Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rules to Read By

I got a great idea from Intense Whisper, that I have never really thought about before. Bookworms tend to have habits they hold to like unbreakable laws when reading. I find that my personal rules hold stronger thanks to the demands of book blogging. I have an audience that may or may not actually read what I write and hold me accountable for what I opinionate about literature.

1. Read as many books of my own choosing as I am asked to review. I'm sure I am not alone in this when it comes to book blogging. I am asked to review an eclectic array of books, but rarely do I get asked to review the stuff that I am pining to read, so to the library I go. I usually have a scrolling list of books on order there, and I read the "review stuff", as I call it, while I wait for the library stuff to come in. But what about the books I own, but am not asked to review? Yea, that stuff just kind of gets lost in the background...

2. Read to at least page 80 of a book you can't stand. Why page 80? I have no idea, it just seems to be the magic number for me when it comes to page count. I stopped reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien at page 80, and since then I've stuck with that number. And in my defense, I don't do this very often, either. And I normally love J. R. R. Tolkien.

3. A book is my security blanket. I take a book with me everywhere. I feel naked without a book, even if I know I won't have time to so much as look at the cover. To the bathroom, the grocery store, on walks in the freezing snow and cold, to pick up my daughter at the bus stop, to super-important meetings, etc. Interestingly, this has sometimes sparked conversations about my blog and even netted me more books to read.

4. Read a review book at the same time as a library book, and vice versa. Yes, it's all a mind game to get my TBR pile knocked down. If I crack a new library book, then I also have to start on a new review book because I feel guilty for not only focusing on the review stuff. And if I elect to start a review book, then I also start a library book, because darn it, my blog is not just about homework. So rarely am I ever reading only one book at a time.

5. Write at least half the review before turning in a library book. I have a template for book reviews, and I need the book in hand to fill out most of the template, so obviously I can't turn it in until I have this filled out. It's not the entire review post, though, so half-done review posts can sit in draft form for weeks before I get around to finishing them. At this point, I'm only going on what I can remember from the book, so I often have to sneak a peek at other book reviews for a refresher. And no, I am not so easily influenced that another's review will color my own book review, give me a break.

6. No e-books. This one is just about practicality. I don't own an e-reader, though I want one badly. (Kobo in lilac, please!) I can't afford to buy one, and I can't stand to read e-books on the desktop PC. Though I have this posted right on my profile, on my blog for all to see, you would be amazed at the number of requests I get to review e-books. The one exception I have made is a Photoshop manual I have in e-book form on the computer for when I want to tinker around in my Photoshop program. I have not read the manual cover to cover, and I probably never will, but it is useful.

I'm a weird one, so I likely have many more that rule over my reading habits. Do you have any you read by?


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