In Megan’s recent post on To Have and to Hold she talked about needing to have just the right bookmark before starting a book. It got me thinking about reading habits.

I am afraid my children and I are not fussy at all about bookmarks. In fact, all of us are so eager to dive into a good book we forget to provide ourselves with one. In my kids’ books I’ve found “bookmarks” including facial tissue (unused, thankfully!), doll clothing, hair ties. I’m not much better. If I can’t find an appointment reminder postcard, I just search all of our current books. Yesterday I thought I lost the case for my reading glasses; later I found it stuck in a book. The silly thing is that I have so many nice bookmarks: beaded and bejeweled ones I’ve gotten as gifts, author bookmarks I’ve gotten at conference booksignings. Every once in a while I make an effort to remember to use them…

In our household, the bathroom is a favorite reading location. Where else can you be truly alone? My oldest stayed in the bathroom over 45 minutes after bringing home the first Harry Potter. We finally had to send a search party… I also like to read in the kitchen, if I’m eating a meal by myself (we’ve got a rule about trying to be sociable at meals) or if I’m waiting for water to boil. I’ve come close to ruining dinner a few times but the good thing is my kids would understand and forgive me!

Sometimes on the weekends when I’m sick of the honey-do list, I will actually sit down, either on the couch in our family room or (now that the weather’s nice) on our closed porch, and just read for an hour or two. Heaven!

I can read any number of non-fiction books at a time but I can only read one novel. I can’t read romance at all while I’m actively writing. It’s not because I worry that someone else’s voice will infect mine. (I’ve never caught myself writing like someone else–I’d have to work really hard to do that, I think.) It’s really because when I’m reading or writing romance, I like to identify with the heroine and fall in love with the hero. I just can’t do that with two couples at once! So I read romance in between drafts.

I used to finish every book I started. If I didn’t like the beginning, I always hoped (for my sake and the author’s) that it would get better. I’ve finally realized that it hardly ever does. I don’t mind if the plot develops slowly but the characters must interest me. If not, I don’t bother finishing. Life is too short and my TBR list is too long!

So how about you? Do you have any reading quirks? What are your favorite places and times to read? Can you read multiple books at once? Do you always finish? Do share!