Bookstagram to dip my toes in the water a little bit. I follow dozens of bookstagramers and I’ve recently started commenting on posts. Now I need to venture out into taking pictures. Maybe I can work on that on my time off over the holidays and begin posting in 2021.

      • I think you’re smart to have your socials set up before blogging! I created the blog first and ended up playing catch up for a year after! This pandemic must be extra crazy at work for you. We didn’t file until October!

  2. Soooo, I am a demand reader and according to Mr. Darcy I am an explorer. I totally agree with what you said about audiobooks. If I am doing something else when listening to them, it has to be something mundane so I don’t miss things in the story, and yes a narrator can make or break a book. I am getting better at DNFing books. For years I would finish thinking it would get better and if I have already invested so much time, etc. Now, I will stop and pickup something else. Too many books to read one I don’t enjoy. I have a TBR, but I am a mood reader as well. When my kids were young and I was a busy working wife and mother, I would read before the kids got up and after they went to bed. My husband would be watching some sporting event on TV and I would be curled up beside him or across the room reading. Now, I just read wherever and whenever I want, pretty much all the time. I live alone, so my time is my own. This is a great post Carol. Lots to think about.

    • Thanks Carla! I enjoyed your comments! That Darcy quiz was fun! I have discovered the hard way that books I’m not enjoying rarely get better! Isn’t retirement great for the reading life?!

  3. 1. I’m most definitely a demand reader, always ready to read the next book in the queue I created😏
    2. I’m an eclectic reader, open to just about every genre so no way am I a snob about categories.
    3. I can read or listen to a book anywhere though I do have a favorite chair.
    4. I love eBooks and audiobooks equally, those these days I seem to be listening more than reading.
    5. Rarely re-read. Too many shiny new things out here.
    6. I don’t really have slumps, just a need to change things up so I pay attention to my moods.
    7. Book hangovers? Oh, do I! And they last weeks.
    8. I love lists and can’t live without them but I create a mix that will allow me to indulge my moods.
    9. I create reasonable goals and track them on Goodreads. I measure them monthly. I was an accountant so this feels normal😏
    10. Before digital, I could only read about 15 – 20 books a year. Once I got an eReader, I was able to indulge my passion. It also happened around the time I retired so the convergence of the two allowed me to increase my yearly reading to ten times that of my past.

    • Thanks for answering all the questions Jonetta!!! 🙌 It was so fun to read through your answers! I have noticed that you are an eclectic reader and you listen to lots and lots of audio! Isn’t retirement great for the reading life?! I didn’t know you were an accountant! I love tracking data, too, but not accounting! And a book hangover is the best!!! 😍

  4. I do ignore hype (because I don’t love a lot of common trends) but seek out books that sound interesting! Love reading these kinds of posts to zee what others enjoy!

    • I confess I’m a frequent victim of FOMO! But I’m a bit wary of hype, too! I also love reading about and thinking about reading! 🙌😍

  5. This is fun. I am going to come back here and analyze myself a little more! I am definitely a supply reader, but I do search out my books. My favorite genres are mysteries and psychological thrillers. I am open to other types of books if they are of interest (i.e. biographies of someone I like). I am not a re-reader. I think partly because I read so many mysteries and already know who did it. Audio and paper books all the way! I have tried e-books on many occasions and it is just not for me.

  6. 1. Definitely a demand reader.

    2. An escapist.

    3. Haha! I need my eyes testing. I thought that said ‘Book Fart’! No, I can read anywhere.

    4. I always have one of each on the go.

    5. No, I will try anything if the plot sounds interesting.

    6. Not generally. But I have a select few books that I like to pick up and reread every couple of years.

    7. I hate to dnf a book, but it is something I am getting better at.

    8. Yes.

    9. Both.

    10. Yes, I set a goal on Goodreads.com each year, and I figure out what I want/need to get read each week. But I like to leave room for impulse reads as well.

    11. I read any and everywhere. I always have a book in some form with me. I also don’t sleep well, so read a lot in the early hours of the morning.

    Thanks Carol, that was fun!

  7. Well, let’s see…
    1. I’m pretty much a demand reader. I keep a list of books as I acquire them and more or less read them in that order unless review requests supercede the list.
    2. I read a wide range of genres, though avoid horror or anything that deals with animal or child abuse. Predominantly fiction. Though I do enjoy memoirs of women and books on art or crafts such as knitting, crochet and such.
    3. I can read anywhere but my favorite is to adjust my Sleep Number bed and read there.
    4. I love ebooks and also listen to a few audio books.
    5. I occasionally reread things, usually by accident!

    • Thanks for joining the discussion Judie! It’s fun to talk about the reading life! I think I’ve reread at least one book by accident, too!

  8. Oops!
    2. I’m an escapist according to the quiz.
    Now, for where I hit the arrow…
    6. I don’t really think I have slumps. I change from genre to genre and take some time with art or crafts mixed in with audio books so that it mixes things up enough.
    7. Book hangovers follow only the best of books and tease my mind for some time after finishing a book. The best ones still linger and will still tingle in your mind at the mention of the title years later.
    8. Lists are made to be edited.
    9. I set my annual goal in GoodReads each year and make sure I am keeping up number-wise. But I don’t have a titles list other than my acquisitions and review requests. 2020 has been an anomaly with my goal of 150. I am currently at 294! COVID-19 has much to answer for. But I am also retired.
    10. I keep up with brief reviews on GoodReads, but I’m afraid my WP blog has somewhat lagged lately due to some health issues.
    Judi at a thoughtful reveal

    • That’s so true about book hangovers! They can last for years! That’s how I know a book belongs on my lifetime favs list! 294 is an amazing achievement! I’m currently at 117. Escapist sounds like a fun category of reader!

  9. That’s quite the list of questions..I’m definitely a demand reader. I’m never without something to read.
    According to the quiz, I am an Explorer which I think is accurate – The Explorer knows that a reader lives a thousand lives. This type enjoys experiencing a world of possibilities and firmly agrees that reading builds empathy. Explorers are thoughtful about what they read next. They are likely to get their book recommendations from their fellow readers and sometimes fellow travelers, the issues of the day, and their own research.
    I’m not a genre snob, there are very few genres I’m not interested in, and I don’t care what other people like or dislike. Having said that, I’m a little suspicious of those who believe that only classic or literary novels are worthy of being read.
    Like you I can read anywhere, anytime, (except in the car because I get car sick) and have 🙂
    Audio books don’t work for me, I don’t really have a preference between ebook and print, except where one is more convenient than the other.
    I don’t reread, I don’t feel the need, plus too many books, not enough time!
    I’m a finisher except in very rare occasions. I think I’ve DNF’d one book in the last five years.
    When I was ill I physically couldn’t read, and it took a lot longer than I liked to recover from that period, honestly I’m still not capable of reading like I was once which I find frustrating.
    I’m not sure I’ve experienced a book hangover as such, but I need a day or two after I’ve read a book before I can write a review to consolidate my thoughts.
    I always have a totally unrealistic TBR, and a schedule.
    I set a goal, which I like to strive for, but it’s a goal, not a mandate.
    I would rather read than do just about anything else – my tip is, do less housework 😉

  10. this is such an interesting post!!
    1. Ok so I’m definitely a demand reader (I know by heart the cereal box now…)
    2. According to that fun quiz, I’m an escapist! (meaning I read because I enjoy it and helps me relax, which is really true).
    3. I don’t think I’m a Genre Snob, because like you, I know what I like and what I don’t like, but if it means putting down other’s preferences… I mean, everyone can read what they like!!
    4. I have reading preferences! I need music to read, and I prefer to read in a cozy place, like my sofa or bed, but I also like to read in public places, like the bus or a coffee shop. I usually get so deep into the book I forgot about the world around me!
    5. Oh, I’m definitely a print reader… I tried audiobooks once, but this is really not for me. I needed to keep my hands occupied when I listened to the audiobook, but as soon as I got occupied, I lost track of what I was listening to… So yeah, no, audiobooks are not for me.
    6. I rarely re-read my books… I did it already, once or twice, and I loved the feeling of going back to a favorite story, but also I want to read sooo many books that I’ll feel guilty if I spend time reading something old instead of reading a new book…
    7. I rarely finish a book, because like I said above, I know what I like and what I don’t like, so it’s easier for me to pick up a book I know I’ll finish. But it happened! I used to be incapable of DNFing a book, but with time, it gets easier, and it gives me more time to read something I’ll like!
    8. I experienced reading slump, especially during my first years of college — I had mandatory reads, but I usually hate when I’m forced to read a book, so I wasn’t reading them, and then I stopped myself from reading any other kind of book because I had to read books for classes and they were more important, so I had to read them first, but I didn’t read them… I mean it was an endless circle. I finally found a healthy balance during my first year where I alternated between mandatory read and personal choices! But I still experience reading slumps from time to time, especially after a really good book!
    9. Yeah, that was just what I was talking about! I got book hangover sometimes after a really good book, wondering what I’ll do with my life now…
    10. It depends on the moment… Sometimes I like to know where I am going, but sometimes I need a more flexible schedule and be able to pick up a book that calls to me in the moment.
    11. Yes I do! I track how much time I spend reading a day, and like you, I keep records of what I read on Goodreads (I have such little memory I usually need to open Goodreads whenever I’m asked to recommend a book, or just to remember what I read lately…)
    12.I think I read this much because… I like it? It’s one of my hobbies, and yeah, like you said, people make time for the things they like.

    Wow that was a long comment! But your post was so interesting, I learned a lot about myself by reflecting like that on my reading style. Thank you!!

    • Oh thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I enjoyed reading all your thoughts and discovering how much we have in common! It’s fun to reflect on the reading life!

  11. Well Carol, I am definitely a ‘Demand’ reader.
    I don’t think I’m a genre snob even though there are some genres I NEVER read. I don’t think less of the people who like the genres that I do not. After all there is a reader for every book and a book for every reader. Just because I don’t read science fiction, erotic fiction, and very little fantasy doesn’t mean that I’m snobbish towards those who do.
    I read both indoors and out but prefer quiet whenever possible.
    I read almost exclusively on my Kindle Paperwhite eReader.
    Do I reread? I’d like to, but find that review commitments get in the way of reading a book for the second time.
    I seldom if ever DNF. The closest I’ve come to DNF is to skim a major portion of the book.
    Yes, I’ve experienced reading slumps in the past. Mostly when my personal life is taking up most of my thoughts and worries.
    Yes, I’ve had book hangovers. (Especially when I read a book by Fredrik Backman).
    I have a MASSIVE TBR!
    I DO set reading goals and participate in reading challenges.
    I DO track my reading (both on Goodreads and on my own Excel spreadsheet).

    • Thanks for playing along Lynne! Whenever I DNF now I’ll be thinking “Lynne would NOT do this!” 😂😂😂 I’m happy to hear we’re both Backman fan girls!

  12. I absolutely adore this post and found myself agreeing with so many things. With your permission (and credit given to your blog along with a link to this post) I would love to borrow your questions to do a post on my own blog. Please do feel free to say “no” to that request, and thank you for such a thought provoking and informative post.

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