Reading Habits


In light of my 2012 National Year of Reading goal, I thought it would be fun to take part in this questionnaire that I came across at Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad, on reading habits. I know lots of people who are very particular about where they read, how they read, what coffee cup they use when they’re reading. So, let’s have a look at my reading habits, shall we?

If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?

There’s a reason the books are so popular; who wouldn’t want to live in a world where there existed a Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Whomping Willow, Forbidden Forest, Floo powder, flying broomsticks, Dobby, Ron Weasley and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans? The wonderful world of Harry Potter has long since been a world I’d love to live in.

Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

I definitely prefer quiet places. That said, I will read anywhere if necessary. Train, bus, dinner table; if I’m lost in a really good book, it won’t matter what noise is going on around me, I won’t hear any of it.

What was the first book you ever read?

The first book I ever read likely took place at an age when that long term memory part of my brain wasn’t yet activated. It could have been anything.

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It would probably take a lifetime to soak in all that there is to be learned from that collection. Language, description, history, theme, expression, characters…it would be some time before I got bored of the sheer mastery of that entire story.

Favorite Author?

This would be a toss up between JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling and Robin Hobb. In fairness to them all I’d have to set them a challenge, whereby they each bring to life a dragon from one of their stories, and nominate that fire breather to battle it out. Last dragon standing wins.

Do reviews influence your choices of reads?

They can do, but I try not to let them influence my choice too much. I usually read by recommendation, which sort of bypasses that process of looking up reviews. I’ve come to realise though that books are much like movies. Too often a bunch of critics have slammed a great movie, prompting me not to go see it at the cinema, only to watch it later and find it amazing. Books, like movies, are subjective. It’s always worth giving something a go and seeing for yourself what to make of it.

Fiction or Non-fiction?

While I’m happy to read both, I mostly read fiction.

Meeting Brandon Sanderson at Supanova 2012

Have you ever met your favorite author?

Tolkien and Rowling, no. I once brushed shoulders with Robin Hobb at a convention before I had read any of her works. I kicked myself for it afterwards, but received a lovely email from her to make up for it. You can read it here. I’ve met Isobelle Carmody, who in my younger years won me over with her Obernewtyn Chronicles, Brandon Sanderson, who I’ve yet to experience due to my lack of commitment to the Wheel of Time, and Ian Irvine, whose fantasy books I also loved during High School. Those are my only claims to authorly fame.

Audio books or Paperback?

When I was younger my parents used to put on the War of the Worlds cassette or Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for me and my little brother during long car trips, and we absolutely loved it. Since then, I hadn’t had much to do with audio books UNTIL Harry Potter was released on audio, narrated by Stephen Fry. I couldn’t resist the temptation, so I bought it, listened, and by golly was it spectacular! Audio books are such a different reading experience and I’ve made myself a promise to listen to more of them in the future; it’s how storytelling begun, after all, with the verbal sharing of tales.

Classic or Modern Novels?


Book groups or Solitary Reading?

I’m a solitary reader, but I won’t say no to a good discussion about the pros and cons of my latest read. I’ve never joined a book club, but my writers’ group does have a ‘book club’ segment where we show-and-tell what we’ve been reading and talk a little about how we’re finding it. I find that sort of thing always promotes quite valuable discussion.  The only exception to my solitary reading rule is with my best friend Mel. When I visit her in Sydney we will often spend our days just quietly reading together. True friendship!

Jane Austen pondering discussion at our dinner party

If you could invite three dead authors to a dinner for four, whom would you invite?

JRR Tolkien
Jane Austen
Charles Dickens

We four would have much to discuss on the state and decline of modern day literature.

So that’s me, now it’s your turn. What are your reading habits?

41 comments on “Reading Habits

  1. Reading habits: a comfy place to sit or lie down (indoors or outdoors), ice tea and nibbles close to hand, and preferably a quiet atmosphere. But I can also read in noisy places too — a bus station, airport, airplane or train station.

  2. Unfortunately I have yet to meet one single author – well known or otherwise…so I’d say you’re doing pretty darn well!
    You look lovely in your picture btw :)

  3. I met my favourite living author once (Alexander McCall Smith! He spoke in Boston). Even though I live in Scotland now, no JK Rowling sightings yet. I did get to ask Philippa Gregory a question a lecture she gave, which was pretty cool.

    • How very cool! How was Alexander? I’d be on the lookout for Miss Rowling every second of the day if I lived in Edinburgh. I’m sure it would become an embarrassing obsession ha!

  4. I am a bit of a freak because I read at least one book if not three books a week. I love reading the news and various magazines too. I prefer quiet when reading. My grandmother helped me read Dick and Jane around the age of 5 and was a huge pop-up book fan as a young child. I usually like to read the latest books. Great Post – Happy Saturday!

    • Sounds like you read quite a bit! I’d love to get through 3 books a week, but it’s all about finding the time. Sigh. thanks for commenting :) Happy reading!

  5. I like to read books while laying across my bed with the tv off. I get most of my productive reading done at night. I prefer to read in comfortable clothing (sweatpants and a t-shirt) because I really don’t plan on leaving the house for a while once I really start reading something intensely. I read a few chapters of this book on Thursday night and it was such a relaxing experience.

    I tend to read magazines in any kind of environment and even with the tv on. I don’t have a favorite author as all of my books are from different authors (I don’t think I have two books from the same one). With that being said, my favorite writer is Dave Meltzer, the founder and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which I’ve been a subscriber of since 2005. I enjoy his style very much.

    Great read Katy!

    • Thanks for sharing your reading habits, Jeuron. I get most of my productive reading done at night too. Unless the book is pretty dismal, then I just end up falling asleep after a couple of pages. Oops!

  6. To dine for dinner? Wow. I love the three you chose, but I’d have to make room for C.S. Lewis as well. Would love to hear the discussion between him and Tolkien since they were buddies.

  7. Ray Bradbury is great if you’re a fiction lover.. His book Fahrenheit 451 is about books being banned, and “book people” memorizing entire works to preserve them. People splintered off into two strains: thoughful book people and really dumb ones who watched mind numbing reality tv.

  8. You’ve got some awesome images with this post! :)

    You and I have the same taste in several areas, apparently. (Though I think a lot of people of this generation would answer “HARRY POTTER!!” for that first question!)

    Also, I couldn’t help but giggle at this: “If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? = The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.”

    So… your one book is three books? Sneaky, m’dear. Very sneaky. ;) Haha!

    • Well, did you know that The Lord of the Rings was written as one novel? According to the trusty Wikipedia (ha!) it was split into three books by the publisher for “economical reasons”. So yes, it was a bit sneaky of me but I stand by my original statement ;)

  9. Wonderful read!
    I prefer quiet reading places, too, and I must be able to put my bare feet up without being frowned upon. Also, please invite me to that dinner and sit me beside Ms. Austen. :)

    • Oh Terri, I know the feeling well, but I can’t really complain. Of all the addictions we could have, reading surely has to be the most beneficial and the least dangerous, right?! ;)

  10. Ha! That graphic at the top gave me a giggle; especially the aching back . . . so very true it is. A lovely post.

    P.S. I’m still laughing.

    Happy Sunday to you, Katy!

    ~ Cara

  11. Pingback: Classics or Good Books? « The Tiger's Eye

  12. Pingback: Teaser Tuesday: Searching for the Beaumont Children (August 28) « All that I am, all that I ever was

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