Lets Get Personal- How I Read a book.
Books are extremely personal. Seeing someones book shelves and books can tell you a lot about them. And asking to borrow a book from someone can bring about a variety of different responses.How someone reads a book, is like seeing their personality in physical form.
The first thing you notice is the preference
- or Paperback
The next thing you notice is the spine.
People who read Hardback books usually do it for esthetic reasons alone. Hardback books look nicer on a shelf or coffee table and the Spines are rarely broken.
Paperback books tend to be more roughed up, bent or broken spines. Faded covers, Torn or ripped edges. Books that aren’t meant to strike envy in the hearts of visitors. But books that are clearly lived in non the less.
For me I am a big Paperback book. I have only a handful of hardcover books given to me as gifts or bought at book sales for only a dollar or so.
The next division comes from how paper back readers read .
- No bent/Broken spine
- Bent/Broken spine
- Bent/Broken spine w/ the left or right side of the book folded over the back.
The first one are people who read a book like a hard back (pages slightly open but not all the way, no folded pages or spine damage).
The second live in the books more. Nose deep in the spine, pages open wide maybe a dogeared page hear or there.
The Third is completely immersed in the world of the book. Its the reading equivalent of rolling up yourselves, hunkering over a plate, and devouring a pile of bbq sauce covered ribs, napkins be damed! This someone would say, is the scariest way to read a book.
Once you have seen all you can see from the outside of the book Its time to take a look inside.
- Some damage (Dogeared pages, some warped pages maybe)
- Completely destroyed. ( Dogear’s, water damage, food or drink damage, highlighting, pencil or pen notes…)
Clean readers are just that, usually they fall in the category of no bent spines or hard back readers.
Some Damage readers may use dogears as a book mark, or read in a hot bath and the pages are curled from the steam.
The last one, is indicative of a reader who lives while reading. Eats, Drinks, Bathes, they cant put the book dow. Highlighting quotes or words that made them stop and think. Taking notes in the margins for themselves when they go to read it the next time.
When you put all of this together you get a more complete imagine of a person. You can see apart of them that is usually hidden in their minds.
- The Clean Reader. Hardback or Paperback person. Reads carefully making mental notes or taking the time to write down the page number in a journal for latter inspection. Likes organization and order and may care about what others think of them which isn’t a bad thing. Taking Pride in the almost bookstore quality of the books they love. They often have two copies of the books they care for the most. One in hard back that lives on the shelves, The other a damaged copy for jus them. They often hate lending out books and give a long list of do’s and dont’s with the rent book. Also, Avid bookmark people.
- The Mild Reader. Mostly reads paperbacks, with light damage. Some of the books have broken spines and some only bent. Showing you which book has been read over and over again. Some pages bent but mostly in good condition. They read with slight structor, books that have a higher meaning to them might have a thin pencil mark by passage here or there. And in General don’t mind reading books in either foam. They do want to keep the covers nice, and often have a do and don’t list for people to follow when reading a book.
- The Active reader. Reads and only paper backs, Has many bent pages, and more bold in marking up the book. And doesn’t mind some mild water damage from reading in the bath or on a rainy porch. The spins are clearly broken and cracked. The covers are less cared for, the pages less pressed. And the books with the most damage are the most loved. This is the best person to barrow a book from. The books is in used condition so there is no do or don’t list when reading it. And the scattered note or highlighted passage make reading it fun. The Highlighting of the word Wry and a short definition on the side made reading that paragraph really fluid. And that underlined quote was really profound and you would have just glanced over it if it wasn’t marked.
- The Devourer. Not actually a static reader type. This Reader is like the active reader in the sense that they read only paperback and damaged books is just away of life. But the difference comes in the form of longterm damage. While the water damage and wine rings isn’t entirely off putting the obsessive notes and marks are. When a Active reader finds a book they love they can end up Devouring it. Highlighting several quotes and taking notes every time they re-read it. Layers on Layers of wine stains, bleeding pages, and blocked out passages makes their copy of “The Alchemist” look like a used college text book. This is the worst/best book to borrow. While reading it is a eye sore, and it might be a visual night mare. The books is so damaged its impossible to pin point who did it and when. Spill half a bottle of wine on it? Its ok they wont even notice the new stain. Drop it in the bathtub? that wasn’t the first time it took a dip. Use it stop your table from wobbling for a while? The square indent on the cover is just a new scar that meant the book has lived. But what ever you do….don’t lose it. While new blemishes will go unnoticed, and you may think this book goes unloved. The Devoured book is the Active readers most treasured possession.
With all of that being said…I am Very much an Active Reader with many, many Devoured books. My books live with me, eat with me and get scars like me. I also write on the inside cover of my books the date i start reading it and the date i end it. A few books have mutlitlibe entries, and some have no end dates.
One more thing i do that bothers my friends is that i read more than one book at a time. At any given time i read between 2-5 books. I do this because I hate getting board of a book for a time and then have nothing to read. I don’t get confused or lost while i do it and sometimes read from two different books a day. It also doesn’t take me longer to read a book because i wouldn’t be reading it anyway.
At the moment i am reading…
- The Alchemist
- The Kite Runner
So what kind of reader are you?