Saturday, 7 November 2015

Reading habits?

The Content Reader
A book well read? Bended spine
and a lady's fan?
There are many different kinds of reading habits. What we most commonly talk about is probably; “Where do you like to read?” Another one is if you mark the page where you are by folding the corner (“dog ear” we call it in Swedish and I am not able to remember the English word for it. Maybe someone can enlighten me?) Another one is how you read your books and this is the topic of today’s post.

My husband gets very irritated with me when he, from time to time, spots the books I have read (I am talking about pocket books here, hard cover is something else). He says I ‘destroy’ the books! Hm, thanks.  In my case it means, that some way inside the book, I fold the spine ‘inside-out’ to be able to read properly. In most books, but not all, after a certain number of pages you cannot read the text closest to the spine. Do you know what I mean? You have to move the book left/right to be able to read properly. I admit that when the book is finished it does not close properly. The pages make the book opens up like a lady’s fan, and the spine is full of traces from my folding it the ‘wrong way’. But, I love when you can see that a book has been read. Don’t you?

Borrowing books from my friend Lena can be a very nervous enterprise. I see the book, know she has read it, and still, it looks totally new! Like it was taken directly out of the shelf in the book shop! I just received a non-fiction, history book from my aunt Maggie (thank you very much!). I think she has already read it, but it looks totally new to me. Well, not anymore, because I am 70 pages into the book! I do not know how people do it? It is like magic! I would not be able to have a book look like new, once I am finished with it, however hard I try.

The Content Reader
A very well read sample of a wonderful book!

The Content Reader
...and looking at it from the other way!
Some years ago I read a wonderful book called Oscar’s Books by Thomas Wright. He goes through Oscar Wilde’s books (those he owned and which are still around). In the margin of his books he wrote comments on what he was reading. I wouldn’t normally do that, and today we would probably just use a marker (how boring!). In days without markers you made a comment by pen. How wonderful for us today to be able to read these comments, especially when it comes from someone like Oscar Wilde. Lovely book which parallels his books and his life.

The Content Reader
Audrey Niffenegger's excellent books,
read with love!
I would never treat a hard back as I treat a pocket book. But, it does not mean I have less regard for the pocket books, it is just not done…and it is not necessary, because they are bound in a different way. It is the same with folding the book corner to mark where you are. I would never do that in a hard back, but I would do it in a pocket book. There you go! Me in a nut shell.

How do you read your books? Bending the spine? Making comments in the margin? Folding and ear instead of using book marks? Any other ideas on reading habits? Leave a comment and share with me the way you read.

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