June 12th, 2017

Reading Survey

This is a survey that I made up, because I want to know. I will do absolutely nothing with the results except enjoy having them, which I will extremely. This is one of my favourite topics in casual conversation but I find people do not like being asked half a dozen questions in a row in normal conversation. Hence, the survey. I really hope you fill it out! I have done so myself, to get the ball rolling. You can just cut and paste the survey into a comment or an email or a “contact” form and send it to me (delete my answers and add yours). I hope you do!!
Note: all questions refer to books, as in, things with spines, not magazines, newspapers, or online text. Not that there’s anything wrong with those; just not what this survey is about.

When do you read books? I read on the subway to and from work during the week, and in the mornings at home on the weekend. I also if I am waiting for something, like a doctor or at the passport office, if I am travelling, or if I’m feeling too tired in the evening to write.

How do you decide what to read? Like most people I have a stack that I’m working diligently through, never finish, and feel bad about. However, I largely choose what goes in the stack myself–books by authors I know I like who have something new out, books by friends, books on subjects I’m interested in. I’m terrible about taking book recommendations and though this sounds awful, don’t really like receiving books as gifts unless the giver is REALLY SURE they know what they’re doing. I like to choose! The exception is book club–I accept the premise of bookclub and am 100% faithful about reading whatever is chosen, even if it is about how one or more of Jesus’s apostles may have been an alien.

Where do you get the books you read? All over! I buy books at launches and readings, books from indie bookstores, from big-box bookstores, and online. I also read a fair amount from the Toronto Public Library, though those are more a) research and other books I “need” as opposed to want and b) things I fear I might not like. If I turn out to be wrong about b), I buy it later. I accept book loans with pleasure and occasionally find good things on the sidewalk, but I’m happy to pay full price for books; it’s a principle!

Ebooks? Not at the moment. I had a Kobo for a while, which I quite liked, but it stopped working, so now I’m 100% print again. Even when I had the Kobo going, I largely preferred print except when I needed to carry a large or many book(s) but if the day comes when screens are how people get books, I will be fine with that.

How much do you read? I read about a book a week, but I end up with about 70 books in an average year because of vacations, really short books, etc. This year has been challenging so I expect I’ll end up under that.

Do you log what you read at all? How? I keep both a paper book diary–title, author, date finished, short note on what I thought–and maintain Goodreads. I find Goodreads useful for checking out which of my friends has read the same thing and starting a conversation, and the paper journal good for jogging my memory of what I actually read and what I thought. I should probably streamline this process somehow and start keeping it all on goodreads, but I probably won’t.

Book reviews? I love to read them and think they are an art form of their own. I don’t often act on them specifically, but if I’m still thinking about them later and/or a bunch of other mentions corroborate the recommendation, I’ll probably end up reading the book.



7 Responses to “Reading Survey”

  • Frederique says:

    I am going to answer on my blog and pretend it is still a going concern!

  • Rebecca says:

    Fantastic! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Emily says:

    FUN!! Here’s my answers. I hope you enjoy them extremely! :)

    When do you read books? 
    At night mostly. Although I spent a delicious two hours reading Barbara Gowdy’s new one in bed yesterday afternoon while my laundry was going.

    How do you decide what to read?
    My bookish friends, New York Times, Quill & Quire. I also discover loads of books from Twitter and Instagram these days.

    Where do you get the books you read? 
    Ben McNally’s in Toronto is my fave. But I have a stack of Chapters gift cards I’m going through as well. Type Books is always a good place too. They have a tiny closet location steps away from my house! Hard to resist. I sometimes pick up books from the library but I mostly buy books because I LOVE THEM AND I DON’T WANT TO GIVE THEM BACK.

    Meh. Not as much as I used to. I do like the freebies on iBooks though; inspires me to read the classics I haven’t gotten around to yet.

    How much do you read? 
    Probably three books a month. Although depends how much I’m writing at the time. (When I’m in hardcore writing mode, I’m a horribly distracted reader.)

    Do you log what you read at all? How? 
    If I love something I blog about it, or include it on my long list of all-time faves on that same blog. So it’s a sort of jumbled, all-over-the-place log. If I hate a book it goes in the SUCKS section of my bookshelf.

    Book reviews?
    Although premise and not reviews will make me buy a book, I do love reading book reviews, and they often do help guide my purchases. (The review just doesn’t necessarily have to be glowing.) Mostly, though, as a writer who didn’t take an MFA or prose writing courses, I learn a lot about craft from reviews.

  • Rebecca says:

    This is fascinating Emily, especially about learning about craft from reviews–such a good point! Thanks for playing along!!!

  • Jeff Bursey says:

    Q: When do you read books?
    A: At times I need a break, so then I read journals, but otherwise there’s always one open. If I am reviewing a book, I rarely start a new book until the review is written..

    Q: How do you decide what to read?
    A: There are review deadlines that myself and editors agree on. That decides the order and what I read. (Most times I’m able to suggest the books I want to review.) The list of books is endless. More come in that I never asked for.

    Q: Where do you get the books you read?
    A: Publishers, book stores, online, book launches.

    Q: Ebooks?
    A: Nope, though I have bought three or four via iBooks to support the writer when the book isn’t in print form.

    Q: How much do you read?
    A: Hard to say. Journals take up a lot of reading time – they’re valuable for coming across titles I might not otherwise hear about – and each year varies. I can never read all I have, even if I stopped getting books today.

    Q: Do you log what you read at all? How?
    A: I used to. Now, reviewing is a log. Goodreads is handy for keeping track.

    Q: Book reviews?
    A: I read and write them. Sometimes negative or confused or irritated ones, especially of books that sound off the beaten path, encourage me to buy the book.

    This is a fun survey.

  • Frédérique says:


  • Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much, Jeff and Fred–really enjoyed reading your answers!!

  • Leave a Reply

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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