I am often in the middle of a half a dozen books: I can’t understand people who are reading just one thing at a time. I enjoy a variety of books, and I feel like I need a variety of books in my head at one time. I don’t try to rush through books, but sometimes I can’t put them down.
Nonfiction: I read my nonfiction books a few chapters a day, tops. Usually these are very large books (especially if I’m reading a biography) and I find I need to take them in chunks. Even if they are short (for example, A Brief History of Time), the subject matter suggests I can only handle a few pages at a time. I want to make sure I’m reading and learning something from them! That’s why I’m reading them in the first place. I read a few pages while my son is playing; I read a few pages as I eat my breakfast or lunch. I take them in installments.
Fiction: I treasure my fiction reading time. I try to limit my reading of these to when my son is asleep because I get easily distracted by plots—I don’t want to neglect his needs by reading too much when he’s awake. I read these as soon as he’s in bed; I read these at night before I fall asleep; I read these in place of nonfiction at the breakfast table if I can’t put them down. I read fiction quickly, normally.
On-the-go digital reading: I try to keep older, public domain fiction on my handheld device in a text file. These are books that I may have already read but I’m rereading. Or, these are books that I haven’t read but I’m not dying to find out what happens next. I keep them on my handheld so if I get stuck in a doctor’s office or elsewhere, I have something to read other than magazines. Sometimes I have my audio books on here too, but that’s not as easy to listen to in a doctor’s office. I find I don’t have as much time to read these because my son takes up my attention!
Audiobooks: I listen to my audiobooks when I’m cooking or ironing. Because I obviously can’t read books while I do those tasks, I listen to them. Sometimes I get distracted by what I’m doing and have to go back, but overall, I do enjoy entering the world of books as I go about my daily duties. I listen to both fiction and nonfiction, but I try to only have one audio book in progress at a time.
Read-aloud children’s book: I read a longer children’s book aloud to my son. He’s only seven-months old, so he doesn’t pay much attention. But I enjoy our time. Right now, we’re reading Beatrix Potter’s complete works.
Read-aloud with my husband: My husband and I read aloud to each other. One or the other of us falls asleep most nights, so it’s slow going. We get through about a chapter of a novel each week. I want to read ahead and know what happens, but it’s nice that we have that time together. It’s amazing how the story still works in suspended time. I don’t watch television, but I imagine it’s like waiting each week for the next episode of an on-going drama.
Set-aside books: There are some books I’m technically in the middle of reading, but these are more reference books. I read a chapter of them, set them aside, and then return to them. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that I am reading them at my leisure as I feel like it. Right now, for example, I’m reading a book called Masterclass in Photography. When I feel a need for a photography tutorial and inspiration, I read the next chapter.
I love having a chance to read during the day. I know this is probably an amazing statement for all the book bloggers out there, but some days I don’t have time to read. It’s a great day when I can read for even a little while.
Much thanks to Dewey for suggesting we write about our reading habits.