How Do You Read?

How do you read? One word at a time until you get to a full stop?

Obviously I don’t mean it like that. No, what I’m talking about are reading habits, how we choose the books we read and how many we read at a time. It’s an interesting question.
I read one book at a time, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. I read it cover to cover, whether I’m enjoying it or not, and I aim to (although sometimes – hello Titus Groan – don’t manage) to read the book within a week. Whilst I’m reading the books, I’ll also read comics (single issues) most weeks.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

I like concentrating on a single book and style, which is part of the reason for doing this, but also, for books I’m not enjoying so much, it forces me (in a very self imposed way) to finish the damn book so I can move on and read something else. Reading this way has definitely helped me to read a lot outside of my comfort zone, and test my limits somewhat in terms of what I can read.

But here’s the thing, I know a lot of people don’t read this way. A lot of people read a ton of books all at once, or just a book a month.

What are your habits? How do you like to read?

Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “How Do You Read?

    • I wish I could stop reading terrible books, but I kind of feel either a duty to the writer to finish their work, or some sort of ‘well there has to be something in it’ feeling with anything published.

      The last book I started reading and didn’t finish was Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fifty pages in and I wound up reading two entire pages listing the contents of someone’s laptop (including links letting me know where, and how much these programmes were). Decided it wasn’t real writing. Gave up.

      My dad bloody loves them and so I feel as though maybe there was something in it that I completely missed.

      The other day I was reading a book by Paul Murray (whose second novel, Skippy Dies is the best multidimensional tragi-comedy set in an Irish boarding school ever), called An Evening of Long Goodbyes. The first two thirds were absolute pants. All trying way too hard, terrible main character. In the final third though, he turns everything around. I finally found something to enjoy about the book.

      I’ve found that with a lot of novels that I started out hating – and although to be fair, there have been several that I read last year (Gaiman’s latest, Burial Rites, Dream London) which were outright bad, I like to think that I’d number a lot more books in my ‘terrible’ column if I hadn’t sat down and forced myself to read them.

      • Yeah Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can drag at the start. I would also say it’s worth finishing, but each to their own.

        It’s the risk of continuing and whether the ending is enough to make up for struggling through something terrible I suppose. Reading is one of those things where I want to enjoy it (and there are SO many opportunities to do this) rather than force myself to keep reading for the sake of it.

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