Posted by: Mish | July 13, 2010

Reading Habits

1. How old were you when you learned how to read?
3 or 4. My parents used coloured, scented markers to decorate my bedroom walls with the alphabet and words.

2. Were you a big reader growing up?
Oh yeah.

3. Are there any books that left a big impression on you as a kid?
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie and the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. They helped instill my sense of adventure and like for roughing it in the woods. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology started my fascination with mythology from all parts of the world. It helped me think outside of monotheism and I’ve been a Jewish-Pagan-Taoist for years.

4. Favourite genres? (Do you read mainly fiction or non-fiction? Do you have a soft spot for horror, sci-fi, or romance?)
Sci-fi, fantasy, classic literature, and plays. I rarely read contemporary general fiction.

5. Top 5 favourite authors.
Steven Barnes, Catherynne Valente, Mercedes Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Shakespeare came to mind first.

6. Top 5 favourite books.
Lion’s Blood, Palimpsest, Tao Te Ching, Les Miserables, and Ravens in the Library because it’s special and contains works by some of my favourite people.

7. Where do you prefer to read?
On my bed, in my chair, in a friend’s backyard by a river, and on a sailboat’s deck.

8. Do you like to eat or drink something while you read? If so, what are your foods and beverages of choice?
I do, but have no real preference. A good single-malt is always nice. I’ll occasionally go to the Chinese buffet with book in hand and nosh while I read for a couple hours.

9. What do you typically wear when you read? (I swear, I don’t mean this in a dirty way. My mind is a pure as the first snow of the year – before it gets contaminated by dog poo and engine exhaust, that is. ) Casual wear? Pyjamas? Jeans? Something more elaborate and stylish?
Clothes. Usually PJs because I read before lights out. Otherwise, its whatever I’m wearing at the time.

10. On average, how many books do you read a month?
1-4, it varies with what I’m reading. Moby Dick was a slow read taking 5 weeks. On the other hand, I finished the Iron Dragon’s Daughter in 4 days. It’s also dependent on the season. I read less in the summer when there’s BBQs, festivities, and sailing.

11. How do you get hold of the books? Do you buy them at a bookstore, visit an online store, borrow from a friend or family member, or do you use the library?
If I’m not borrowing from friends, I try the used bookstore down the block or other used shoppes. Then I resort to chain-stores and online. My library never has what I want.

12. Paperback or hardcover?
Paperbacks because they’re lighter, easier to travel with, and take up less shelf space.

13. At what point do you give up on a book?
I’m pretty stubborn about finishing what I started so dredged through Atwood’s Bodily Harm and Card’s Treasure Box, which should be dubbed Soapbox. Bodily Harm‘s plot and events kept me going through the poor writing/editing.

14. How do you find about new books and authors?
Friends, fellow book bloggers, and SF/F conventions/community.

15. Best reading-related memory?
Catherynne Valente’s readings of Palimpsest with intervals of S.J. Tucker performing music inspired by the book during its opening night release gala.

16. Worst reading-related memory?
I came close to throwing Soapbox against the wall many times. It was a big let down on Card’s writing.

17. What was the last book(s) you bought?
It’s been long enough that I actually don’t remember. I’ve been working on reading those already on my shelves. But last month before moving, a friend gave me a stack of books among which were Raymond Feist’s Riftwar 1-4, Philip Pullman’s the Dark Materials trilogy, and a stunning 1938 edition of Crime and Punishment.

18. What was the last book you checked out from the library?
Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is the only one I’ve borrowed from my local library.

19. On average, how many hours a week do you spend reading?
At least 14.

20. Are you a fast or slow reader?
Compared to who? I’m slower than Reid on Criminal Minds.

21. Do you sometimes read more than one book at the time?
More like always. I tend to read a novel and an anthology of short stories at the same time. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something else. I also have bookmarks in a book of Ursula Le Guin’s essays, Tao Te Ching, and a poetry anthology.

22. Are you what Stephen King refers to as a Constant Reader, or are there periods where you don’t read at all?

23. What’s the longest you’ve gone without reading?
24 hours, see above.



  1. Boxcar Children. Wow, it has certainly been a while since I’ve thought or heard about those books!

  2. Some interesting answers – I’ve not read any of your favourite books/authors!

    Also, embarrassingly enough, I’ve gone over a week without reading at times. :S I’d still like to refer to myself as a constant reader…..

  3. Hannah: Heheheh. I don’t remember much about them and the “goody goody” tone would probably annoy me now but at the time they were fun.

    Crumbles: Sinner! Thou hast not read constantly! Hahaha. 😉 I’ve probably gone longer than a day without reading, but have blocked it from my memory.

    Hast thou not read any Shakespeare? The others I can understand as they’re more obscure than the Bard, but he’s oft assigned reading so that’s kind of surprising.

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