Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Are Your Reading Habits and Quirks?

by Hannah Jane Parkinson)

I have this thing that really annoys my sister when I am reading a book. Whenever I visit home, we'll be sitting in the living room, and she'll suddenly yell at me to stop "flicking the page". I know exactly what she means, but I don't realise I'm doing it. I've always done it. I have this habit, see, of stroking – it's definitely stroking, or crinkling, not flicking – book and magazine pages as I'm reading them. I know, I know. It's weird. I just like the feel of paper, and it helps me concentrate. Um, this is what I mean:

Click here.

See, weird? Er, there's something else too. If I'm reading a book and I'm really enjoying it, thinking "this book is fantastic!" I have a tendency to flick back to the front cover, in a way that you pull back to take in a person's face after a really good kiss. Yep, starting to think there's something wrong with me.

And I hate it when people rest a book face down, so the spine ends up looking cracked like leather, words suffocated by a stained coffee table. I don't like it when people fold pages down. This is not to say I am totally anal about books: one of my greatest pleasures is finding secondhand books in charity shops with annotations, or love notes at the beginning, or pressed flowers. I also love the smell of new book glue or the glossy pages of magazines. I often read the blurb on the back after finishing the book.

These quirks have translated to my e-reading. I don't really e-read literature, but I do read news and articles all the time on my iPhone. And the digital version of my "page stroking" is to consistently scroll slightly down a page. I won't read as much as the screen will allow, and then scroll. I will keep scrolling, bit by bit, as I read, so the text is constantly flowing. Then, when I get to then end, I can't move off the page without scrolling back up to the top. It's kind of, sort of … article closure.

But at least I'm not totally alone in my odd reading tics. I have also known people who feel the need to check the number of pages before they start a book, people who like to read the acknowledgments first and even people who find out the font before they settle into a novel.

*Blogger's note: You want to know mine don't you? Well I had the reading positions on my blog the other day. I do have to see the number of pages before I read I thought everyone did. I always read the acknowledgements first and if I try to skip them, feel like I have not read the whole book. The font I don't care about. I do get ready to turn the page when on the last paragraph of the right hand side of the book every two pages. I think that is it.