Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quirky Reading Rules (You Know You Have Them)

Although most of us wouldn't admit it, many of us readers have peculiar rules for ourselves when it comes to picking up a book.

A pair of book lovers flaunting convention (as usual).
Image via

Removing the dust jacket is a must for some when beginning a new book. Others refuse to watch the movie adaptation if they've read the book (or they choose not to read the book after having seen the movie). Most are totally against folding pages into dog ears and breaking the spine, with at least one person going as far as never placing the book face down while it's open.

These arbitrary reading rules and more are highlighted in the BookRiot article "What Your Reading Rules Reveal About Your Personality," by Jeanette. In writing this piece, Jeanette divulged that her rules while reading include: Always stop at the end of a chapter, always read two books at once, and no (or minimal) writing in books. "No highlighters ever," she said.

I'm with Jeanette on not marking up books. I try to keep my books in as close to brand-new condition as possible. This means no dog ears or folding of pages. No eating or drinking while reading my books, lest I spill my food or beverage on it (or, worse, get grease stains on the pages). Once, a book I lent out was returned to me with coffee cup stains on a few of the pages. In my eyes, the book was as good as ruined and I no longer wanted it. I ended up giving it to a used bookstore.

Which leads me to another rule of mine: I can never, ever throw a book out. Ever. Seeing a bunch of books in a garbage can or a dumpster breaks my heart. Books are treasures! Don't throw them out! If I have books that I don't want anymore, I always contact my friends first, emailing them the list of books I don't want and asking them to pick what they want so I can set it aside for them. Whatever books they don't want, I give to a used bookstore. Someone is likely to want what you don't, and books are meant to be shared.

Other reading rules I have is that the bookmark must be color-coordinated with the book's cover. If I'm reading a feminist book or a book by a female author, I tend to use my bookmark from a feminist bookstore. If I don't have a bookmark on me, I will use the store receipt, a Post-it, or whatever scrap of paper I have on me so that I wont' have to dog-ear the pages to hold my place. And although some readers tell themselves that they can't put a book down until they've completed the chapter, I won't close a book until I've finished the paragraph I'm on. Those are among my quirky reading rules.

To take a peek at other odd (and not-so-unusual) reading rules, see Jeanette's article for BookRiot HERE.

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