Jumping on the Bandwagon

Everyone’s doing this BBAW Reading Meme and as my life is dull now I’ve finished reading my review copy of Her Fearful Symmetry and I haven’t finished my current read, Little Boy Lost, I haven’t got anything interesting to blog about today. So this will have to do!!

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Do I snack while I read…interesting question. If I’m hungry, yes. Reading wouldn’t prevent me from eating at the same time, but I wouldn’t specifically say I set out to read a book and then make something in particular to eat while I’m doing so. However I do throughly enjoy having a nice cup of tea to sip while I read.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I wrote all over my university books, but that’s because I knew they would be so dogeared and disgusting by the time I’d finished with them that they’d be going straight into the recycling anyway. And don’t judge me for this, they were only Wordsworth Classics! Otherwise, no. I would jump in front of a bus to prevent a book from being defaced, and that is no exagerration. It would have to be a slow moving one though, writing in books isn’t worth dying over.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?

Never dog ears! They ruin a book! When I read a Persephone I always use the matching book mark but otherwise it’s whatever is around…usually a receipt or a train ticket or a ripped bit of newspaper, anything I can find. I do have a few bookmarks but I tend to leave them inside the books I finish and then I can’t remember which book they’re in!

Laying the book flat open?

Heavens, no! A creased spine is a painful sight.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

A bit of both, really. I like a good biography, diaries, letters, etc, as well as general history books, but I don’t read nearly as much of them as I would like to as they take me a while to read and they also tend to be big unwieldy things that I can’t really take on the train. Fiction will always be my main material.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

I’ve tried and I just can’t get on with audiobooks. I drift off and before I know it I’ve missed a whole chapter. Hard copy suits me down to the ground, plus I love the look and smell and feel of books.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

Ideally I will read to the end of a chapter just because it gives a nice sense of roundness but most of the time I have to shut up shop wherever I am, even be it midsentence, as most of my reading is done on public transport and if I’m at my stop, I’ve got to stop reading and get off!

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

I’d like to say yes, but no. If I remember I’ll look it up later, but most of the time I just skip over it and guess what it means.

What are you currently reading?

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski in a gorgeous Persephone Classics edition. It’s excellent!

What is the last book you bought?

I bought lots at the same time – see my post here.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I used to read several at a time but then it just got confusing so now I just stick to one. If a book is boring me enough to make me want to intersperse it with another then I’ll just stop reading it. Life’s too short to plough on with a dull book.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

I love to read in bed. My most indulgent reading times are on Saturday mornings when I don’t have to get up and can sit in my warm cosy bed with a cup of tea and some biscuits and read for a good hour uninterrupted. My other favourite reading time and place is in my mum’s living room on a Sunday afternoon, curled up on her comfy sofa with the fire on. Preferably in winter, preferably with Jane Eyre in my hands.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Stand alone. There’s nothing worse than spending a week of your life reading a book that doesn’t have a conclusion. It makes me feel so cheated.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Yes, I constantly recommend Rosamond Lehmann and Dorothy Whipple because I think they are criminally underread.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

I don’t! They go wherever they fit. It makes life interesting.



  1. Darlene says:

    Perhaps it's because I am a Mum but you brought a tear to my eye with your description of sitting in your Mum's living room reading Jane Eyre. That's so lovely.

  2. verity says:

    What lovely answers Rachel.

  3. Rachel says:

    Bless you Darlene!Thanks Verity!

  4. verity says:

    Just seen your comment on Darlene's blog – Rachel – if you love governesses then you should read the VMC by Talbot – The Gentlewomen.

  5. Paperback Reader says:

    Definitely lovely answers. So glad that you are loving Little Boy Lost!My copy of Her Fearful Symmetry arrived today :).

  6. savidgereads says:

    Brilliant read for me and soooo many thoughst on books in common, particularily the ones about turning pages as a book mark (why must people do this) and cracking spines… can't… bear… it!

  7. makedoandread says:

    I recently discovered Dorothy Whipple with The Priory. I loved it so much that I ran out and got Someone at a Distance. I'm at that happy stage of finding a new author and feeling excited that there are still so many of her books I have yet to read.

  8. Rachel says:

    Oooh Claire I can't wait for your review!Simon I am so glad you share my turning pages as a book mark abhorrent – my sister does it to my books all the time and she doesn't understand why it makes me so angry!Makedoandread- hello! I'm so glad you discovered Dorothy Whipple, she's an absolute delight!

  9. Danielle says:

    Aren't memes great fillers? I not so long ago discovered Rosamond Lehmann and agree she is very underrated. I've collected most of her books, and this is a good reminder that I need to pick up one of the unread ones I have!

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