Five Favorite Ways to Read a Book

June 8, 2008 by in category Writing tagged as with 4 and 0
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by Abby Gaines

If you’re reading this blog, you already know you love to read, and you probably know what you love to read (though hopefully you’re open to some new reading experiences!). But do you know how you most love to read?

Let’s say there’s a book that you’ve been wanting to read for months, and now at last you’ve bought it. It’s not always easy to decide how to read it.

Do you want to drive home from the store, curl up in your favorite chair and start reading right away (are you an Instant Gratification Reader)? Or will you wait, saint-like, until you’ve made dinner and put the kids to bed, all the while knowing your precious book is sitting there (if you listen hard, you can hear it calling, faintly, “Read me…read me…”). You wait because it’s better to have at least a couple of hours to read without interruption.

How about reading for half an hour in bed every night, just before you fall asleep? The upside is, it’s a lovely way to end the day. The downside: it takes a long time to finish the book.

Maybe you’ll choose to make the commute to work more bearable (or waiting for an appointment, or even sitting at a red light), by cramming in pages at every opportunity over the next few days. The reading experience might not be the most relaxed, but it’ll brighten other parts of your life and it keeps the story alive and pulsing in your head.

Or maybe you’ll wait until you can truly savor the book without fear of daily life intruding—you’ll save it until you go on vacation. Reading on the sand can be a gritty experience, but there’s something about having the sun warming you as you read that’s incredibly relaxing….

I love all of the above ways of reading, for different reasons. If I had to choose just one…hmm, I think it involves a window-seat, with the sun streaming through it. It involves a stretch of time—chunks of an hour or two, at least—and several cups of hot tea…or if it’s later in the day a glass of wine. I’m happy to have people around me, but hopefully they’re not expecting me to do things for them—I’m thinking more of a companionable feeling than a busy feeling.

Tell me your favorite way to read a book…maybe I’ll learn something new!


  • Anonymous
    on June 9, 2008

    Hey Travis, do you mean your wife is driving while you read in the car? Or are you multi-tasking in a rather scary way? 🙂

    Yesterday I spent half the day reading when I should have been working. Bad, bad, bad! And actually, I finished the book, as you say, sorry that I hadn’t savored it more…

  • Anonymous
    on June 8, 2008

    I’m an addicted reader. I read a chapter or so the second I get to the car. Then I read every chance I get. The bathroom. A quiet moment at work. In lieu of my wife’s honey-dos. You name it I read every chance I get until it is done and then I am sad that I didn’t savor it more.

  • Anonymous
    on June 8, 2008

    Sam, I forgot about reading at lunchtime! I work from home, which means when I’m into a good book I have to be really disciplined about not reading all day (sometimes my discipline fails me!). But I do like to read while I eat my lunch (very slowly!).

  • Anonymous
    on June 8, 2008

    Well, in the main I am an instant gratification reader – why should I wait!!! 😉

    Having said that, there are some books (mostly nonfiction) that I cannot seem to read in one go or can put off indefinitely, but…because I DO want to read them, I take them into work to read durinig my lunch halfhour because I HAVE to have something to read! (rather that than nothing! Occasionally I find that the book is better than I thought and I carry on reading when I get home!)

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