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How to read

How do you read?

How do you like to read your books?

This is a question that puzzles me about reading and when I watch a book show I feel compelled to read the new releases they’re discusby David Monniaux under Creative Commons licensesing. But I’m also a bit picky so I like to read what I like to read, if you know what I mean? My reading choice is determined by my current headspace so if I’m thinking of an epic, or something about an exotic land or something about relationships or something about parenting or something about girlfriends then I feel compelled to read in that space too and ignore the book review pages. I’m also keen to read from the classic so every now and then I have to pick a classic and go with that.

My husband’s an English teacher so that helps with recommendations and advice on what classic to choose. But then I also love biographies because, well, they’re real and I want to know how real people deal with the real things of life.

Do you stick with new releases or best sellers? Do you read a book by an author and then decide to to read other books by the same writer? Do you read the classics? Or do you read a combination of new and old? What about fiction and non-fiction?



3 thoughts on “How do you read?

  1. Since getting a Kindle about 18 months ago, the way I choose books to read has changed completely. I used to wander into bookshops and browse the latest release shelves looking for something interesting. Or sometimes I would head for the A-Z fiction in search of something by a particular author, either due to a recommendation, or something I had read previously.

    Now I mostly find new books, and new authors, from reviews. I subscribe (via Kindle) to the Times Literary Supplement, and I read reviews in the papers at the weekend. And when I see something that looks interesting, I can flick straight over to the Amazon store, find it and ‘wish-list’ it.

    When I first got my Kindle probably 20% of the books I went looking for were not available as e-books to Australian readers. Now it’s more like 5%. But I have trained myself not to obsess too much over reading particular books. With nearly 100 books on my wish-list already, and growing faster than I can read them, ‘availability’ is a good a criterion as any other for whittling the choice down!

    I guess this does not bode too well for traditional bookstores, which is sad in a way. But I think there will remain a role for specialist and ‘niche’ areas. Some people will continue to prefer paper for the foreseeable future. There is currently no really effective e-alternative for books that are heavy on graphics or photographs. And while accessing recipe sites in the kitchen on a tablet is a viable option, I still prefer a good recipe book to work from!

    Posted by Mark Summerfield | 26 January 2012, 1:06 pm
    • Certainly sounds like the way you choose books has altered since using a Kindle. I tend to agree with the idea that bookstores will remain, albeit in decreased number, as the physicality of a book will always be appealing. Nonetheless I’ve heard many stories similar to yours from friends and colleagues who’ve become fans of the accessibility of ebooks. I have an iPad and, while not specifically designed for reading ebooks, it is sufficient for the few I read and I like it for emagazines which costs less and I don’t need to keep on my bookshelf. It will be interesting to see the effect of iBooks on the textbook publishing world and if Author becomes popular. Another post in the making on this me thinks…

      Posted by PaleInk | 27 January 2012, 7:15 am
  2. Call me a traditionalist but there is nothing like turning the page of a real book. The smell of a library is something else. However, the e-book is a great way to engage young readers not to mention the new accessibility of reading material. My son is on his gap year and he’s loaded up with hundreds of texts on his i-phone. I remember horse trading books with other backpackers and jettisoning much loved novels before trekking in Nepal.

    Posted by Teachit | 29 January 2012, 8:07 am

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