I often wonder if other readers are as volatile as me when it comes to reading habits. Are you a multi-task reader, the type who likes to read more than one book at a time or a single task reader, preferring to read one book at a time? Are you adventurous, the type that likes to read everything, or do you stick to the same genre?
According to a Booklikes post, readers fall under the following categories:
- The monogamist: the single-book reader
- The polygamist: loves reading many books at a time
- The extrovert: likes to read multiple genres
- The introvert: sticks to one genre
- The altruist: reads and recommends books to friends and family
- The neurotic: switches between books and often doesn’t finish them
Over the years, my reading routine and preferences have varied. Until about a decade ago I was strictly a monogamist reader. The local public library was my go-to place for books by my favorite authors. I would take out three books and read one at a time. I was also an introvert because I generally stuck to the same genres: contemporary and historical romance.
Then came e-readers and e-books, and the convenience of not having to go to the library to pick up and return my books. I could borrow them with just a click of the mouse and store them on my reader. And it didn’t cost anything.
Sure, there’s nothing like the feel of a printed book in your hands. Isn’t that what most readers say? But when you’re working a 9 to 5 job and commuting an extra three hours, e-books and audio books save you a lot of time, especially when the library isn’t along your habitual route. Not to mention that a standard size e-reader weighs less than a hardcover book and occupies less space in your tote bag. I’d still occasionally buy a paperback to read on the weekends, something I could snuggle up with on the couch and enjoy some ‘me’ time.
Since retiring from my job and self-publishing my book, I’ve expanded my reading list, juggling multiple books at a time in different formats. I’m also less of an introverted reader. Supporting other indie authors by reading and reviewing their books has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and explore other genres, like historical fantasy, religious fiction and YA. I was surprised to find them just as entertaining and inspiring as anything I’d read before. It was a refreshing discovery; one I credit for making me more discerning in my selection of books to read. Without realizing it, I was growing tired of the same old tropes, and frankly, of romance series. Sadly, a lot of modern romance series lack originality. One blends into another, making them forgettable (but that’s a subject for another day).
Generally, I have a printed book on hand, just because I refuse to convert entirely to digital. Those will be top picks, books I save for my quiet time, savoring them like one would savor a favorite series on Netflix or a preferred ice cream flavor. At the same time, I can’t go without an audiobook to listen to while doing boring house chores. Those I still borrow from the public library since they are so expensive. While some people watch television while folding laundry or ironing, I listen to audiobooks and lose myself in exotic settings and in the minds of the characters. I admit I sometimes get a little distracted and have to rewind, but that usually happens when a book fails to keep me fully engaged. Finally, I reserve the bedtime slot for my Kindle reader where I usually store the books I plan to review for fellow indie authors.
That’s right, three books, all at the same time. I’m officially a blend of a polygamist and an extrovert, edging on neurotic – although a book would have to be really horrible for me to abandon it.
And did I mention that I’m also a bit of an altruist because I like to recommend books to friends and family? One of the best compliments I have ever received was from my eight-year-old (now eleven) grandson, when I gave him a selection of books for his birthday: “Nonna, you sure know how to pick books.”
So, what type of reader are you?
My grandson posing with his favorite author Dav Pilkey, creator of the Dog Man Series. He has since then transitioned to more intellectually stimulating books.