10 Reading Rules To Live By

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reading rules

What are some of your “Reading Rules”?
Do you unconsciously or consciously follow certain rules and standards when it comes to reading?
Do you have rules surrounding your books?

Here are 10 of the “Reading Rules” that I live by:

1. Never pay full price (cover price) for a book – Paying full price for a book can be avoided in a few different ways.
*If you’re looking for a brand new book that recently came out try shopping at stores that discount books from their cover price. Such as, Costco, Wal-Mart, or Real Canadian Superstore.
*If the book you are looking for has been out for a while try places that sell used books. Such as, Talize, Goodwill, garage sales, or online sites like Kijiji.
*Chapters/Indigo also have sales that include their bargain books, the Top 50 books at 50% off, or others at various discounted costs (20-40% off).
*Wait for the soft cover. I recently purchased Brain on Fire, an autobiography by Susannah Cahalan. The book was originally published only in hard cover. Despite how badly I wanted this book I couldn’t come to terms with paying the full cover price for it. But my patience in waiting to get this book paid off, as a few months later it was released in soft cover and it was also part of a sale through indigo.ca. I paid less than 50% of what the original hard cover price was.

(Of course sometimes it is unavoidable to pay full price. I admit sometimes I will pay full price for a book (very rarely) only after I have exhausted all other options!)

2. Never crease the spine on a book – When you place your book on your bookshelf you want it to look pretty. Ceases are not pretty, therefore a way of reading must be developed to be able to read the book without creasing the spine. Allow only those who can read your book without creasing the spine to borrow your books.

3. Don’t keep reading a book you are not enjoying – There are so many good books out there, and so many good books you will not even get the chance to read, that time should not be wasted reading a book you are not enjoying (I try to avoid calling a book a “bad book”. I don’t believe there are bad books, just certain books are written for certain people and not everyone is going to enjoy every book. Therefore a book is either a good book that you enjoy or it is a book you don’t enjoy). Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, it’s supposed to be relaxing and fun. Suffering through a book you are not enjoying ruins reading. Sure, you can say you never give up on a book or that you always finish what you start, but think of the amazing book you could have read if you didn’t waste your time on that book? My rule of thumb is 2-3 sittings. If I don’t enjoy the book in those first couple of chances reading it I stop reading it. (It usually takes me 2-3 sittings to finish a book, so I usually realize I’m not enjoying the book when I sit down to read it for the third chance and I’m only on page 40). If I’m on the same book for a week (because I’m not enjoying it, not because of length) I stop reading it.
It is alright to not like a book, and to not force yourself to get through it. Life is too short to be spent reading books you don’t enjoy!

4. Always bring a book with you – EVERYWHERE. Keep a book in your car. Keep one in your bag. Keep one at your boyfriend’s house. Keep one in your locker. Keep one in your suitcase. You never know when you will have a chance to read, and if a chance arises you want to be well prepared no matter where you are!
5. Use a bookmark – There is no excuse for “dog earring” the corner of your page. It actually causes me physical pain (somewhere in the chest area similar to heart break) to see pages that have been creased. Almost anything* can be used as a book mark.
*some improvising may be required

6. Be wary of lending your beloved books to others – Unfortunately I will lend my books only to a very, very, select few. Too many times has a book been lent and never returned. It is too expensive to re-buy a book you loved because someone else won’t give it back. Try suggesting they borrow it from the library, give it to them as a birthday/Christmas/etc. gift, or subtly suggest they purchase their own book. Plus, unless the person you are lending the book too, is as obsessed as you are about maintaining the mint condition of your books, you will never, ever, ever, receive the book back (if it comes back to you) in the same condition you lent it.
(Hopefully this rule doesn’t offend anyone I have lent books too. Mom you know this rule is mostly because of you, but I still love you!)

7. Store books in plastic bins if they are not on your bookshelf -If the basement floods you do not want your books to be sitting in a cardboard box. (Lesson learned.)

8. Keep track of your books- It is a waste of money (and a disappointment) to return home after a book shopping spree to realize you purchased a book you already have. This rule especially counts if you are buying used and you can’t return the book. “Goodreads” is a great website to keep track of your books. http://www.goodreads.com. I try to remember to use this site to keep a record of the books I own. It’s a great tool to use while you are in the book store to quickly reference your library and avoid duplicates of books you already own. If this happens, (and it’s bound to if you are a collector of hundreds of books) just think of the people you are helping by donating to the charity you are buying from such as, Goodwill.

9. Test out books before buying them – Sometimes it is a good idea to “test drive” a book, much like cars, before purchasing your own copy. This can be done by borrowing the book you are interested in from the library or a friend. “Test driving” one, allows you to see if you actually like the book or not and if it is worth buying. This saves you from wasting money on a book you didn’t enjoy. And two, when you buy the book, it stays in mint condition for your bookshelf because you’ve already read it. This makes your bookshelf look like it was literally taken from the store (which it actually pretty much is) because it looks so darn good.

10. Always have an extra book to read – This is different from rule #4. You do not want to be stuck somewhere finishing a book, and not have another one on hand to start reading after. Although shopping for a new book is the best shopping, what happens if you can’t go buy a new book right away? Say, you’re on holidays and can’t buy another book, or you’re at the beach for the day and you finish your book half way through the day, or you’re camping and there are no book stores around, or you’re in a country where they don’t speak English and there are no English books to be found, or you’re on an 11 hour flight and you finish your book 2 hours into the flight, or it’s 2am and you just finished your book and you’re ready to start another one (for this example I guess you could just go to sleep and go to the store in the morning). Never the less, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping a well stocked library.

Please share your “Reading Rules” with me or comment if you can relate to some of mine!

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