My bookish habits


Today I thought I’d talk to you all about the bookish habits I have. I’ve been reading for a long time, and have developed quite a few habits since that time. Some I am very well aware of, others have been pointed out to me by my family…

Following the line with my finger

I didn’t know how to word this in a better manner, but I hope you’ll be able to understand what I mean. When reading physical copies, I tend to follow the line I’m reading with my finger. I don’t mean the tip of my finger, like pointing. I tend to hold a bunch of pages in my hand, put my index finger flat on the page and follow along. (HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS? HELP ME!)

However, I am a fast reader which usually results in me moving my finger constantly and wriggling it down the page -that sounded really gross for some reason.

Fun fact: I was not aware of doing this until my family pointed it out and imitated me…

Obviously, I don’t do this with e-books because it would constantly switch pages when I touch it.


Another one I wasn’t aware of doing until my family pointed it out to me. When I am very into a book, or need to truly pay attention, I tend to whisper the words under my breath. I have no idea why I do this. Even when you are sitting next to me, you can’t actually make out what I’m saying. And I don’t even realize I do it at all. But I think it helps me concentrate?

I’ve noticed that I do this far more frequently with physical copies, and only at home. My family has mentioned numerous times that it’s a highly annoying sound because they can’t actually make anything out and it just sounds like I’m hissing the entire time.

I do this less frequently now, but it still happens. I did it all the time a few years back, apparently.

Breaking the spine of a paperback

Relax, I only do this to my own books. And no, I don’t mind the way it looks at all! I actually quite like it because it shows which books I have read again and again and again and you can clearly pick out my favorites. I would never do this to someone else’s books though, nor with library books.

Reading under a blanket -on the couch or in my bed

The only times I am not reading while relaxing with a blanket is when I am reading in public. I don’t bring a blanket on the train or to a coffee shop… But when I am at home, I always read under a blanket. For some reason, I just feel really awkward relaxing on the couch or in my bed without a blanket? And the couch and my bed are by far the most comfortable places in my apartment, so that’s where I read.

Soundtracks during readathons

This is something I usually only do during readathons -or while studying. I picked this habit up in university while studying for my exams. When I truly need to concentrate on reading and/or retaining information, I listen to soundtracks. I have a playlist filled with soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Harry Potter, and the Avengers. I stick to music without any lyrics because those tend to distract me into singing along.

I just feel really motivated and empowered when listening to this epic music, and it really puts me into a productive reading mood. That’s why I usually do it during readathons when I know I’ll want to read for a while in one sitting.

Arranging books by height

You won’t see a color-arrangement on my bookshelves, sorry. I know that it’s really pretty! I love seeing other people’s shelves arranged by color. But the thought of doing it to my own… No. My books are arranged by height -at least each shelf is. One of my biggest pet peeves is when books in a series don’t match in height.

For example, I have the three bind-ups in the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan in paperback. For some reason, the second book is significantly shorter than the first and third books. WHY???

Buying a book while traveling

In the past few years, I’ve picked up a habit of buying a book while traveling. For example, I bought a copy of The Lost Girls of Rome while I was in Naples last year. I bought Snakewood while visiting Dublin the year before. I will probably get a book at some point during my trip to Korea and Thailand as well. I really like having these on my shelf because they remind me of the places I’ve been.

I usually stick to one book, unless the trip is bookish in nature like my visit to London in July. I went to London to attend YALC, so I let myself buy more then.

Tabbing and annotating

This is something I started last year, I believe. I try to tab most of the books I read nowadays. I have a color scheme for my tabs so I know which parts I tabbed for which reason. I could make a post about that, if you want to see it, but I don’t think my system is all that special… I use these tabs (the 5 colors micro ones) because they are quite long and thin, and allow me to mark the exact sentence I want to highlight. Let me know if you know of an alternative that’s slightly cheaper! I’ve been looking for other long and thin page markers but I don’t know where to get them.

I never used to write in my books, but it’s something I’m slowing starting back up. I’m only using books I know for a fact I will never get rid of, like my Harry Potter copies. I don’t actually write in them yet, but I have started underlining sentences in it. I did this with my copy of the first HP book when I re-read it in August, and I can’t wait to do it to the others in the series too.

I underlined sentences (with pencil, baby steps!) in Harry Potter when it’s something I wanted to remember or emphasize, but something I either didn’t love enough to tab or when it doesn’t fit with my color system.

Those were some of my bookish habits! Do you have any habits while reading?

16 thoughts on “My bookish habits

  1. Oh boy, I definitely cannot break the spine of any of my books. I’m actually very careful while reading them (a bit compulsively so).
    I tend to zone out zombielike when I read. People have called my name and I swear I don’t hear a peep.
    I actually organize some book shelves according to cover and genre. There are two “Classic” shelves with all old, leather covers. The romance section are similar in size and look too.
    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I arrange my books by height too! For as far as possible anyway. I just love the look of it. And seriously how are some books by the same publisher and edition sometimes a few cm shorter or taller. Why?


  3. I became a spine breaker just this year as it was getting harder for me to hold paperbacks without doing it and I’m finding it quite liberating! I always kept my books pristine before but now I quite like seeing the books on my shelves that I’ve obviously read. I’m a big fan of putting sticky tabs in books as I read, I think I’ve done that ever since my university days and I love re-reading old favourites and seeing which lines stuck out to me on a previous read.


  4. Love how unapologetic you are about all your habits! I never whisper the words when I’m reading but I do break the spine of my books, especially when I was younger. Nowadays most of the books I read are library books so they’re mostly hardback editions, so no problems with breaking those books’ spines, luckily! 🙂


  5. “Breaking the spine readers” UNITE! I honestly don’t know what all the fuss is about breaking the spine. It’s a book! It’s meant to be read, to be loved…. and yes that includes the spine breaking.

    Love the idea of buying a book when you travel. I try to do that as well, although I was traveling a bit too much for a while. Now, that I’m back to boring sit at home all the time, I will definitely be buying more books when I get around to traveling.


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