Reading is a unique experience. Not only are you bringing your individual point of view to every book you read, but you might even be reading in a creative way. Maybe you need music playing in the background to get in a reading mood, or you only listen to Audiobooks, or you refuse to start a series until the final book is published. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here, the NetGalley team shared their quirkiest reading habits.
My quirkiest reading habit might be the one that involves not reading: I don’t read everything my favorite authors write (at least not right away). I keep one of their books unread on my TBR at all times. They’re my rainy day books; prepared to be pulled out in a moment when I really need some comfort. And I figure if my favorite authors ever announce they’re leaving writing behind, I know I’ll have one book left to savor.
I love reading Acknowledgements in books. I’m always fascinated by the behind-the-scenes info about the author’s inspiration or the unique people who helped along the way. Unfortunately, many of the ARCs and audiobooks I read typically don’t include that section of the book. More than once I’ve hunted down a finished copy just so I could read those final few pages.
Most of my weird quirks are audiobook related. Audiobooks have become a way that I ensure that I read more, since I listen while multi-tasking (always at 1.5 or 2.0 speed). I’ll even use audiobook excerpts and teasers to help declutter books from my shelves that I’m no longer interested in anymore. I typically only listen to audiobooks that I also own a print copy of. My rationale is that it helps me get through my TBR at a faster rate. I realize that in some cases that isn’t always the most economical choice, but it’s my quirk so don’t judge me.
When I read a line or paragraph that especially resonates with me I dog-ear the page, but specifically, I fold the page over so the corner is touching the line/paragraph that I love. When I pick up books to re-read, I often discover a dog-eared page like this and easily remember what it was on the page that I loved.
Before I start reading (and often before I buy a book, too) I read the front matter in full. I like to know the publisher and imprint, and I have a habit of checking the spine before anything else when I pick up a new book in a bookstore or library. I’ll read all the praise at the beginning of the book (and on the back cover) before I dive in. And the dedication is a can’t-miss! Oh and I really love a good epigraph. If a book includes an epigraph, I’ll return to it again after I finish reading the entire book just to see how it takes on new meaning.
I have a few: I always reread the same book (The Night Circus) whenever I get in a reading funk. I tend to read ebooks, so when I read a physical book I find myself trying to highlight words with my finger.
I can’t bring myself to use bookmarks. It started when I was a kid, when I would just reach for the nearest object to stick in my book (paperclips, a sock, and sometimes on occasion, another book). As an adult, my local bookstore even gives out free bookmarks with every purchase, but I still somehow end up using a kleenex in the end.
I tend to read bits and pieces from many books at the same time—around 6-10 physical books at any given time—from a variety of genres (most often these are: nonfiction, memoirs, sci-fi, YA, and mystery). I like to pick up whatever I’m in the mood for on that specific day and read a chapter or two, and then when my mood shifts I set it on my “currently reading” pile. This means that some books can take me months to read, but I find it clarifies for me which books I don’t want to finish, and also highlights those books which are truly stellar—I know I’ve found an amazing book when I read the entire thing within a day or two.
I always check the copyright page before reading a book, hoping that it tells me what font the book is set in.
If I really love a book, I can just about guarantee that I don’t want to see the movie or tv adaptation. I worry that the casting will overwrite what I have in my mind, or that if the movie is bad I won’t love the book as much. I am my most deranged about this with Philip Pullman‘s His Dark Materials series—books that I loved so much I literally went to Iceland to see the Northern Lights because the North is where the veil between the worlds is thin. Sure, I refused to watch the 2007 movie adaptation of The Golden Compass, but I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the 2019 HBO/BBC series His Dark Materials. Even though I was nervous that seeing Lyra, Iorek Byrnison, Lee Scoresby, and the other characters who have been with me since I first read the series as a kid, I was still curious about the adaptation. So, I listened to a recap podcast from Nerdette without ever watching the show. Absolutely nuts, I am well aware.