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Questionnaire of Reading Habits Part 2

12. Paperback or hardcover?
I always prefer trade paperback for portability, shelf space, and economical reason. I have paperbacks in zipbloc bags before putting them inside my messenger bag to prevent folding corners. Hardbacks are too heavy to carry around; the dust jackets that slip off easily also can be a problem. But there is always an exception. I buy hardback when there is huge slash in price due to overstock and when I cannot wait for the paperback to come out. I paid $5.99 for a brand new copy of Home by Marilynne Robison but full price ($35) for The Secret Lives of W. Somerset Maugham by Selina Hastings for the two different reasons.

13. At what point do you give up on a book?
I discussed this issue not too long ago. My limit is about a third of the way. if a book is such a slog, I’ll decide if I should abandon it altogether at this point.

14. How do you find about new books and authors?
Book bloggers have filled in the gap left out by diminishing coverage on books, authors, and reviews on the part of mass media in a very timely manner. While I maintain an acquisition list based on preferences and favorite authors, I seek out recommendation from book bloggers who share common literary interests. Recommendations from staff of independent bookstores also carry a weight. The big unknown is purely from browsing the bookstores, randomly picking up books, reading the blurbs, and trying my chances.

15. Best reading-related memory?
This question sounds very vague–I’m not sure if I understand it but I try to answer what I think it’s asking. Best reading memory is when I was on a lucky streak of great, well-written, plot-driven books like previously with East of Eden and Fingesmith. Great books don’t come along very often, not mention two or three great books on a roll. A lot of books are good but not great. Some are way overhyped.

16. Worst reading-related memory?
I should call this experience a disaster and a nightmare, otherwise known at the Bangkok incident. I was reading Memoirs of a Geisha on a hammock by the pool, fell asleep, and the book plunged right into the water. being emotionally attached to books as I am, I retrieved the sodden mess, brought it back to my room, dry it with the blow dryer. The pages are completely dog ear and expand like the folds of a harmonica.

17. What was the last book(s) you bought?
The Sea by John Banville and The Hour Between by Sebastian Stuart.

18. What was the last book you checked out from the library?
It’s been so long that I don’t remember.

19. On average, how many hours a week do you spend reading?
2 hours every morning over coffee and an hour or two in the evening. 2 x 7 + 2 x 7 = 28 hours a week.

20. Are you a fast or slow reader?
I am a slow reader who reads between the lines and pays attention to the language. Although I learned to speed read in high school, I find it difficult to “let go” of the words for fear of missing out the beauty of the prose.

21. Do you sometimes read more than one book at the time?
Very rarely; but at this moment I’m reading three books at the same time: Noble House by James Clavell (1370 pages) is a pulp fiction set in the 1960s Hong Kong. Multiple plots crisscross the pages. It reads like soap opera with political and espionage intrigues. Balancing Clavell out is Home, a literary fiction by Marilynne Robison, an author I have meant to read for a long time. A tasty treat is The Secret Lives of W. Somerset Maugham, which I read one chapter at a time.

22. Are you what Stephen King refers to as a Constant Reader, or are there periods where you don’t read at all?
I have always read since I started school.

23. What’s the longest you’ve gone without reading?
Are you kidding? I can never imagine myself not reading. Not a day had gone by without my reading something, even if it’s just a few paragraphs.


12 Responses

  1. I do the ziplock bag trick as well but mostly because I am afraid my water bottle will leak while in my bag.

  2. I cringed to think your copy of Memoir of Geisha fell into the pool! *aghast*!

    I am daunted by the size of Noble House, but I am going to put it in for my desired chunkster list. I have “Home” on my TBR now. It’s amazing how similar bloggers tend to read the same book at the same part of the year.

    Thanks for sharing. 😉

    • I totally freaked out when I saw the book swimming in the pool.

      Noble House is winding down. It’s very complicated read as there are 25 plots going on all at once, over the span of just a week. They are starting to fall into place. Phew!

  3. I so agree with #20! I have taken speed reading, and I often use it when skimming a magazine, but I do not want to miss the beauty of the prose when reading a novel. Also, I have an inkling of the amount of work the author put into writing the novel, and I want to honor that hard work by reading every single word 🙂

    • I think your attitude is very respectable. Sometimes I can’t help thinking there isn’t really a bad book. I might not resonate with the characters or the story, but a truly “bad” book would probably have got through editorial team, right?

  4. Thank you for sharing these insights into your reading habits. I love the ziploc bag idea and will probably “steal it”. I’m not surprised that you take your time reading books. Your posts always offer such wonderful insights into what you’ve read. It is obvious that you’ve digested each book you read and have given it a lot of thought.

    • I feel I begin a relationship with a book as soon as I pick it to read. Whether the relationship would be an experience to remember or not, I try my best to understand and appreciate what it has to offer. I do give lots of thoughts of the story, and sometimes, more subtly, the language and the choice that was made in language to write the book.

  5. Yep. Love the Ziploc bag idea. I can be pretty rough on the books I carry around with me. I also love that you spend 4 hours a day reading. I’ll bet most people spend that much watching TV. There is plenty of time for reading, if you make the time for it!

    • I have done away with TV since I graduated from college. I didn’t make a decision to not watch TV, it just happened naturally because my mind was onto something else…like reading, and spending time with friends.

  6. […] Questionnaire of Reading Habits Part 2 « A Guy’s Moleskine … […]

  7. hi.. may i know the reference of these questionnaire questions? i need it for academic purposes.. thank u very much.. ^^

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