East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Ten questions about reading


forward_a_chain_letter_tshirtMy friend Claire, over at the Scribblings blog, tagged me in a meme – and while I still can’t understand why these chain-letter sort of things are called memes, considering it’s a chain-letter sort of thing about reading, and reading is what I’ve been doing for most of my life, well, I thought, why not?

Here goes…

1) Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not anymore.
When I moved to the country I designed and furnished my library with great care as the place where I will read.
The room has been flooded, attacked by black mold, ravaged by a crazed stray cat (I kid you not), turned by my brother into his workplace and recently appropriated by my father as the place where he is recovering now he’s out of hospital.
So I basically read wherever I find a spot.

2) Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I used postcards of classic actors when I was in university: Bogart for Geology, Bacall for Chemistry…
Got lots of disapproving glances from professors and colelagues… I was considered flippant and disrespectful, or something.
When I was in high school I used bus tickets, when I was in the Air Farce I used train tickets.
Nowadays I use anything that’s at hand so it’s certainly random, and often it is a piece of paper.
But paper clips actually work like wonder.

3) Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain number of pages?

I usually have no problem stopping anywhere, but if I can get to the bottom of the chapter I feel a certain sense of completion, of not leaving things half-finished.

4) Do you eat or drink while reading? Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Eating and drinking, yes. I often read during my lunch break, and I like to have a few provisions at hand when enjoying an afternoon or an evening with a book. Hot or cold drinks depending on the season. Crisps, cookies… even a sandwich now and again.
I belong to the generation that was told that reading while eating is bad for health… nonsense.
I do sometimes read with the TV on, but either I miss the action on TV, or what’s going on in the book.
Or listening to music I don’t really care about – like, having the radio on to keep me company.

5) One book at a time or several at once?

Several, depending on the mood and engagements.
Usually at least a novel, some non fiction (especially if I am doing research for my writing), odds and ends.

6) Reading at home or everywhere?

When I am out of house, I normally carry my Kindle in my coat or jacket pocket, and read whenever I have the opportunity.

7) Reading out loud or silently in your head?

I don’t like the sound of my voice, even when reading great literature.

8) Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Sometimes I skip pages.
Some writers are highly skippable.

9) Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

If possible, keeping it like new, but without obsessing over it.
I love used books, and a broken spine, like a creased or stained cover, adds character to the book.
On the other hand, I hate those that break the spines of paperbacks and fold the pages back, like it were some kind of stapled magazine.

10) Do you write in your books?

Never did.
Even in school I did not underscore passages and I hated adding notes in the margins.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Ten questions about reading

  1. 🙂 I wondered if you’d forgive me for nominating you…


    • No, why…?
      It’s a fun game.
      My only problem is with the abuse of the term “meme” – being something developed by evolutionary scientists, I feel a little proprietorial about it 😀


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