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5 Weird Reading Habits I’ll Never Kick

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Dana Lee

Staff Writer

Dana lives in East Haven, CT. She works for that Ivy League institution down the street and tries to read as many books as possible in her free time. Audiobooks and print books get equal love. Also, she unapologetically judges books by their covers and makes way too many playlists (c'mon, books need a soundtrack too!). Follow her on Twitter @lucyhenley115 .

My phone is across from me glowing and calling to me like the weird Close Encounters digital brick that it is. My laptop is off to the other side humming and fanning itself like Scarlet before the war. And a book is propped open in front of me, primed to be read—but not actually being read. Instead, I’m thinking of all my strange and unusual reading habits and the ways I read, listen to, and sometimes finish the books I’m interested in.

I have come to the conclusion that I have some pretty weird reading habits. These aren’t one-off actions either, they’re consistent reading habits that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Anyway, let’s get right to it, here are five of my weirdest reading habits:

1. getting to page 50

I start a book I’m excited about, get to approximately page 50, put it down, start another book I’m equally psyched about, get to approximately page 50, put it down, start another…

I have a shelf on Goodreads called “back on the shelf with a bookmark” specifically for these books that I started and loved, but we just didn’t happen to find each other at the right time.

Oddly enough, I remember exactly where I am in each unfinished book, story-wise. I can’t even remember the names and details of some of my favorite books, but I swear on Robert Carlyle I’m going to pick up Book 2 of the Barney Thomson series again, even though it’s been about 3 years. I mean, poor, murderous Barney is hiding in a monastery and the cops are driving in a snow storm to find him…See?

2. Spending too much time setting the bookish mood

I’ve got the perfect book candle, my favorite book beverage, atmospheric fairy lights, and I’m ready to READ, but it looks so good I need to take a picture. Now, I’ll just open Instagram and post this really quick so I can get back to reading.

Two hours later…

I’m still scrolling the #bookstagram hashtag—jealous, but double-tapping ’til I die—or re-watching the clips of Tomi Adeyemi‘s wombat suit dances instead of reading (seriously guys, she dances in a wombat suit to celebrate her book being a bestseller and it is magnificent). 

Also, cold, cold coffee.

3. The audio book/gaming combo

Sometimes I can’t concentrate or focus on one thing and I get sidetracked™, so I have convinced myself that bingeing a game is okay if I’m also bingeing an audiobook. Guilt-free screen time, right? The only problem is I keep having to find new games, because in my world Toon Blast and Their Eyes Were Watching God are now inextricably linked. Clearing jelly and balloons is just sad now.

Sorry Toon Blast, I had to replace you with Toy Blast. Also, sorry Janie and Tea Cake for all of the above.

4. the new release shuffle

I love buying new books. It’s a problem really. Buying a new release hardcover I’m excited about and finally getting it in the mail is the BEST. For some reason though, even though the cover is calling to me and the story seemed like it would fly by when I added it to my cart, I find I’m just reading too slow. If I don’t grab the audio book NOW, this can easily turn into a Page 50 problem. So, a day or two later, I have purchased the same book for a second time and there I am bingeing the audiobook.

Bless you Scribd for being unlimited again!

5. Browsing for the perfect reading playlist

I always listen to music while I’m reading, mostly instrumental stuff. So, browsing 8tracks or Spotify for the perfect reading playlist is a pretty normal occurrence. I’m all about that chillhop and synthwave for sci-fi reads, and epic soundtracks for fantasy. Also, do not underestimate the instrumental fanmix, people!

Sometimes, though, nothing’s quite right. Book and music just aren’t clicking this particular night. So, close book, open laptop and spend the next four hours curating my own niche instrumental mix, complete with corresponding cover, quote, and mood tags.

Result: not reading.

What are some of your weird reading habits? Drop them in the comments and let me know I’m not alone. 

Curious about more weird reading habits? Check out “Weird” Book Quirks That Are Actually Quite Justified.