Reading Habits

Every avid book reader out there has his or her habits (not to say, quirks). I find that some of my reading quirks are changing with the introduction of electronic books, but others only get stronger over the years. Here are some of them:


1. When I start a book I always check how many pages it has. Then I do a quick calculation on which page I would reach 10% or 25% of the book, and that’s how I monitor progress. With the advent of the Kindle, this habit become meaningless. First, there are no “pages” in an electronic book. And second, the Kindle shows you exactly where you are in the book; not only that, it shows you how many minutes are left to the end of the chapter (or book).

2. I used to never read two books at the same time. In recent years, this habit died out. Because I cannot use the Kindle on Shabbat, and because I read only books in English on the Kindle, I now find myself quite often reading two (sometimes three) books simultaneously.

3. I never read a book that’s been translated if I can read it in the language it was written in. I can read in four languages, so unless the book was written in a language that is not one of these four, I will wait until I get my hands on a copy in the original language. No matter how long it takes.

4. I will never, under no circumstances, skip to the end of the chapter or, God forbid, to the end of the book to find out what’s happened. I have heard of quite a few people who do that, and I find it hard to believe those people and I belong to the sameĀ homo sapiens species.

5. Very rarely will I not finish a book. The book must be really awful, or I must be really bored to death by it (not just regularly bored), before I give up on it. I find that this habit has changed somewhat in recent years, as I have come to the sad realisation that I will not live forever and therefore have a limited time to read.

6. I try to catalog every book I own (my library is here). It’s not a full catalog; my guess is I’m about 60-70% done. I also try to review every book I read (my reviews are here), or at the very least rate them. My rating method is simple: almost all books get 3 stars (out of 5), because most books I read are what I expected them to be. If the book is better than I expected, I will give it 4 stars. If it’s a “must read”, I will give it 5. Very rarely do I rate a book with 1 or 2 stars, because I will usually not start a book that I know will not be at least “OK”. This goes back to the realisation of me having a limited time on this earth…

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