"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I have a quirky reading habit. Do you?

This morning, as I arose from my bed, a thought crossed my mind that I should read enough pages of my book to get to the one-third point before breakfast.

Now I know that is a weird thought to have first thing in the morning. But it isn't unusual for me to think about my reading goals in terms of pages and percentages. I do it all the time. I always check how many pages a book has and then carve it up into sections before I start reading. When I get to one of these milestones I get the satisfaction of saying to myself, "Ah, you have just completed 10% (or whatever percentage) of the book. Way to go!"


I have been counting out pages of my books for years but not until this week did I take a moment to stop and ask myself why do I do this.

After a little contemplation, it came to me in a flash. It all started with one book, a long book, the longest I had ever read up to that time. The book was "...And the Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmyer. My mom loaned it to me and asked me to read it. I gaped at its length, 1,176 pages. I thought I would never finish it. But as I read I found myself doing mental math, congratulating myself every 110 pages because I had just finished another 10% of the book. Breaking it down that way made the book much less daunting. And the satisfaction of completing such a long book was tremendous.

On a funny note. I couldn't remember the title of this book, that one that started this quirky habit of mine.  I searched the Internet for books of 1000 pages with women in the title. Someone had created a list on Goodreads of long books. There it was. Amazing.

I read "...And the Ladies of the Club" almost thirty years ago. I've been carving up my books into manageable page counts ever since. Quirky. I get it. But it works for me. And, by the way, this morning I did read 60+ pages of my current book so I would reach that 1/3rd mark before I stopped to write this blog post!

What about you? How do you cope with long books? What quirky reading habits do you have?


  1. Because I do most of my reading electronically, that pesky percentage is always available. I'm obsessed. I do set goals, especially lately, since I've not been reading as much. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but that's the way it is!

  2. I loved that book and never wanted it to end, as long as it was! I don't keep track of my percentages, but I do sometimes skip ahead to make sure that a character is still alive. (I read a lot of mysteries) I don't read the end, just scan quickly for names near the end of the book. That's my biggest reading quirk.

  3. That's interesting. I guess I haven't thought of carving up books like that -- but I can see it makes sense to get thru a long book like that. My reading tends to ebb & flow according to the speed of the book or my interest in it.

  4. I mark my way through books as well. I tend to stick to fractions though: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2...etc. I like to stop at one of these before I call it a day. It helps me manage how much I need to read and estimate how many days it will take me to complete a book. For my organized mind, this is a must. Interesting discussion!

  5. Aw, I love "...And the Ladies of the Club", I must re-read it. I like to get to half way through and know I have done so. As I'm not the most mathematically gifted of people, my husband knows when I'm close to half way when I ask, "What's half of ...?"


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