Book Tag ~ you’re it!

Hi again. (never rains but it pours, right? So here I am again after the long drought of no posts).

I found this wonderful idea here on Marcia Meara’s blog and just couldn’t resist taking part. I love books and reading more than anyone I know and for years read more than a book a day, so this is right down my alley . . . As she suggests, I have copied the questions; the answers are mine.

Do you have a specific place for reading? 

I can read anywhere. For years I carried a bag of handwork and a book or two everywhere I went. I could be found reading in a lineup at the bank, the grocery store, a bus shelter and more. Like Sam in ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ might have said: I can read it in a box, I can read it with a fox, I can read it here or there; I can read it anywhere! You get the idea, I’m sure.

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper? 

Both; Tissues if necessary. Whatever i can lay my hand on in the moment. I love bookmarks, but often they are packed away. I have even bought myself a couple of lovely ones with curved metal bits and danglers of beads, fibre and crystals. Too nice (or, honestly, awkward) to use, although I love the idea of using them and really enjoy looking at them and handling them. I was brought up to know that desecrating books simply was not done, EVER!, and dog-earing the pages definitely came under the heading of desecration.

Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter? 

IIn theory, anywhere; in practise, sometimes at the end of the chapter. more often, unless fate intervenes, at the end of the book. ONce I’m caught up in the story, I simply HAVE to know what comes next. Even as I dread coming to the end and SO wish to leave something for later or even tomorrow . . .  It isn’t easy being me . . .

Do you eat or drink while reading? 

Yes, sadly, I do, more often than I like to admit. Reaching the end of a meal with little recall as to what, exactly, it was composed of. I think this began once I was living alone and mealtimes were no longer times of conversation and shared communication. I know it’s bad to do this, but I hate sitting at a table alone and looking at my food. Besides, I get more read that way. I do have to say that I’ve learned not to do one thing, though. I used to use finishing a chapter / book as an excuse to eat more, as I could hardly be expected to do anything else while eating, right? But that had consequences I didn’t like much. Now I limit the food intake to meals or tea / coffee and my daily treat and that’s it. I give myself permission to read because I love it so, not just to fill in time while eating. That’s working much better for me. I may need new jeans soon . . . smaller ones 🙂

Music or TV with e reading? 

Yes, most of the time. I grew up in a busy home with eight younger siblings plus assorted friends, and if I hadn’t learned to tune out the excess noise, I’d never have read anything, ever. I can tune out pretty much any distraction, even now. Sometimes music will distract me, but that’s ok. I only play what I love, anyway. Celtic folk and folk-rock, mostly. I can tune out people talking, even when they are talking to me, and have been known to make those acknowledgement noises (mmhmmm, sure, yep, etc.) even while engrossed in a fascinating turn of plot. My family and friends know to be sure they have my full attention and am no longer looking at the book before continuing.

One book at a time or several? 

Several, always. I prefer to keep piles by everyplace I may sit, lie or otherwise pause for a moment or several hours. I never know what I will feel like reading: fiction; non-fiction, various genres of fiction and so on . . . I may be in the mood for something thought-provoking, or a distraction, or a book that is complex and subtle, or not . . . I am currently living with cousins, so do my best to keep the piles in my bedroom, although cousin M is as much of a reader as I am and he would certainly understand. Still, one likes to fit in and not complicate matters too much.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Both. Everywhere, to be honest. I sleep better if I read first, although if the book is interesting enough, I push on to the end and sleep less . . . You’d think I would have learned by now, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

Read out loud or silently? 

i read to my sons nearly every night and often during the day as well. I’m self-conscious about reading to adults, though, so then I sound stilted and awkward, especially when it comes to giving the characters individual voices and expressing moods. For myself, I read silently, as that’s much faster. At my peak I read more than a page a minute, but my eyesight is not what it used to be and now I am much slower. Poetry is a different thing, though. I like to hear the sound of my favourite poems out loud, especially Gerard Manly Hopkins, with his unusual accenting patterns.

 Do you read ahead or skip pages? 

I can’t believe anyone would even ASK that!! NEVER, EVER, do I read ahead! And I would NEVER skip pages either!! The very idea!!! Until recently, I also read anything I started to the (sometimes) bitter end. But now, if it’s too awful, I do put it down without continuing. With a such an extensive feast for the savouring (and with fewer years ahead than behind me, even if I live to 130 haha), I can no longer justify to myself finishing what I’ve begun when it bores me or makes me angry / disgusted.

 Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? 

Another question I find hard to comprehend. Sometimes a spine is so stiff that it breaks on its own, but I would never do it intentionally. When I purchase a book new for myself, I prefer to keep my it as much like new as possible, but most of what I own is older and well-loved and often-read, so not in pristine condition. I admit I rather like the marks left by previous owners; I may never know who they were, but I know there is a story there and I like knowing that. Still, if I were to mark a book, the word ‘desecration’ would once again rear its ugly head . . .

Do you write in your books?

Well, what I’ve said above about ‘desecration’ holds here, too. I have never written in a book, but I have written on a post-it and left that in a book for another time. I don’t know if this question includes turning old books into ‘works of art’. I get the concept, but seeing a lovely antique rendered unreadable strikes a chill to my heart. If they want to do that to modern romances or maybe (maybe, I said!) to old Readers’ Digests, I could (barely) understand that. Better yet, print out your own book and mark THAT up, won’t you? Leave the leather-bound tomes with gold edges for those of us who treasure them beyond measure.

Well, that’s it for me. Sorry about the ranting, but I’d do it again (especially about ‘desecrating’ practises), so I guess that doesn’t count as an apology, does it? 

I hope some of you will follow suit and copy these questions, adding your own responses. If you do, link back to Marcia (link above), whose blog is worth reading, and / or to the originator of this game of Tag, Sarah Brentyn, whose blog, Lemon Shark, is worth checking out, too.

If you leave a comment here for me, I’ll check out your responses as time permits. I may have strong opinions (you think??), but I enjoy other people’s opinions, too, even when vastly different from mine. So rant away, if you like.

Stay warm, those of you south of the equator. And cool, those of you on the up side. Hugs to everyone.  ~ Linne


25 thoughts on “Book Tag ~ you’re it!

  1. I feel I am in fantastic company. I would answer most questions the same as you did, but like Marlene says I do highlight in some to refer back to, a bad habit I learned in college. I have had books ready to read with me every day of my life and hope I am fortunate enough to be able to say that till my dying day.

    • Me, too, Lois. I will be having surgery on my eyes and should be able to read again; I hope for some time. I lean on reading more than on anything else, but these days of not being able to read much have at least led to more handwork and gardening (well, not as much of the latter as I’d like, but it’s not my place here, so I try to fit in). As I said to Marlene now that I can read free classics on the laptop, things are looking up. But I have a raft of projects going on and simply not enough time, ever.

      • Good luck with your surgery, Linne. My one fear is that I could lose my sight. I don’t want to consider how life would be like without it.

      • Thanks, Lois; I’d rather use an alternative approach, honestly, but don’t have time now. I know quite a few people who’ve had cataracts removed successfully, so feel quite hopeful. Still, like you, I don’t care to consider life without sight. On the other hand, I would qualify for a seeing eye dog . . . All in all, I’ll keep my sight and maybe be able to have a dog in 2019. And a cat. Although that would mean being rather tied down, so perhaps I’d best wait and decide then.
        Warm hugs to you, Lois. ~ Linne

      • Yes, I too know many, many people who underwent successful cataract surgery, you will be fine. You’ll be in my thoughts.

      • I will appreciate that very much, Lois. And when you think of that, do think of it all happily completed before the beginning of May . . . (the mystery thickens . . .) Have a happy and peaceful week filled with all the creativity you can handle with ease. ~ Linne

      • I will. Oh and I have heard of plenty of people who travel full time and have both cats and dogs so hold on to that vision of your cat and dog. 🙂

      • Thanks for that, Lois. When the boys were small, their Dad and his wife had two small kids, too. The adults all were good with farm work, caring for horses, milking goats, etc. so we used trade off child care if one couple wanted to go away for a few days. None of us ever had to worry about our homes or animals; we knew that, whatever happened, the others would take good care of the situation. I don’t have anyone now who could do that with me. They are far away now. But I may make some friends once I settle down. I sure hope so. Thanks for the encouragement. Love and Light to you, always. ~ Linne

      • Linne, I’d say you were very fortunate to have maintained such a good relationship with your ex but I think it’s the children who benefitted the most. I breaks my heart to see so many children today torn apart by fighting parents. As a single parent myself, I know your arrangement must have made raising your boys so much easier.

      • Yes, Lois, it did. I was so lucky in two things: first of all, both of them are good people and I love them both. If he had been abusive or a druggie or the like, it might have been different. Second, I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment when they moved back from the Yukon after a few years. I knew I could make a choice and that the outcome would be crucial to my boys. One of the best choices I ever made! I decided to be inclusive and not exclusive. I was simply lucky. And I knew several people who split up, then used the kids to spy on their former partners, or, even worse, spoke badly of the other parent to the kids. I just hated seeing that and I wasn’t going to do it to my boys. Both men (Dad and Step-Dad) have stayed in touch with both boys and the grand-kids and that makes me happy.

        I was out of touch with my husband (my boys’ step-dad) for years as I simply couldn’t deal with having failed a second time (and yes, it was mostly my fault; I didn’t deal with old stuff and I didn’t really grow up in some ways); but we have been in touch for some time now and I’m so glad he’s happy and has the relationship he wanted. He got to do several things with his wife that I had no interest in (like living on a sailboat and before that, running a cafe), so it’s all worked out well. And it left me free to do family care that made a difference. It’s a bit lonely now, but I will figure out that bit, too.
        I have plans . . . 🙂

      • I too went through that state of feeling like a failure when a relationship ended, and like you a lot of it was my fault due to unresolved issues I carried. We need advocates who have made choices like you did to set the example for the rest of the parents because it’s the children who suffer in divorce and they carry that with them through the rest of their lives sometimes continuing the behavior they witnessed.

      • Lois, it sure is a challenge, isn’t it, and harder, I think, when we see the part we played in creating it. But it can lead to growth, if we allow it. I share my stories not to brag or impress, but in the hope of inspiring someone to think differently. I’m not perfect or anywhere near it, so if I can learn these things, so can anyone, I feel. It so often comes down to choices we make and those come from learning to think differently and ‘outside the box’.
        You are so right about the lasting effects on the children. The best two stories I have read on this were when judges in two different states ordered the parents to leave the family home, the children to remain there, where all was familiar, and for the parents to take turns staying with, and caring for, the children. That made it so the consequences of the parents’ actions and choices fell on the adults, not the children. I liked it so much and I wish more judges saw things that way. Much Love and Peace to you, Lois. ~ Linne

      • I really like the idea that the children get to stay in their home and have the parents move back and forth. I’ve watched so many children who while loving both parents feel they are missing out on weekend activities with friends because they aren’t “home”.

        It feels as if there are more children in these situations today than when I was raising my boys. My son’s big gift to his children for their birthdays was to let them invite two friends to have a sleepover. It almost didn’t happen because their friends had to be at “the other” parent’s home and wouldn’t be allowed to spend the night.

        I hope you keep sharing your stories to give others an alternative possibility.

      • So true, Lois. I feel the adults, not the kids, should bear the consequences of their decisions, whether those are for the best or not. I never knew anyone in a situation like that until after I had my boys. All my friends when I was growing up had intact families.
        I think it’s especially hard when the kids go away for the weekend; if they lived in their own home and the parents took turns, things like sleepovers would be part of the natural order.
        Thanks, Lois; that’s what I hope to achieve by sharing my stories. But sometimes it sounds more like boasting or something. I’m not special or specially ‘good’; I’m just a thinker by nature and that’s been fortunate for me in the long run. When I was evaluated at my last paid work, that type of thinking was my number one strength. All my life I’ve thought of it as a weakness, something I should ‘overcome’ or ‘quit doing’. But now I’m getting brave enough to share some of my thoughts. I wish I’d been trained, though; what a difference that would have made.
        Love and Light to you. ~ Linne

      • I get that. I too feel like people might think I’m bragging if I share my thoughts on how I raised my boys, and the decisions I had to make. When I was growing up situation was similar to yours, few families were split so the example of how to behave wasn’t one many experienced as children to prepare them for the world they found as adults.

        Keep sharing your stories, we need to hear them.

      • So true, Lois., us not being prepared for the modern world, in many aspects, not just split families. It was a time few understand; not many of those born before it and few of those born after it, either. I feel I rarely got things right, but every once in a while I did and that’s what I like to focus on. I have learned so much from you and other bloggers and my hope is that sometimes I will give others something to think about, even if they choose a different way. Thinking is needed so much these days.

        I will share more from time to time’ I hope you will continue to do the same.

        Big hugs. ~ Linne

    • Thank you. I pop by yours too from time to time, but haven’t been leaving many comments anywhere. It’s been a busy summer here. Anyway, sorry this is late and thanks again. hugs.

  2. I knew eventually we HAD to find something we didn’t have in common. Although the only books I’ve written in were school books at the behest of the teachers, I am a dog-earer and deliberate spine breaker. Comfort and ease MUST go with my reading.

    Aside from that, we’re on the same page. 🙂

    • I do understand the dog earing and have done it in the past, I confess. Also the spine breaking if a book would’t open well enough. But I sure dislike doing it. I haven’t read much this past couple of years and do miss it.

  3. I’m not surprised at your answers to these questions. Most I would answer the same way. But some books that will remain in my library are highlighted and have little tiny post it notes stuck in the pages so I can refer back. Many are quotes or single stories in an anthology that I want to refer back to at some point. I am otherwise always gentle with a book. If i find the book doesn’t pull me in within a couple of chapters, there are too many others to stick with the mundane. I also read several at a time of different types. I always have a book handy now that we have Kindle on our phones. You never know when you have too much time to wait for something. I’m like you, books are my first love and probably my last love. Not going to heaven unless there are books. 🙂

    • I love this comment’ thank you! I have a t shirt of my mother’s that has a quote on it “I imagine that paradise will be a kind of library” I simply love it, and Mum did, too. I never thought I’d get used to reading on a laptop, but a couple of weeks ago I discovered a multitude of FREE Kindle ebooks on I looked only at the classics, there are 400 pages of them, and downloaded quite a few from the first hundred pages. I’m afraid to go back now. lol I downloaded an app so I can read the kindle books on the laptop and was so pleased that I can make the font size big enough to be comfortable, as my eyes have gotten worse over the past year. Everything from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to Plato, from Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to my beloved Anne books. and more . . .

      • Yes, they have. Just never thought I’d go that route. The other advantage is (finally!) access to my favourites that don’t appeal to the younger readers. Re-reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farn at present. Slow going, but only ’cause I’m working on socks etc. 🙂 And I can’t really complain; part of my sight problems will be fixable, I’m told. I feel very lucky for that.

      • We should! And now I’m caught up here, so if you want the President’s job, it’s yours LOL
        Reading what I just wrote . . . I think you’d make a great president (and not of the Overdue Club) 😉
        Have a lovely, fluffy week, Marlene! I’ll post about MY fluffy day later. Hugs ❤

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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