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13 December 2005 @ 08:56 am
All the faff with the car yesterday upset my normal routine - so I ended up doing housework at 6pm coz I'd played Civ in the afternoon and not done enough in the morning. On the plus side - I won a civ game on Noble difficulty :) Spaceship victory, I want to try & win with conquest or culture before I move on to the next difficulty level though.

And that's about all there is to say about yesterday, so instead I'll do a meme I've seen floating about on the more bookish end of my friendslist:

15 things about me and books/reading!

1. I wasn't one of these children that self-taught themselves to read, I clearly remember learning while I was in my first year at school. I did, however, move swiftly from the lowest-level reading group to the highest level one once I figured out that there were stories in the books.

2. Once my brother had started primary school too I used to get into trouble for reading his reading books. Mostly because he was having trouble with learning to read initially and my mother didn't think it was fair of me to 'show off' by reading his books too. I didn't think I was showing off, it's just that the school had changed the series they used for teaching people to read, so there were new stories!

3. I read fast. Almost everyone who's seen me reading a book has at some point commented on this. I read at somewhere between the word level and the sentence level, and if I'm sucked into a book I don't notice the words at all - fantastic prose is wasted on me, I extract the meaning without conciously noting the words. My reading speed means I never bothered to learn to 'skim read' when we were taught that for English comprehension tests - I'd already read the passage and the questions in the time that the teacher was explaining how to skim read. Likewise, it's never been a chore to read all the exam questions before I start the paper. I read fiction significantly faster than non-fiction - the story carries me from paragraph to paragraph, and I rather suspect I skip whole sentences and pick it up from context. I've never managed to slow down enough to find out.

4. The book is pretty nearly always better than the film. I accept this isn't the case for everyone, but I'm very much not visual oriented. When I'm reading I don't see pictures in my head unless I've watched the film of the book, my thought processes are considerably more abstract than that (they're not words, either).

5. People who correct spelling mistakes in library books irritate me. I have, however, done this once myself. Someone had gone through an entire chapter of a book correcting "it's" and "its" the wrong way round. I went back through afterwards and corrected their corrections ;) I suspect the real reason correcting mistakes in books irritates me is that I suddenly notice the words on the page again, and that breaks the flow of the story more than the initial typo did.

6. Book-tokens are always the perfect gift - sometimes I have other things I want, but a book-token is always as good as whatever specific thing it was. I've been getting book-tokens for my birthday for as long as I can remember and it still surprises people that they're as good as a 'thing' I can unwrap.

7. If I say "I'll just finish the chapter and then I'll ..." then if the other bit is important it's probably a good idea to keep an eye on me (even if I will get cranky) coz I don't notice chapter breaks when I'm at full speed.

8. Trying to attract my attention when I'm reading a book is difficult - especially if I think you should be there. A stranger speaking will jolt me, my husband speaking gets processed as 'normal world event happening, keep reading'. This can be irritating for all around me ;)

9. I dislike reading poetry, despite quite liking to write it. To get anything out of a poem you have to read each word at a time, probably in the right meter (even if it's free-form there's still a right rhythm).

10. My preference in fiction is science fiction and fantasy. My preference within that genre is fluid, and at different times I will read the same book for different aspects.

11. I very rarely read mainstream fiction - part of this is reverse snobbishness and part is stubborness (they don't like genre fiction? well, I don't like them! So ner!). This is rather childish, and there's probably great swathes of stories out there that I'd enjoy reading, however any book where the prose itself is the point is wasted on me so reviews of 'literature' that emphasise this put me off.

12. My parents have bookshelves in nearly every room - not the dining room, not the bathroom and not the downstairs loo. But everywhere else. I grew up with the idea that there should always be books around, and that there should always be sometime in the day to read. In the evenings my parents sit down and read rather than watch TV as the default. By the time I left home at 18 I'd read the majority of the 'classics' (not Dickens, he's dull, and not all the Hardy either). I should really re-read some of them sometime, but I'm never quite sure whether to buy my own copies or just borrow them off my parents.

13. The summer after my A-levels I used to walk to the library in town in the afternoon, get 5 books out of the library (the maximum), walk home and spend all evening and the next morning reading them. Then repeat 6 days a week.

14. I have been kicked out of every bookshop in Cambridge (UK) for reading the books and not buying them while I was a student.

15. I try to just buy books that I'll re-read, and give away books that I don't want to re-read. We still have ~800 books.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Porcupine Tree "Coma Divine"
J: bookrethought on December 13th, 2005 10:53 am (UTC)
I can echo quite a bit of that.

I do need to learn to get rid of books that I'm not re-reading. They take up such an awful amount of space.

I'm actually quite sad just now because the majority of my books are still in the US. But, we don't have room for them in any case as ybunny's are all over the place.
Margaretpling on December 13th, 2005 11:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm quite bad at actually getting rid of books (note the 'try' in that point ;) ) - I often think "well, I'll re-read it someday, just not now", but having filled all available bookcase space I've managed to get a bit more ruthless ;) And I use the library rather than buy things initially. Annoyingly I've read my way through what they've got of some authors, and I know it's not stuff I want to re-read often if at all.
magidmagid on December 13th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
13 sounds familiar; I had a similar sort of summer, though I didn't have to limit myself to 5 books, but what I could fit in my backpack. The hard part was figuring out what to borrow for the weekend, since the tiny town library was closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in the summer.

15's also familiar, though I have a lot more than 800 books (I daren't count, but I also imagine the house easing its beams whenever I manage to get rid of a couple :-).
Martin Atkins: normalmart on December 13th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)

I haven't read a book for about two years now. I hadn't really thought about it, but now that I've noticed I find it a little sad. I have a big pile of books in my cupboard (because I don't have a bookcase) that I've never so much as opened. I think the main reason is that once I start reading a book I don't really like to stop until I finish it, but in the last couple of years I've rarely had enough contiguous lumps of time to get through a book in one sitting. In those few cases where I have, reading has become so unusual that I've just not thought of it as a possible way to fill up the time. Sad, really.

Jonathanmcurtains on December 14th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
That whole 'reading too fast to see the actual words' thing rather scares me. A big part of my reading enjoyment is well written prose. I like a good story too, but 'pulp' sci-fi, of which there does seem quite a lot, is less fun to read because, as you say, the faster you can read it the faster you progress in the story. I enjoy reading every single word in good prose, and I like a rather slow progression of narrative if the words are a delight to read. We're very different at reading I guess :)