November 20, 2020
Let’s Talk About the Reading Life!
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?
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 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?
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?
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?
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?
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 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?
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 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?
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 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?
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”!
What is Your Reading Style?
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.