How Do You Read Yours?

How do you read yours?

Is this something that you’ve even thought about before?

I’ve been reading for over 30 years, and I cannot even begin to guess how many books I’ve read in that time.

Reading a book is just something that I do, most days, and have done for most of my life. So, I’d not really given much thought to ‘how’ I read, until recently, having had a few chats with the family, with them ably modelling their preferences…

how do you read yours

My husband holds his book with both hands, and has to put it down at the end of a chapter. Before starting a new chapter, he’ll have a flick through to see how long it is to enable him to decide whether he has the time to read one more.

His sister is similar, though she also tends to skip to the end of a book so that knows how it ends before reading it (my sister-in-law really hates surprises!).

My brother holds his book with one hand, flipping the other pages back behind it (like the bottom right in the photo) and also likes to read to the end of a chapter. He turns the corners of a page down to mark where he is.

How do you read yours?

His wife likes to read with the book laid out flat in front of her on her desk, though if she does hold it, it tends to be with two hands.

My mum, well she reads like me, though now she’s retired, she probably gets through a few more books than me each month!


This is how I read:
– I hold my book with one hand
– I use a bookmark/postcard or some such, or occasionally leave the book lying splayed open to keep my page, but I never turn the corners down.
– I will stop reading in the middle of a page, let alone the middle of a chapter.
– I read sitting, lying, upright, on my side – doesn’t matter to me as long as I have some light!
– I will sometimes be reading a couple of books at a time. It’s rarely more than 2, and it is normally just the one. In an average month, I probably read 3 or 4 books. 

Reading it reading is reading, isn’t it? And yet it does seem that there are different ways that we all do this, which has really never occurred to me before! 

So, please do share now – how do you read yours?





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44 thoughts on “How Do You Read Yours?”

  1. Oh wow, what a great post Jocelyn! I’m a big, bad page corner turner-over if I haven’t got a hasty bookmark to hand, though I do prefer a (preferrably pretty) bookmark. I tend to hold the book with one hand, usually the left and have my right hand free to eat or drink. Or if I’m finger twirling my hair it’s my left hand for some reason! My friend hates (with a vengeance) creasing the lovely new spine on a brand new book) and will go to great pains to keep it ‘fresh’!

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      Not the page corner turner-over!! I never do that! If I have no bookmark to hand, I simply memorise the page number! I’m not too concerned abut spine creasing, though! Thanks, and glad you enjoyed it x

  2. I’d never have thought about this before, but I like to end on a page. I too will flick through a chapter to see if I can fit it in before I know I have to finish. I don’t mind stopping mid chapter but it has to be at the end of a page or paragraph. And I flick to the end as I hate surprises too! I usually read lying down with the book propped up on me.
    Great post πŸ™‚

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      It’s not something you really think about is it, but it seems there are lots of ways to do it! No, never read the end first!!!

  3. Great post! I love reading actual books and have never had a desire to buy a kindle – I love owning actual books! It depends where I am as to how I read, if I’m in bed I hold with one hand but if sitting down I hold with two hands (bizarre I know!) I have to admit I’m also a really naughty one for folding over the pages! That said, I only do it with certain books – my favourite books are pristine! I keep saying I’m going to make myself a couple of book marks. I might just do it when I finally go on maternity leave at the end of the month!

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      I like to use postcards and such like as bookmarks, too. Anything goes! And yes, I’m with you on ‘actual’ books, too πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ooh this got me thinking! I believe I hold my with one hand on the left near the bottom of the book, the other I tend to just pinch the too so I can turn my page with minimal movement haha I also page food on a hurry of not I always use a book mark and I like to finish a chapter before I go to sleep.i have been known to browse chapters and endings because I like to know how some things pan out!xx

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      Ah, I never read ahead, though I read pretty quickly, so I’m not left in suspense for too long! Yes, I hold with my left hand, too, always about minimal effort πŸ™‚

  5. What an interesting post! My reading habits are exactly the same as yours; couple of books on the go at once, happy to stop mid-paragraph and I always hold it with one hand… but I have a thing about never putting a book splayed down – I always lend out my books complete with a bookmark in the vain hope that others don’t do it either!

    Anna x

  6. Hi Jocelyn. I am new to reading and following blogs but just wanted to comment on this post and tell you that I loved it! I am an avid reader and self-confessed book hoarder, and often find myself observing other people’s reading habits. I love that we all have our own quirks, I personally hold the book with my right hand and very close to the spine. My husband delights in pointing out that I also barely open the book (to the point that books in our bookcase generally have no crease down the spine as though they are unread)! Thanks for the interesting post!

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      Ah, thanks for reading and commenting then, Gemma. Lovely to know you enjoyed the post. You must have pristine looking books!

  7. I usually read in the bath so I use one hand to hold the book – the same as you and I use the same hand to open the pages. I don’t have a bookmark in the bath (!) so I leave it open on the side of the bath when I am done. I have dropped countless books in the bath, so most of mine have wrinkly pages that are easier to turn! I don’t turn down the corners. I don’t read my precious books in the bath and I DON’T DO E BOOKS!!!

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      Never, never E-Books! I always shower, so I feel reading’s less practical in that situation πŸ˜‰ x

  8. I tend to hold a book with one hand, but I would never bend the pages back like your brother does. I use bookmarks (usually an African one my brother bought back from Ghana, but I’ll use train tickets or anything if I don’t have a real bookmark). I hate seeing a page corner being folded. I can only stop reading if the page ends with a full stop, but it doesn’t have to be the end of a chapter.

    I couldn’t read the ending first. I don’t even read the blurb until I’ve finished (obviously, I read the blurb when I bought the book, but some of the books on my shelves I bought years ago so by the time I get round to reading them I can’t remember what they are about)…I like the story to take me as it unfolds, as it was meant to be.

  9. Ooh, I can read anywhere and am a one-hander that stops reading at any point (MOH always has to get to the end of the chapter and is much slower reader than me which can be frustrating on holiday when we buy books we can both read!)

    I’ve even been known to wake up in the night to carry on reading and I have one of those kindle light things that I used with proper books under the cover shielding MOH from the light…

    The other thing is that once I’m reading a book then I like to carry it around in my handbag even when I know there’s no real chance of stopping and reading it, but I know it’s there just in case!

  10. I don’t read as much as I used to as I like to finish a book in a few days, I don’t start a book until I know that will have time to finish it quickly. I can’t just read a chapter, I have to read more.

    I like to read curled up somewhere with the book in both hands. I always finish at the end of a chapter (I check how long it will be before I continue reading) and I never ever turn down page corners. Although I can see how practical it can be reading on a Kindle I still can’t do e-books, they have to be real.

    Most importantly I try and read regularly in front of my six year old so that she can see how much I love reading and how important books are to me πŸ™‚

    1. Jocelyn Reading

      I like to finish books fairly quickly, too. Ah, a both-handed reader – it just feels too much to me! And yes, it has to be paper πŸ˜‰

      I love going book-shopping and to the library with my kids, though of course my son’s oblivious at just 1, my 4 year-old enjoys choosing her books, and we often talk about how mummy reads a lot and lovers her books. She was excited recently when I told her that when she can read and is a little older, she can read all of my books – the wonder in her eyes was priceless πŸ™‚ x

  11. I read one book at a time, hold with both hands and don’t mind folding a corner but…. I have Arthritis so now I have a basic kindle and it’s fab. I use one hand, it’s light to hold, press a button to turn a page and my fingers don’t seize up. There’s a place for everything.

    1. You’re right there. I prefer a book, but I guess if health dictates it’s easier to use a Kindle, I’ll move to a Kindle!

  12. I was an early kindle adopter but now mostly read books on my iPad with it precariously balanaced on my duvet. There’s the added tension of a potential biff on the nose as it falls on my face after I invariably nod off mid-paragraph. Life on the edge!

  13. What a good question! I’m a bit like you. I leave them face down splayed open – some people hate this! I can also stop mid sentence and come back later and be fine about it. I tend to read a few chapters at a time while lying on my side and swap half way through. I’m a one handed reader though, with a slightly cramped/numb thumb holding the book open. I have also on more than one occasion dropped my book on my face when I’ve tried to read on my back.
    I tend to read quickly too. I don’t even know why! Lovely post. X

    1. Ha ha – I’ve done that, too! Thanks very much for sharing, I so loved pondering and writing this post πŸ™‚

  14. Hmm…I like to read, curled up on the sofa and I hold the book with both hands usually, sometimes just the one. Now that I am a bit older (ahem) I find myself having the move the book slightly further away to be able to read it properly!!! I have to have food….when I was younger it was crisps and coke…now…crisps, chips, food of any kind, you name it…but no coke.

    I do fold corners or leave it splayed open as you say…but unfortunately, since I started my degree I haven’t had a lot of time for reading πŸ™ Can’t wait until I can get back into it!

    1. Oh, now I want crisps and coke with my book tonight! Thanks for sharing, and hope you can get back to reading soon πŸ™‚

  15. Oh yes, toddlers change everything! And you’re right, it’s about squeezing those moments in to read here and there, still counts! Thanks for sharing x

  16. Interesting post! It seems most people read one handed! Not me: two hands, laying in bed or sitting on the sofa. I finish anywhere on the page, doesn’t have to be the end of a chapter or paragraph! I use a bookmark if I have one or anything I have handy, but mainly turn down corners :-S Or leave it splayed face down. I also turn the corner at the bottom of the page if there’s a passage or quote that I want to remember or go back to. I also stop reading if I don’t know a word, so I can check the dictionary! Which I keep nearby just in case… If I don’t know the word I have to check it or it plays on my mind and distracts me. OCD!

    1. Ooh, you’re a little different to me in your style then! I truly find it fascinating how different everyone is, yet we’re sharing that common passion for reading πŸ™‚

  17. So interesting how people read differently. Terrible that your brother bends the books back like that. Although I have to admit that I used to fold down pages to mark them

    Now (if not reading on a Kindle), I read with one hand (I think, if a paper back), not bending it too far open (most of my books look unread unless N’s got hold of them), and bookmark with whatever paper is to hand. I mostly read in bed, or at the table when eating breakfast – the latter then it’s laid flat.

    1. I don’t bend mine much either, in fact, sounds like we both read quite similarly. But I’ve never folded those pages!

  18. Oh, and I only tend to have one book I’m actually reading on the go at once…although I think I have 3 books I started reading and then left for ages that I should probably go back to.

    As a child, I’d often have 4 on the go at once. Madness

    1. I do that sometimes if a book’s not really grabbing me, so I try a new one in the hope that it will, but then can’t give up on the old one. It’s happening now, in fact. Rarely up to 4, though.

  19. A one hander for small enough books, if not a two hander. NEVER NEVER NEVER fold the pages back as in the bottom right picture or try to purposely break the spine and NEVER turn the corner of the page to mark your spot. I don’t like to stop reading unless it is a chapter end or double line paragraph space but occasionally tiredness does win over on this one. My father, who had really rather chubby hands and was not always known for being the most delicate of men, could read a paperback book and when he had finished you would not know the book had been read. He instilled into me a love for keeping books in good condition and I hope to have passed this on to the boys. We taught them from a young age not to tear books, draw in them or in any way damage them and they both now look after the reading collection very well.

    1. I’ve always been taught to respect books like that, too, and am attempting to instil that into my two. Boo’s there, though Little Man still has a tendency to like to stand on his!

  20. I couldn’t turn the corner of a page! I use anything to hand as a bookmark and stop when I have to (usually when getting shouted at to hurry up). I’ve been known to have 3 books on the go at once ? One for downstairs, one for bed and one for the bus! How do you feel about re-reading books? If I like a book I’ll keep it and re-read it at some point in the future but I have friends that give away their books as soon as they’ve read them as they’ll never read them again – no matter how much they love it!

    1. Ah yes, I do re-read some. I pass a lot on (I read a lot of books, we only have so much room!) but then I have a fair amount that I keep as I do re-read them.

  21. This was such an enjoyable and hilariously realistic post haha. I am a fan of breaking the spine and showing wear marks on paperbacks. Hardbacks are much more challenging for me haha. I usually am behind a table and tilt the book off the edge of the table and it rests on my legs. If I don’t have a table, I lay it flat on one of those laptop cushions. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this!

  22. Hi Jocelyn,
    Great blog(. ❛ α΄— ❛.)
    I hold my book with both my hands. Thoigh I try to finish a book in one go, I always stop after completing the chapter, if I have to something in between. I use anything like a bookmark, a pin, a random lying paper, my hairclip, anything I can get my hands on, but I never ever fold the corners, the horror of it?

  23. I try to keep my books in as good condition as possible so no dog eared corners (a million bookmarks here!) or spine bending but sometimes thick books do bend at the spine. One hand if it’s a light book or if I’m reading in bed and it’s cold so I can keep a hand warm! Hardcovers can be heavy so sometimes it has to be 2 hands. I usually get downtime at work so I always keep a book with me and will read as much as I can fit in. It may be 2 or 20 minutes. If I’m reading in bed I try to read to the end of a chapter or section.
    I often read historical biographies so no need to check the end as it’s usually predictable .. lol.. and haven’t read the end since I was very young and it ruined it so never again!!
    If I’m reading something quite heavy going then I sometimes have another on the go, a bit of β€˜fluff’, but try to read one at a time and I keep a log with dates read so it’s a bit of a competition to see how many I can read in a year. The last few years have been between 20 and 40.

    1. I’m with you, I have so many bookmarks! It’s always good to keep a book with you so you can dip in whenever you can grab a few minutes, isn’t it? I like to keep a record, too, it’s interesting to look back over at the end of each year.

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