Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reading Quirks and Why We're All Mad Here

Hey, guys! Long time no blog. I just want to send out a whole bunch of <333333 for all the kind words, care packages, Twitter hugs, and other lovely things you nerds have done for me lately. It's been a tough April, but I miss blogging, and I hope to be getting back into the swing of it before BEA comes stomping onto the horizon. Because I AM still going to BEA! I may be doing it a bit more chill-ly this year (that is so a word, Blogger, stop it), but I will be there!

So today, I want to talk about reading quirks.The cool thing about joining a readerly community like ours is that you get to compare your reading habits with other people, and doing so makes you realize...'re kind of a freak.

Here are just SOME of my personal reading quirks:

I don't have to stop at the end of chapters. I know a lot of readers who only feel comfortable putting down their book at the end of a chapter and so get really upset when books have super long chapters, but I don't. This is why I never notice the lengths of chapters, because they have no bearing whatsoever on where I stop. I'd say 95% of the time, I stop in the middle of any old page or paragraph.

I have a freakishly good memory for useless things (or, depending how you look at it, the most important things possible), namely book-related details. I don't really forget plots or characters. I forget nothing to do with Harry Potter (evidenced by the fact that I played many, many rounds of HP Trivial Pursuit and only got one question wrong AND IT WAS A TRICK QUESTION ECAUSE IT WAS ACTUALLY ASKING ABOUT THE MOVIES SO IT DOESN"T COUNT THE STUPID CARD BURN IT). I can never remember where my keys are or if I've paid my bills, but bookstuffs? Yeah, it stays up there forever. (The amount of Twilight trivia I've retained...)

Bookmarks. I love them; I can never find them. I'm appallingly disorganized, and things like bookmarks tend to run away and hide from me, so I use whatever I have lying around (usually post-its) or... I commit high blasphemy and dog-ear. This is usually a LAST LAST LAST resort. But... I have been known to...

I ruin book jackets. I used to take them off when I was younger because they annoyed me, and they'd get lost or destroyed. Now I keep them on and use them as a bookmark, but they still get all raggedy because I'm just such a disgraceful slobtrashhuman.

Rereading is my faaaaaaavorite. I have certain authors I will always revisit, and you'd think, with my memory, that that would be boring, but I adore it. Harry Potter, Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, I could go on forever. You'd think, because I remember everything, this wouldn't be fun for me, but it IS. So fun.

If I don't have my books organized by author's last name, I will get ferociously uncomfortable. It's the ONLY WAY I can sort them. The only way I can find them. The only way THAT MAKES SENSE AT ALL EVER. I tried to sort them by color once and that lasted, oh, about a month.

I'm always reading multiple books at once. I start a whole bunch and wait for one to seize onto me like some sort of barnacle or soul-sucking demon. Sometimes I pause reading something because I just don't have that "into it" feeling, not at all because it's bad. This is why my GR  currently reading is always completely wrong, or things are on there for months and I technically sort of am still reading them, but I'm also...not? But I haven't DNFed them, because I will get back to them, it's just...WHOOPS.

So what about you? What are you book and reading quirks? HOW ARE YOU A FREAK? Tell meeee, because I missed you guys!


  1. Okay, you know that most of these are like the complete opposite of me with my stopping at the end of chapters and forgetting things before I even finish the book. Oh, also I have a pile of like 300 bookmarks, though I still do manage to lose some, occasionally without even getting off the couch.

    However, you know I love rereading. Organizing by author's name, maybe separating out non-fiction or something, is the only way to go. HOW DO COLOR PEOPLE FIND ANYTHING. Like sometimes the book's spine is a completely different color than the front and I would NEVER. FIND. THAT. BOOK. Also I stole your multiple books thing, but I'm still more structured about it than you are, because I don't know apparently I fucking love structure which I never would have guessed as a child.


    1. (That's the secret, we color people don't find anything.)

  2. Yayyyyy you're back! I have missed the gilly bean.

    You and I are the ONLY people in the entire blogging community who are okay with not finishing a chapter. I also don't use bookmarks but that's because I just remember the page number? It's not that hard for me. I used to dogear a while ago, but I don't anymore and there's no real reason for it because honestly I don't care about the condition of my books. I KNOW, GASP.

    I don't read more than a book at a time though because I am the world's slowest reader and I'll never finish anything if I do that.

    But I vehemently disagree regarding the organization of all these books. GIVE ME GENRE CATEGORIZATION OR GIVE ME DEATH.

  3. I don't know any characters' names. Not one. Or place names. Basically any proper nouns. I'm not great with names of real humans I know, so book characters? It's not that I'm not a careful reader, that information is just not in my head.
    Friend: "Didn't you love it when Amy and Milo showed up in the background at Kensington?"
    Me: *frantic googling* "OH, the MC's best friends in the park? Yeah that was great."

    I'm also a bad bookmarker. Tissues, old post its, my Kindle, the dust jacket... I don't dog ear, but I do break the spine by leaving it open if I can't find a bookmark.

    If I don't own book 1, I CAN'T buy the rest of the series. "Oh my god, I just checked this out of the library and it's a cliffhanger and book 2 has like 90 patrons in front of me!" "So just buy it." "But, I BORROWED it? From the LIBRARY?" Even though I'm not a big rereader, I keep a separate list of borrowed books I need to buy so I can continue.

    1. Ooo, I also do that with the spine! We're terrible.

    2. It just means the books are loved and read, right? That's what I tell myself.

  4. Not stopping at the end of the chapter I do that all the time, too! It's pretty hard to forget what happens in the Harry Potter books! Case in point, I'm currently re-reading it and am seeing (more than ever) how everything ties back into the first book with all that foreshadowing!!!!!!

    There is not enough re-reading going on in the book blog world! I'd been lax on revisiting my favorites last year, but, am currently changing that because I need my favorites.

  5. I'm the complete opposite of your first item; I just CANNOT stop reading a book until I hit the end of a chapter (or the end of said book). It's got something to do with how my mind associates chapters as "complete" moments, so you can thank my OCD for that one! I am, however, very much like you when it comes to organizing books by the author's last name. It is seriously the easiest way for me to find things if I do that, so that's usually how my shelves are arranged too!

  6. I don't have to stop reading at the end of a chapter either. I've always been able to pick up where I left off. However, I usually won't update my reading status on Goodreads if I stop mid-chapter. I've been working on that though, especially if there is a break in the text.

    Book jackets, while sometimes gorgeous, can be quite bothersome. I've been keeping them on lately as I'm reading because my grandma yelled at me about it, but I used to take them off and store them in plastic containers while I read the book. I don't like ruining them, but it happens. Most of mine (except Harry Potter) are in really great condition.

    I read multiple books at a time too. I call it my "Rory Gilmore syndrome" because I'm usually reading a piece of fiction and something nonfiction, and I go back and forth between them.

  7. Gillyyyyyyyyyyyyyy *tackle hugs*

    I am actually with you on not stopping at the end of chapters - but that's mostly because 90% of my reading in the last two years happened on the train. Yeah, can't really make that ride last longer so I can finish the chapter ^^; But yeah, I'm not so bound to that either. Now that I've reading in unemployed time though, I will usually stop at the end of a chapter. Or when I just can't keep my eyes open. Or when a character has something stupid like purple eyes and I HAVE to comment on it on Twitter and then I just stop halfway in a sentence for the night. ...Yeah.

    YES ON THE DETAILS. Although that was mostly in my Harry Potter days, when those were the only books I ever read. I knew every single detail of those books. I was unstoppable at this Harry Potter trivia board game my friend had. Like, I knew the currency ratios and stuff and people were scared. Nowadays I'm not that good, but that's because I'm reading so much more. Still, if I start recapping a book, it most often comes back in a tidal wave. I don't know how my memory works.

    *weeps for your dust jackets* I baby mine. PROTECT THE PRECIOUSES.

    Probably my freakiest thing is how I just have to have finished copies of the books I liked. I really like getting ARCs, but I don't want to keep them, unless they're signed to me personally. (And even then, if I didn't like the book too much, I'll give it away.) This could be seen as a tremendous waste of money. But. eh. Yeah, it is. (I just need all the pretty hardcovers in my life okay DON'T JUDGE ME)

    I am weird in a lot of other ways, but I don't really want to think about it x_x I MEAN WE CAN GET INTO MY INSANE SPREADSHEETING BUT HAHA WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THAT.

  8. I do remember looooads of stuff about books maybe not all the details, but I don't usually tend to forget the most important things, so very rarely I need to refresh myself about things before reading the next book on a series. Unless it's a book I don't care about then I do my best to clear it off my memory!

    I must confess I'm not sure what my way to sorting my shelves is, because I've always had to make do with whatever space I had and pile it up as I can... now that I'm gonna have a dedicated room as a library room, I think I'll find out what my system really is!!

    And I also lose bookmarks all the bloody time!! Even when I'm reading in bed and there's not many places where the bloody thing could go... it gets lost and I need to use my sheet as bookmark, then root around until I find it! *facepalm* I've used all sorts of random stuff as bookmarks: bills, random pieces of paper, stamps, pens, nail filers...

  9. Me too Gillian! I always read multiple books at once and need that 'into it' feeling or I feel meh and move to another. If nothing is grabbing me I'll read a couple of chapters (I'm a stop at chapter type person) and move to the next book. My husband thinks that is SO weird. I am always misplacing my bookmarks. When I need em I can't find em. Love this post and to see you posting. My thoughts and prayers are with you. So happy you are still going to BEA.

  10. Aw, I love it! I always have one physical book and one audiobook going at any given time (so I can read on my lunch break AND during my commute home). My coworkers think I'm a freak because I read the entire hour of lunch break, ever day. And if people try to engage me in conversation I give them one word answers and keep my nose in the book, until they stop. :)

    As far as quirks go, I have stacking books two-deep on my shelves. HATE. It makes me feel like I'm snubbing the books at the back. I also hate stacking them on their backs (stacked vertically) instead of their base (with the spine such that you have to tilt your head to the right to read it). Dog-earing books to me is as bad as throwing a paperback out after you're done reading (which my mom does, and it drives me nuts).

  11. This is kind of crazy, but I do a lot of these too. I usually stop at chapters, but if I'm reading late at night especially and the end of the chapter is double-digit pages away, I'll just shut it and go to bed. I also have a head for book trivia but I never remember to do important irl stuff (like I totally need to pay my health insurance today...). LOVE rereading Meg Cabot, any Meg Cabot. I absolutely start reading 5 books at once and post them on Goodreads but let them stay there when I find something else that pulls me in. I have now created an exclusive "paused" shelf on GR to keep the books I've started and not quite DNFed yet. I do, however, still remove the dust jackets. Not only do I want them to stay passably nice, I also hate how they slip and slide off the book when I'm reading.

  12. "Bookmarks. I love them; I can never find them."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You're not alone! Do you know how many times I have used a receipt, or a box top, or even a cat whisker as a bookmark?? I am so happy to know that someone else has issues with their bookmarks! When I go to Half Price Books, I seriously look through as many books as I can to find free bookmarks.

    "I'm always reading multiple books at once. "
    KARA CALLED ME WEIRD FOR DOING THIS. I am going to freaking Tweet her this link!!!! I explained to her that I have a physical book and an ebook going at the same thing (Kindle during the day, and physical during the evening/home time) and her exact quote was "Ahhh, okay. I only read one book at a time. You're not normal. :D "


  13. Number one: I very much appreciate the Radiohead gif. For that, this post had me from hello.

    I am vehemently for or against all your quirks. Stopping mid-paragraph? NEVER NEVER NEVER. No bookmarks? I keep train tickets. I have a STACK beside my bed. I am never without a bookmark. As for reading for than one book at once, I just can't. It feels like having an affair.

    HOW CAN PEOPLE NOT ORGANISE ALPHABETICALLY?? I've thought about doing it by genre before - but some books are hard to classify! Would I put LotR under classic, or fantasy?? As for the colour thing, no no no no no (repeat). What about spines that are more than one colour? Where would the Harry Potters go? Can a muted blue book go next to an electric blue one (eg TFIOS)? And HOW can people split up series????

    Rereading is the absolute best. I will never stop rereading HP (you could say, I will reread them Always), and there are many series in TBRR (to be re-read) pile. Last week I had tonsillitis and was not up for the Hardy I was supposedly reading ... so I reread three Percy Jacksons and three Roman Mysteries. No regrets.


    PS I love this post and, incidentally, your blog. New follower.

  14. I can stop in the middle of a chapter, but it's usually only because I have to put the book down for a minute or two. Otherwise, I definitely stop at the end of them. BUT WHAT HOW DARE YOU DOG-EAR PAGES, YOU MONSTER. Jk jk I can never find bookmarks either so I will use ANYTHING not to have to do that. Even going so far as flipping the book over and keeping it open (I don't like doing that either).

    I have a TERRIBLE memory, even with book-related things! So I have a notebook with me while I read, so I can jot down important stuffs such as quotes (of any variety, but mostly swoony and snarky ones), new words I do not know (yes I know I'm weird), and if I need to remember fantastical systems that are becoming lost on me as I read. Also, this is partly why I'm wanting to wait for series to be completed before I read them, because those waits kill my memory and then I have the horrible option of either having to reread the books before it or just jump in blind and completely confused (it's suuuuuch a problem). Anyway! I used to not be a fan of rereading, but now I'm finding more and more that I want to do it. I thought it'd be boring if I already know what happens, but NOPE. Granted, I've only done it a few times but I want to do it way more often.

    My reading quirks? Um, I have bookish ADD and I have a problem reading only one book at a time (unless I am REALLY into it). Also I don't organize my bookshelves. At all. I just throw them on there.

    Love this post and so glad we can all be freaks together!

  15. If you are a freak, I'm a happy freak too. I love love love re-reading. There is something special about returning to your favorite world and characters. I simply can't get enough of some books/series. I also read multiple books at the same time. I just can't read only one book. Sorting on the authors name is something I do as well. I love the look from creative shelving like on color, but it would drive me nuts!

  16. This post it life haha

    First, I really envy you Gillian! I have a really hard time stopping in the middle of paragraphs or whatever. I either stop at the end of chapters, or in a line break in the middle of a chapter (when one scene ends and a new one starts) so I won't feel lost or disoriented when I come back.

    I'm pretty good with book details as well. I remember "random" stuff and then the plot stuff. I might need a moment or two to gather all that information from the boxes I have it locked in on a normal day but I definitely have it stored up!

    I can't dog-ear anything. I get so upset when the beautiful page is marred with that crease (I'm a bit crazy when it comes to my books. I love them to look as if no one read them, which is really stupid because it's just a sign of love, but when my fingers are greasy, I sometimes even go as far as to put gloves or something like that so the page won't get dirty). And bookmarks are my jam! I've got close to a hundred, and they're in a visible case on my bookshelves for easy access! :D

    Oh, Gillian... book jackets must be treated with respect and reverence.... at least in my house hahah. I've only ever ruined one dust jacket in my life, and that was my first hardcover HP #7 and I was so mad at myself that I never repeated that mistake.

    Thumbs up for re-reading!

    I think author's last name is a great way to organize your books (though I'll probably prefer first name in my orginazation), but I am so OCD when it comes to my shelves that I can't have different height books together and if I organized it based on author's names it won't look as good. I've tried various orginazation styles (including the color base) and they last very little. I start going crazy due to height differences and put it back in order.


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