What is your routine for reading?
I always look at page counts. With my current classes and work demands, I can usually do about 50-100 pages of pleasure reading per day. Usually I will select a book based upon its page count and my schedule. For example, I can expect to finish an average length book (250 pages) in about 4 to 5 days. If I select a book that is over 300 pages I either: a) really really wanted to read that book and don’t care how long it is, or b) am on an extended weekend or vacation or time away from work or class and can spend an extended time reading it.
Do you skip ahead while reading/peek at the last pages?
I’m almost embarrassed to say this…but yes, if it’s boring. Sorry, I have low tolerance for books that aren’t stimulating enough to keep me engaged to wait and find out what happens at the end.
Finish it or quit it?
I’ve posted on this before…but I say that if you are reading for pleasure (as in, not for a class assignment) then you have the right to stop reading that book at any time, for any reason. Reading that you do in your spare time should always be enjoyable to you and never feel like a chore or an assignment. 50 pages is usually my cutoff for any book, if it still bores me to tears I will start skimming it first. If that doesn’t work I will put it down and not pick it back up.
Depending on how far I got with a DNF’d book determines whether or not I will rate it. If it’s early in the book, I leave it blank. If it’s after the middle, I do give it a starred rating.
To spoil or not to spoil?
It depends. As a rule, if I generally like the book, I will not spoil it. If I don’t like it, spoiling it is the least of my concerns. The urge to explain an epic fail goes back to my days as a teacher, where the best practice has always been that if you are going to give a student a failing grade, you should always have a compelling reason why. It’s not enough to simply say in a review that a book has “uneven writing” or “poor character development” because the person reading it has no context to base your critique on.
How do I acquire books?
I love getting advance copies from publishers, but about 90% percent of my books I review here come from my city’s public library. Charlotte, North Carolina has 10 branches all over the city and they’re all fairly accessible with a pretty decent and diverse selection of books. When a book is not available I usually do interlibrary loan, or check it out through my university’s library. Occasionally I also buy popular bestsellers and other books on my Kindle because it’s convenient and cheaper than going into a bookstore and buying it in print.