Reading: What Does it Mean to You?

I recently undertook the Great Big Reading Poll advertised by Publishers Weekly over on Twitter and it made me think.  Whilst the questions asked were interesting my favourites were how do you mark your pages and what format of books do you read.

I always use bookmarks to mark my pages.  I collect bookmarks as a reminder of some of the places I have been and I rotate them for each new book I read.  How do you mark your pages?

I have a gold Titanic bookmark which I used for the whole of 2012 marking the 100th anniversary of the ship sinking as my mini tribute.  Sad I know. Since watching the movie back in 1997 I have been fascinated by the fateful voyage of the worlds best known ocean liner.  I have read many books on the subject from making the movie, history of the liner, family tales and conspiracy theories and I can never read enough on the subject.  Now I’ve gone off on a tangent.

The format of books read was a disappointing question for me and I felt the need to clarify the point in the comments.  The answers were Hardback, Paperback or EBook – what if like me you read all three formats?  It seems that some people prefer certain formats for certain types of book and that is an interesting concept.

For me I read books in whatever format, it has little bearing on my decision to purchase the book.  In that vein I thought I would share my current Books to Read pile.

2013 Books to Read Pile

2013 Books to Read Pile

If I’m totally honest I love buying books.  If I go in a bookshop it takes all my willpower not to come out with a book.  I am currently on a self-imposed book buying ban due to the size of my current pile of books I have yet to read.  The more books I buy the longer the ones I have wait to be read.  Some of the books I have in the pile have been waiting 10 years to be read for this very reason!

You will also note that there is a wide range of books in the pile.  I like to read different types of books from different authors.  If I’ve just finished an autobiography I will read a novel next.  If I’ve just finished reading a classic I will read a novel or an autobiography, I never read two books of the same style consecutively.  This way I never get bored with one genre of books.

I think I’ve said before that I buy books on the basis of the title and the cover.  If they catch my eye I’ll give them a try.  I do have authors that I have enjoyed and would buy again if I noticed their books on the shelves.

As for E-books I do have some on my Ipad.  I have downloaded an app called Free Books which is amazing.  I am reading Wuthering Heights on it as I couldn’t be bothered to get my copy out of the storage box in the garage or the Books Read Box!  Free Books gives you access to all the classics and you can read them all for free!

I also have the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy on my Ipad.  My first foray into erotic fiction.  I’m not a touchy feely person so for me reading it on my Ipad was the best choice, I didn’t want people asking me about it.  I know a lot of people have struggled with Fifty Shades but personally I enjoyed them, the best thing they did was advertise the next book at the end of the one I just finished reading as I downloaded it straight away to see how it ended!

I also have some books that are my writing tools.


You need a good dictionary and a helpful book on grammar is always useful.  I haven’t tried using the novel kit yet.

My writing style tends to be; sit in front on PC take deep breath and write.  I can’t plan where I want things to go I need to just feel it and let it happen.  If I have an idea and don’t have time to write it out I jot it down and bullet point it on an ideas list for when I need a jump-start.  From what I’ve read about writing this is not the best way to go about it but it works for me.

As someone who is hoping one day to get my ideas published into a book that someone would actually want to read I find polls on how people read interesting.  There is so much to consider when writing something to appeal to the masses.

For people who buy books solely on the blurb, unless I get a professional to write me one they are never going to connect with my books.  I can write a novel easily but condensing it into a paragraph that hooks someone is a stretch!  Even worse writing a chapter into two lines for a synopsis to catch a publisher or writing agents eye, forget it!

As for highlighting books, forget it.  I never highlight things in books.  When I read Writing Magazine I add a sticky note marker to articles I might need in future but I never highlight in books.

For me when I read a book I have to keep it in perfect condition, I hate even marking the spines.  If I’m reading a book with dog-eared pages it affects my enjoyment.  I realise that sounds stupid as the pages being dog-eared has no bearing on their content but I can’t help it!

My sister ruins books, carrying them around in her handbag they get dog-eared, stained with spills and she bends the pages back when she reads them.  When I lend her my books she always says “you can’t have read this” as it looks untouched!  She has lent me books with pages falling out where she has broken the spines, there is nothing more annoying than trying to hold the pages in a book from falling out, I just give up!

It would be interesting to know where people read.  I read mostly in bed although I do sometimes take a book into the bathroom with me.  I’ve tried reading on train and plane journeys but I’ve never really got into it, it tends to make me feel ill!  I’m not much of an outdoor reader, well in England we don’t often get the weather for it but when we do it’s usually too noisy!  I find nowadays I have to read books in silence so I can take them in.  Newspapers and magazines I read whilst watching the TV as I tend to skim read them more than anything.

Which poses the questions:

How do you mark your pages?

Which formats of books do you read and why?

How do you buy your books?

Where do you do most of your reading?

Feel free to leave any comments, is there anything about how people read that interests you?


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