Hello! We have decided to do some sort of survey into some of our bookish habits, because I think we each have our quirks and it’s a fun way to get to know bloggers! Feel free to reproduce it on your blog, if you’d like. It would be nice to link back to us though!
A Survey of Habits
1. Coffee or tea with your book?
Claire: I don’t multitask well, so I’d say none to be safe. That tea or coffee would get spilled.
Nikki: Sometimes a cup of tea (I don’t like the taste of coffee). But I feel like it’s more the idea of reading with a cup of tea that I enjoy more than anything else.
2. Do you like to read during a specific time of day?
Claire: I’m noticing that I like to read during the night. It became particularly apparent last Sunday when I had absolutely nothing to do around 2PM and still didn’t want to read. Like wha? But the minute night fell, I was reading!
Nikki: I tend to read in the evening or at night. I’m often too active during the day to keep still. And even if I’m not, I feel like I’m wasting the day – particularly if it’s a good day for doing things…even if, like Claire, I never actually…do…anything during that time… haha
3. What’s your favourite reading position?
Claire: I have to lay down to read. I am incapable of reading sitting upright, I have to be flat on my back, either on a couch or a bed.
Nikki: I just like sitting upright :’) Occasionally I lie on my side in bed to read but only if I’m reading an ebook on my phone before bed.
4. Do you have a favourite place to read?
Claire: My couch! I love couches, it makes me feel semi-sociable.
Nikki: My bed. Or any wide cushioned surfaces really; sofas, chairs, padded window ledges…
5. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
Claire: I don’t read ahead or skip-pages, if I do it means that I’m not enjoying the book and just reading it for the sake of finishing it.
6. Do you listen to music while reading?
Claire: I’m a bit odd but I’ve noticed that the best work or the best reading for me, happens, when I’ve got a conversation going on in the back of me. So this means that I tend to put a film I know by heart in the background (Any HP/LOTR/Hobbit film) and then start reading. I think it’s because I used to read on the couch in my living room, which opened up to the kitchen where my mother and sister always was. It was also next to my bro at the table and father on the computer. So I learned to read within chaos.
Nikki: Nope. I get caught up singing/humming it while I should be paying attention to what I’m reading. If it’s an instrumental piece I don’t know then maaaybe if it’s subtle…practically unnoticeable (…but then why bother having it on at all?). That’s not to say I need total silence. Just no obvious purposeful noise. Consistent, monotoned background noise will do.
7. Can you read in crowds?
Claire: This is similar to above but no, I can’t actually read in crowds! I can read with my family or friends around but take me to a bookstore or cafe and it can’t be done.
Nikki: Yes. Consistent background noise will do nicely.
8. One book at a time or several at once?
Claire: I typically do one at a time but lately find myself doing several at once. WHY??? It just leads to confusion!
Nikki: ALL the books. ALL AT ONCE! I like to flit from one thing to the other as the mood takes me. I don’t think I’ve ever actively been reading more than about five or six books at a time, but I’ve certainly had books that I’d taken an unintentional few months break from because other books got in the way before I found my way back to them.
10. Do you buy secondhand books?
Claire: All the time!
11. Bookmark, random piece of paper or dog-ear?
Claire: I have bookmarks and don’t use them, sigh. It tends to be a random piece of paper to be honest.
Nikki: It ends up being a random piece of paper: receipts, napkins, train tickets, movie tickets, doodles, envelopes… I take the train regularly these days so it has tended to be a train ticket of late. I don’t dog-ear to mark my page, but I have been known to dog-ear to mark pages with interesting quotes or ideas. (Only in Fahrenheit 451 and I feel it was a completely ineffective method.)
12. Do you write, underline or highlight in your books?
Claire: Err, in the nonfiction books I underline with pencil. Fiction, those books are as pristine as possible.
Nikki: I would if I weren’t so lazy. I don’t tend to care about keeping books pristine unless they’re graphic novels. Sometimes I think “oh! Got to remember that! Make a note!” But then I don’t.
13. Do you take notes (not written in the book you’re reading)?
Claire: For my NF reads, yup! Anything else, hells no.
Nikki: I’ve been getting a little more into the habit of adding favourite quotes to my GR or tumblr on occasion though. And I regularly highlight and make notes in ebooks (fiction and non-fiction). It helps me remember things later when I review them or when I assess what the book meant to me.
13. See the film first or read to watch?
Claire: Read to watch! That is the proper order of things (in my chaotic world, it is). Whatever canon came first, I do first. If it was a film and then turned into a book, I watch the film first (though this is rare and often the other way around).
Nikki: It’s rare that I postpone watching a film because I want to read the book first. There are soooo many films based on books that I have no interest in reading. I already have an ever-growing TBR of books that I have a genuine greater interest in actually getting around to.
14. Paperback or hardback?
Claire: Paperback because I travel and realistically, I won’t settle for some time.
Nikki: Paperback is usually cheaper and easier to hold in the case of larger tomes so I lean that way (even though hardbacks are often more beautiful).
15. Hardcopy (paperback/hardback) or audiobook or ebook?
Claire: I’ve written a post about this, but mostly hardback or paperbacks.
Nikki: It depends on the book! But, generally, hardcopy if it’s around 200 pages or more. Audiobook if I have only a mild interest – I particularly like audiobooks for non-fiction – or if the audio performance is particularly well-crafted. Ebook if it’s around 150 pages or less.
16. Own it or borrow it?
Claire: I borrow it, I like it, I buy it!
Nikki: If I can borrow it, that’s good enough. The only real exception is graphic novels; I prefer to own them.
17. Do you re-read?
Claire: I re-read all the darn time. I’m on the 15th reread for the Harry Potter series actually.
18. Do you rate books based on the book’s objective merit or your subjective feelings about it?
Claire: You can tell that Nikki wrote this question because I’m sitting here thinking, what??? I rate the book according to how I felt about it! Doesn’t everyone do that…? …Am I alone in this?
Nikki: hahah! WELL, yes. I did concoct this question :’) It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently (was thinking about doing a post about it). I try to make it a little less arbitrary than just how I’m feeling because I have been known to be capricious in my opinions of books at times – particularly those that I have immediately “disliked”/given 1 star. I want my reviews to be useful to people wondering if they should read that book (objective), just as much as I want my reviews to be an account of my thoughts about that book (subjective). I will never be fully objective (and wouldn’t want to be! A person’s unique, subjective perspective is very valuable too!), but I’d maybe like to try to be 3 parts objective to 1 part subjective.
19. Character or plot focused?
Claire: I’d like you to have both please. But, I prefer a well developed character to be honest. But, I also like a tightly packaged plot! Alas! It is a draw.
Nikki: Character. (Although I have discovered that I can also appreciate situations that are so interesting and enormous that dynamic characters would detract from the gravity of the event…)
20. Recommendation or blurb?
Claire: Blurb. Sorry to all the friends that recommend stuff, I have to read the blurb first.
21. Book trailers: yes or no?
Claire: No. I’m writing a post about this I swear, I hate these.
Nikki: I like the book trailer for Wonder. Oh god! I’m already crying ;_; I am literally already crying. Admittedly, it is the only one I’ve ever seen.
22. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female?
Claire: Honestly, it does. I tend to prefer female authors so I gravitate to works by female authors more. When it is a male author, I tend to question whether I’d want to read it a bit more than I honestly should. I’ve been surprised and proven wrong, however, many times, such as Nikki pretty much shoving Sabriel at me with a violent force, and even though I was all poo, poo, it is written by a male author, Sabriel by Garth Nix is pure utter brilliance and the icing to my cake. I so love that book.
Nikki: It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest though I have noticed that I gravitate towards male authors (except when it comes to cartoonists of whom my favourites are fairly even if not skewed in favour of women). It could very well be because I rather enjoy classics and non-fiction, and those worlds are saturated with pale, male authors trying to tell you their terribly important messages and teachings…
23. How do you organise your bookshelves? Alphabetically, by colour, by size?
Claire: I haven’t had bookshelves in a while because I’ve moved 6 times in the past 3 years and by the end of 2015, I’d have moved another 4 more times (to London, to my temp flat, to my 5 months lease flat and then hopefully after that, my more permanent flat). Book shelves are a luxury for those who have a more concrete place to live in (anyone looking for a flatmate? Shameless plug, I apologise).
Nikki: I’ve never had any intentional order, but recently I’ve picked a (random) shelf for my read books so it’s easier to see which books I haven’t read yet. I keep most of my graphic novels on a shelf reserved for arty prints and the like.
24. Would you still read a book even after coming across a spoiler?
Claire: Oh yes! I’m that odd person that loves spoilers, I utterly loathe surprises. I’m not good with them, I blame Harry Potter for scarring me thusly.
Nikki: I don’t really tend to. The only book I can recall reading despite being spoiled has been And Then There Were None and that was partly because I’d already got a fair way into it. I have no rules about it, but the steam and excitement just gets a little deflated is all.
25. What’s your favourite way to find out about new books?
Claire: It used to be browsing a book store but now it’s Goodreads. I’m fond of the listopia portion especially!
Nikki: I like to spy what my Goodreads peops are reading (and occasionally the GR algorithm fairies will come up with something interesting). I also watch booktube videos (a lot) which is good for recs. My parents are also good sources for recommendations because we have similar book interests.
26. Do you recommend books to people based on what you think they’ll enjoy or what you think they should read?
Claire: What they might enjoy. Who am I to judge what they should read?
Nikki: Ohohoho.. Primarily it’s what I think they’ll enjoy. But, if someone implies that they’re intolerant of something (makes a really callously privileged or homophobic or racially questionable comment, for example), I do occasionally recommend a book that I think might help them see things from a different (by my humble estimation, healthier and more balanced) point of view.
27. Be honest, have you ever bought a book just for the cover?
Claire: Yes, and I can’t remember what book it was but I know I’ve done it and I’m not ashamed of it.
Nikki: I was having difficulty thinking of any even though I feel like this so something I would do, but then I remembered I bought THIS last year purely because of its cover (and title).