General Question

alterego's avatar

Do you read?

Asked by alterego (121 points ) November 6th, 2008

I enjoy reading. I have actually devised a time table to organise all of my activities and reading takes most of the time (although not easy to stick to it).

I was wondering though if you read (and by read I mean books). If so, what are you currently reading? What is your favorite book? How many books would you estimate you read a month? Do you think all this reading is worth it? Would your time be better spent doing something else?

Now I know that’s a lot of question, I am not doing a study or anything, I am just curious to know what you guys (I assume slightly more intellectually curious that most) think about engaging in reading.

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50 Answers

wrestlemaniac3's avatar

I love to read i read historical, fantasy, fiction, whatever if it catches my interest.

laureth's avatar

I read a lot. Mostly nonfiction, and I especially love pop science and history, although comparitive religion is on there too. Plus, anything having to do with craftwork, either contemporary or historical.

One example would be Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years – it covers science, history, and religion. Amazing stuff!

I’m sure I could spend it doing other things, and my place could use some decluttering (too many books, ya know) but you only have so long to live – why clean up and stack and dust books when I could be reading them?

Tennis5tar's avatar

I enjoy reading. The book I’m reading at the moment is Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

shadling21's avatar

I seem to read a lot, yet not enough.

Fiction for fun. Some fantasy or science fiction. I’ve taken to reading classics in my spare time because even though I’m not an English student, that knowledge is absolutely key to getting an A+ rather than an A. I read textbooks, too, of course. Many books of essays.

Sometimes, I’m too tired to read. But when I go to my school’s library and stand in awe of the multitude of words left to be read, I get motivated. It then becomes a question of “What do I read first?”

SoapChef's avatar

I love to read and never consider it a waste of time. The only negative is when I am reading something really compelling and can’t seem to put it down until 2 or 3 in the morning. I probably read on average, four to five books a month. Sometimes I go on a real reading ‘toot’. I have a huge flaw which is I read too fast and consequently don’t retain what I should. I like all kinds of books. I just finished The Divide by Nicholas Sparks(Horse Whisperer) which I really liked, although not particularly uplifting. I found the timely details of the story really interesting. My favorite author is Jane Kirkpatrick, her fiction books based on historical events are outstanding. She tends to link them together in series such as Tender Ties, Kinship and Courage and Dreamcatcher. Homestead, her own story of tackling a rugged and remote piece of land in eastern Oregon is a great read and gives you insight as to the amazing woman she is. If you have never heard of her, do yourself a favor and find one of her books. She never fails to inform, entertain and uplift me. I give her books as gifts, they are that good.
Great question alterego!

Darwin's avatar

I generally have two or three books going at any given time. Right now for fun and doctor’s office waits I am rereading an older Dean Koontz scary book, reading a new Heather Graham “romantic psychic suspense” novel, and rereading an older Spenser mystery. I just finished James Patterson’s new nonfiction book, Against Medical Advice, which I would highly recommend to anyone who has a child or deals with any child with intractable mental disturbance. My son is one such child and I have recommended the book to ALL of his teachers.

I typically read about 7 to 10 books a week.

MrItty's avatar

I read during my lunch break every day, and whenever I go out to dinner alone. At that pace, I usually get through one or two novels a month.

Primarily Sci-Fi, I go on kicks. Earlier this year I read 3 or 4 Star Trek novels in a row, then I read the entire Ender/Shadow series of books. Now I’m on an Asimov kick – I read all the Robot Novels (except Robots & Empire, which I can’t find), and now I’m reading a bunch of his short-stories collections.

I think next up might be Twighlight, since I’m hearing so much about it.

GAMBIT's avatar

I like Mysteries and Westerns. I never leave home without one or the other.

shadowfelldown's avatar

I love reading, but I usually don’t have much time to do it anymore. I used to love marathoning a nice and thick fantasy book each week, but the working life has crippled the immersion that I used to have into the world of the long novel. Rather than cut it out altogether, I have switched my literature tastes from longer novels to short story compilations. Currently I am all about the McSweeney’s quarterly concern. These wonderful compilations have all sorts of stories by some excellent up-and-coming and established authors. The thing that I love about McSweeney’s is that you may finish any given story in a few minutes, but you can let it launch your mind into lines of thought that can last for hours.
I would have to say that the immersion and emotion I felt with the long novel is definitely lacking from these short jaunts… (you can only get so involved with a character over such a short length of time.) but there is a more cerebral feeling to them. I think it is because so much must be left unexplained and unsaid, so that you have to actively paint the story in your own mind, rather than just getting swept up like you do in a long novel.

jessturtle23's avatar

I use to read more than I do now but since I got ran over I find it harder to concentrate. I read everything, though.

cyndyh's avatar

I read a lot, but not as much as I used to. I’m reading about 4 to 5 books a month these days. I love mysteries, some science fiction, a few graphic novels that I follow, and there’s some non-fiction sprinkled in, too. Currently I’m reading the last Tony Hill/ Carol Jordon mystery by Val McDermid.

I don’t have a favorite book, but I have favorite authors. When I find a favorite author I get myself caught up on their back-catalog and then keep up with their new books as they come out. In between these I read a lot in spurts or kicks like MrItty describes. I read groups of short stories to find new authors. I have multiple lists of things I want to get to divided by category. I’ll think that I’ve had enough of mysteries for a while and then I’ll read music biographies, or I’ll get tired of reading science fiction and read some comedy for a while. It’s just getting to the rainy season here so I’ll probably catch up a longer classic or two before going back to mysteries.

Of course it’s worth it to me or I wouldn’t do it. There are times when my time could be better spent so I’ll do whatever I think my time would be better spent doing. I always have a book in my purse or backpack, though. For many kinds of reading I’m happy to read a page or two here and there.

asmonet's avatar

I read on average 20 books a month. I sometimes go a day without then read two in one sitting, I read really fast so it’s not that difficult. I went blind once, and the first thing I told my mother to do was get someone to teach me Braille. Books are my life, and there’s no ‘doing without’. One of my favorite things in the world is hanging out in libraries, with the smell you can only find there of old and decaying books, and their stiff and fragile pages. It’s wonderful.

I am currently reading:
The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
The Gormenghast Trilogy
The Magic Mountain
&
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (The best book ever, I’ve laughed out loud many, many times. If you do pick it up, be sure to read everything, even the copyright page.)

mea05key's avatar

http://www.quickmba.com/mgmt/7hab/

I am gonna start reading 7 habis of highly effective people by Covvy. Its a great book

tinyfaery's avatar

Eye cnt rde€ Whts th qstn$

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

reading gets me away. i read to escape and to gain knowledge. lately i have been reading a lot of business books because of school requirements. and i like to read stories of successful individules in my feild.

im a big nerd too, Harry Potter is most definatly my fave!

i also read cosmo in my spare time.

here are some great reads i just finished:
Wicked
Basic Black
The Last Lecture
A BIg Life: In Advertising

stevenb's avatar

I just started the Twilight series. I read each one in about two days. I love to read, but sometimes I look up and it’s 5:30 in the morning. Odd thing is, I seem to feel as rested while reading as I do if I sleep through the night. My wife doesn’t get it. I think it’s becase I am a very lucid dreamer. If I do sleep while reading a good book I often dream up alternate story lines to carry on the story.
I think reading is worth more than television or movies anyday. I know a ton of people who haven’t read a book in twenty years. I am up to a bit over 100 books this year. I have been splurging on books, but I figure I can read to my kids when I have them someday soon.
The twilight books are very good. I was unsure, being based on a teenage girls life, but the author is wonderful. I’ve cried several times and laughed more than I can count.
I read most any type of book, including the stories of Lewis and Clark. Amazing men.

syz's avatar

I just finished “Where the Wild Things Were”, and before that “The World Without Us”. I’m now feeling somewhat suicidal and so am off to the bookstore from something fluffy.

arnbev959's avatar

A lot of people I go to school with claim that they love to read, but they “never have the time to anymore.” Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one I know who actually does read.

I picked up this book at a used book store, and I’m reading it now. It’s brilliant.

elchoopanebre's avatar

No, I’m completely illiterate. I’m morally opposed to reading.

cyndyh's avatar

@petethepothead: When I was in grad school I had little time to read fiction or anything that wasn’t for my research or study. I was reading a lot, but it wasn’t just for enjoyment. So I thought of it in terms of “I just don’t get the time to read anymore”.

So there’s that, and some people just get used to vegging in front of the TV and think they don’t have time to read. :^>

generalspecific's avatar

Reading is wonderfullll. I have popular literature next semester and your grade is based on how many pages you read.. I think I’ll do pretty damn good in that class.
Anyway, at the moment I’m reading House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (I think I spelled that right)
It’s amazing, and crazy, and ridiculously off the wall and innovative. Most insane book I’ve ever read, hands down. but very, very good.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I love to read books and I find it much more stimulating than any input I could get from television or movies. I can really lose myself in a book and that is one of the most enjoyable parts of it for me. All through my life, beginning with my school years and up to now, I will pick up a book and read whenever I have free time.

I am currently reading The Broker by John Grisham and more of my books waiting in the wings to be read are two novels by James Patterson, one by Mary Higgins Clark, and I’m finally getting around to reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

I have way too many favorites to list them all here and on average, I probably read about 12 books a month. I think reading is worth each and every minute I put into it. There are other things that I like to do and this helps divide up the time in my schedule but when it comes to reading books, I have never thought that my time could have been spent better elsewhere. Books are outstanding and I’ll probably be reading until my dying days.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I work in a library & I love books. But I don’t get to read as much as I used to. I spend a lot of time on the computer & I stay busy with other things. Currently, I’m reading The Memory Keeper’s daughter by Kim Edwards. It’s an excellent read.

krose1223's avatar

I love, LOVE, LOVE to read! (So much that I have to say it three times.) Right now I am re-reading the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. Yes, I am _one of those). But Harlan Coben is my all-time favorite auther. I am into Nicholas Sparks, Ellen Hopkins, Jodi Piccoult, (although she can be very predictable.) Jane Austen… Oh me oh my, it could go on. I love reading. During the summer I can read a book a day. I run out of books. I love to marathon read! When I am on graveyards that is all I do. During the school year my book reading slows down a lot. Any book that has been turned into a movie I always prefer the book. I don’t have as much time as I used to now that I have my son running around everywhere, but I still fit it in whenever possible.

augustlan's avatar

I read anything and everything; fiction and non, from memoir to humor to horror. I have been known to read shampoo bottles in the bathroom! Since I’ve been on Fluther, my reading time has certainly suffered. I’m probably down to 3 books a month, along with many magazines and the occasional newspaper. Favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird and East of Eden. Favorite current authors: Steven King, David Sedaris, Carl Hiaasen(sp?).

augustlan's avatar

@jessturtle: You got run over?!

@asmonet: You went blind?!

@both: Oh my goodness!

shrubbery's avatar

I love reading, it’s my number one hobby. I can read a really good book in a day or two. Though as it’s exam time, I’ve had to put my reading on hold for a bit. I’m a fast reader and usually chew through books one at a time but before I got studying I had a stack of books I’d started reading at the same time… and I seem to just add one as I finish one… Oops.

I used to read only fantasy/sci fi, and I didn’t really understand how people couldn’t like it, cause I’d never really read anything else- that was my family’s fault though, they all read fantasy/sci fi and I didn’t have much of an idea of anything else out there.

Now that I’m older and find books for myself instead of relying on presents, I’ve been branching out into adult fiction, including Jodi Picoult and Audrey Nifenegger along with some historical novels, classics (eg Jane Austen) and lots of philosophy.

I still read fantasy/sci fi, I will always love it, though now I have moved on from Emily Rodda and Eoin Colfer to the likes of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaimon and Isaac Asimov.

That said, I can always, always go back and re-read the Harry Potters or His Dark Materials Trilogy, if I feel like it.

As of right now my stack of books that I am reading is as follows:
The Pact – Jodi Picoult
The Dark Side of the Sun – Terry Pratchett
The Ballad of Les Darcy – William Fitzsimons
Emma – Jane Austen
Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
The Philosophy Gym – Stephen Law
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
This Thing of Darkness – Harry Thompson
Girl Meets God – Lauren F. Winner

I can’t wait for the holidays. Now I must leave Fluther alone and get back to my study.

girlofscience's avatar

When time permits (usually when I’m flying), I read nonfiction. I am especially interested in absurd nonfiction accounts.

Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer) – the life and times of Fundamentalist Mormons (polygamists)
Serpent in Paradise (Dea Birkett) – an account of the society on Pitcairn Island, an island of 48 people, the descendants of the “mutineers” (Mutiny on the Bounty) who have relatively no modern amenities and live a very odd way of life

If there’s no nonfiction I haven’t read in the airport bookstore, I’ll settle for a memoir or two.

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) – an account of growing up in a poor, unconventional family and fascinating tales of their brilliant, alcoholic fater
Hard Candy (Diablo Cody) – a year in the life of an unlikely stripper

krose1223's avatar

I love this question because now I have some more books to read! Thanks for posting all these books guys!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

Waiting:
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
Just Finished:
Why is God Laughing? by Deepak Chopra

augustlan's avatar

Best anniversary present I ever got: The Complete Works of Mark Twain.

Best birthday present: The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe

Best Christmas present: Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (a good 5 or 6 inches thick!)

I am such a geek.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@augustian, I’m looking for Mark Twain in a sans serif face, with good, legible kerning. Most Twain seems to be in 8 point Times New Roman, which is difficult to track across the page.

augustlan's avatar

@AP: I’ll check out my collection. It’s been a while since I’ve read one, so I can’t be sure of the font at the moment. I don’t remember it being particularly difficult though, and it was a modern edition, so you may be in luck. I’ll let you know.

MacBean's avatar

I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. If I don’t have a book in front of me, I’m probably looking around the room for something to read. Signs, food packaging, anything within eyeshot that has words on it.

Here is a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2008, as well as the three I’m currently working on. And here is my To Read list (which only includes books that are actually in my possession, since it would be about ten times that long if I included books that I want to read but don’t actually own).

augustlan's avatar

@Mac: That’s a huge list of books you own and haven’t read. I’m envious. I own probably a thousand books, but have read them all at least once.

MacBean's avatar

I really need to catalogue and keep track of the books I own. The To Read stacks are TINY compared to the collection of stuff that I’ve read. An entire wall of my room is covered, floor to ceiling, and I have chest-high piles all over the floor, plus several refrigerator-sized boxes and several huge plastic tubs filled. ...I don’t use libraries.

augustlan's avatar

I couldn’t afford to own every book I’ve read. Though it is a dream of mine to have my own library someday.

Darwin's avatar

@asmonet – I read the Gormenghast Trilogy years ago – that was a very strange bunch of people. If you like it, then you might try Zelazny’s Amber series.

On another note, for fantasy folks, I have really enjoyed the Eragon books. I just read the third one, Brisinger, and I couldn’t put it down (well, except when I fell asleep holding it and bopped myself on the nose with it – that’s a heavy book!). Both good news and bad news: there will be a fourth one.

@McBean – I’m up to my third climate-controlled storage unit full of books, now that the house is full. They are building a branch library down the street that was supposed to be done by October. Needless to say, it is still under construction. I am definitely hoping that it will make it possible to reduce the size of my own holdings.

asmonet's avatar

@augustlan: Yep, had approx. a 5% chance of ever regaining any vision. I can happily report I am back to 20/20 thank in no small part to my mother.

Would you believe me if I told you I had two eye patches leaving the emergency room and spent my time making pirate jokes? Cause I totally plundered booty that day.

@Darwin: Thanks for the suggestion, I’m just taken away by the characters in it, I love florid, expressive writing that paints the exact picture the author intended. Hours after reading it the characters are still floating around in my head, Sepulchrave’s wild owl eyes, Mr. Flay’s cracking knees wrapped in linens, Fuschia crying in the rain on moss covered stones… they’re all as vivid and real in my mind as if I’d been standing nearby. And sometimes it reminds me of LotR. I’ll definitely look yours up, I’m always looking for new stuff since I run through things so quickly. :)

wondersteph's avatar

I love, love, love to read.
Right now, I’m reading Beloved by Toni Morrison.
I recommend anything Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, or Charles Martin.
If you want to talk classics or poetry, well….that’s a whole nother story. :)

Megan64's avatar

I love to read and if I could slow down a bit, I would read more. Right now I’m reading a book of short stories by Angela Carter called The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, which I was motivated to read after rereading her short story collection, Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces. I have favorites for the moment and books that have made an impression on me, but the favorites change. I probably read one book a month, if that. I try to read more, and now that I take public transportation to work three days a week, I have some time to do it.

augustlan's avatar

@Alfreda: No luck on the Twain books. They are “facsimile reproductions” of first editions. Sorry!

waterbearer's avatar

I love reading and am looking forward to winter when I can read MORE!! More time since I’m not out doing yardwork.
It is a huge waste of time but it is my entertainment and I enjoy it immensely. Yes, I should be exercising or making a homemade meal from scratch, but the heck with it. I read on my exercise bike, doesn’t that count?!? LOL!

I’m currently reading the 3rd book (“Eclipse”) in the Stephanie Myer’s Twilight series. I’m reading it slower than normal since my daughter is reading #4 and I don’t want to get too gung-ho and then have to wait on her to get #4. So, at the same time, I’m re-reading Stephen King’s “The Stand”.

I typically read 3 or 4 books a month when I’m in full-on READ mode (like in the winter). If I could read to and from work (2 hours a day of driving) I’d be in heaven!

Darwin's avatar

@waterbearer – Think Audiobooks :-)

stevenb's avatar

@waterbearer, what do you think of it so far? I am partway through no. 4. It’s very good too.

waterbearer's avatar

@Darwin-I’ve never tried an audiobook, but I have got the Spanish learning CDs!

@stevenb-I’m not flying through #3 like I did the first 2, on purpose since I know #4 isn’t available to me yet (come on kid, read FASTER!!!), but it isn’t calling to me to pick up like the first 2. The story is good, but there doesn’t seem to be the continual action like the others. I can’t wait to get to 4 to find out WHAT happens!!!

Darwin's avatar

Audiobooks in the car are wonderful! They are also helpful when doing housework and any time your hands need to be doing something but your brain doesn’t have to be fully involved.

MacBean's avatar

”...there doesn’t seem to be the continual action like the others.”

Seriously? Continual action? I thought they were all basically three quarters Bella angsting unhealthily about the condescending, abusive object of her affection, with a little bit of plot hastily stuffed into the last handful of chapters.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I love to read. My eyes are in horrible condition because I read too much

cRazelyCrazed's avatar

I love to read. These days I’ve been reading 10–15 books a month. Im a reading maniac! Just because of my love to read I’ve been reading way too much and in the dark which is causing my need for glasses! Thats the only negative thing about reading!

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