1. Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?
Yes — my bed and my living room couch.
2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Well … I like bookmarks and I’ve been known to buy them if I find particularly nice ones (e.g., in museum gift shops) — and I even went so far as to setting aside my bought special souvenir bookmarks for my Halloween Bingo and 12 Tasks of the Festive Season reads.
Then again, I’ve lost countless beautiful bookmarks over the course of a long reading life, and I actually do miss some of them. So I have a huge assorted stack consisting of everything from postcards and greeting cards, tickets (opera / concert / tourist venue / train / you name it), boarding cards, purchase receipts, bookstore promotional bookmarks, and whatever else just happens to be on hand sitting on my bedside table next to my bed, right behind my alarm clock(s), and that’s what I typically end up using … including, incidentally, for my Halloween and Festive Season reads.
3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages?
I almost always finish a chapter (or, in the case of very long chapters, a given section within a chapter) before I put my book down. Or at least I try to do so … unless I’m so tired my eyes are shutting all by themselves and there’s just no point reading on.
4. Do you eat or drink while you read?
When reading while lying on my living room couch, I usually have a mug of tea sitting next to me, and there may also be chocolate or sweets involved. When reading while lying in bed, no food or drink — the reason being 8 times out of 10 that I’m reading immediately before going to sleep.
5. Multitasking: music or TV while reading?
Well, unlike MbD I can’t claim a plane crash has actually happened near my house while I was reading (wow, that’s some story!), but I, too, tend to be totally oblivious to my surroundings while immersed in a book — from when I was little, my mom always said that you could drop a bomb next to me while I was reading and I wouldn’t take any notice of it whatsoever.
That said, if driving on a familiar road or on the freeway (i.e., in situations where I don’t have to actually focus very hard on navigating unfamiliar terrain), I can listen to audiobooks while driving; and I don’t mind music playing in the background while I’m reading, either (as long as it’s of a sufficiently soothing variety and playing softly enough).
But TV is a total and complete no-no, and trying to actually talk to me or get my attention for anything outside my book while I’m reading is, likewise, an enterprise doomed to utter failure.
6. One book at a time or several at once?
I used to be a “one book at a time” sort of person, but audiobooks and, oddly (or perhaps not) the Halloween Bingo and Festive Season reads have changed that — lately, it’s typically been at least several audiobooks to one print book, or in some instances even several print books simultaneously.
7. Reading at home or everywhere?
At home, mostly — though I do think they ought to include a plane or train trip (of whatever length) without a book at hand in the U.N. Anti-Torture Convention. And I do know what I’m talking about … I used to have motion sickness as a kid and therefore was unable to read while traveling. Pure torture, I can tell you. (To the adults present on the occasion as well. “Are we there yet???” doesn’t begin to describe it.)
8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Sing along with me: “It’s in your head — in your head …“
9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
I’ve been known to read ahead on occasion (if for no other reason, to determine whether a given book merits my sticking with it or if I might just as well DNF), but there’s no skipping of pages. Skimming, yes. Skipping, no.
10. Barking the spine or keeping it like new?
Keeping it like new to the best of my ability … which, however, with paperbacks (especially mass market paperbacks) isn’t always easy, or even achievable.
Do you write in your books?
No (shudders). Well, unless it’s a texbook — those are meant to be annotated. But other than that, I don’t annotate my own books, and one of the reasons I hardly ever buy used books declared as being in “good” or “acceptable” condition is that with those descriptions you must be prepared to receive a book that someone has marked or written in … which I simply am not willing to receive.