Discussion: Rites of the Reader

Posted August 6, 2018 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

Because I love my puns.

I don’t know about other people, but over time I’ve had quite a few different quirks and rituals about reading (hi, my name is Nikki, I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies). When I was a kid, I actually used to read sitting on the staircase (I don’t know why) and so the ritual was to move down a step with every chapter finished. I got through many a Famous Five book that way. The only hitch was that I couldn’t leave the stairs until I’d finished a book. That could be… awkward.

I also had a thing where I couldn’t stop on an odd-numbered chapter, or in the middle of a page. (But for some reason, it was okay to stop at the end of the first paragraph on the page, as long as it was a continuation from the previous page, and not a new paragraph.) And then there was the thing with putting bookmarks ahead of myself in the book, and then I couldn’t stop until I got to them.

I’m mostly over all of those now, actually. I do still prefer to finish a chapter, but I can be pulled away from my book when necessary. I do like putting a bookmark ahead of myself to mark a stopping point or something that I want to get to. My main rituals surrounding reading now, though, are “bookbed” — me and my wife go to bed early to read — and the fact that I inevitably can’t sleep when she does, and so normally stay awake long into the night reading! I can’t really think of anything else.

So what’re your little quirks — the things you have to do when reading, or your ways of storing books, or… anything like that?

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6 responses to “Discussion: Rites of the Reader

  1. arbie

    I have a strong preference for re-starting on a left page. If this isn’t the beginning of a chapter or section, then it should be the beginning of the 2nd paragraph. I have a system for choosing books to read (from my physically available pile) that is so complicated and ritualised that I am not even going to attempt to explain it – but one practical reason for reducing Mt. TBR is that it’s just a lot quicker to choose a book…

  2. I always try to finish a chapter before I put the book down. If not I have to end a paragraph where there is a gap to the next paragraph as the plot or timeline shifts. My book and dvd shelves must be in order with same size books kept together even if it means splitting a series. I don’t like splitting a series but I get twitchy at the thought of a shelf where all sized books together makes it look like a city skyline!

    • Yes! I much prefer that, too. I had to train myself out of it when I was allowed to read on my clinic volunteer shifts, as long as no one needed me, haha.

  3. When I was younger and still in school, I preferred to finish the chapter. I do have a thing about stopping in the middle of the page, though. I also don’t like the city skyline look on a bookcase, but right now I don’t have enough space so I’ve got them sorted by not read, historical, MG, read MG and other favorites, and classics. Now that I”m older, if I get sucked into a really good book, I want to finish it in one setting (or one day without having to go anywhere or do anything).

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