Reading Habits

S. J. Pajonas January 12, 2015
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In response to a post by Hugh Howey, I talk about my reading habits, how I read and buy books.

So Hugh Howey posted a video about his reading habits this past week and then I read Joanna Penn’s version last night and thought that I’d chime in! Obviously, I’m a reading AND a writer, but a lot of my reading habits changed in the past year. I’m going to use’s Joanna’s format for my post, so let’s get started.

How I Read Now

I used to read a lot of paperbacks and some hardcovers before I got a Kindle for my birthday in January 2010. I didn’t think it would totally change my reading habits. I thought I would still read a lot of paperbacks and just read a few books on my Kindle.

My untidy bookshelves. For a blog post on #amreading habits, check my profile for link.

I was very wrong. Now I’m almost 100% digital. Know what sealed the deal for me? Moving all of my books to a new house. Not only did I never want to move again, I also never wanted to buy another book which I would then have to put in a box and move.

I’m now on my second Kindle. The first one lasted a long time (four years) and I moved up to a Kindle Paperwhite last year. I like reading books on the eInk devices. It’s easier on my eyes and the battery lasts a long time.

My very first kindle, 2010. For a blog post on #amreading habits! Check my profile for link.

And I’m an unabashed full-on Amazon customer. As a reader, I’m very happy with their customer service and I buy pretty much everything from Amazon outside of books, so it only made sense to buy a Kindle. Now that I publish my own books and see the Nook is dying, I’m glad I made the choice I did.

How I Find Books

There are several ways I find books…

Authors I’m already familiar with as a reader. I see they have a new book out. I loved their other work so I buy it.

Authors I’m familiar with as an author. There are plenty of my colleagues who write awesome books and I buy them, read them, and love them.

Word of Mouth (usually through FB). If a friend posts about a book they loved, I check it out. I’m no longer on Goodreads as an active user so it’s nice when people post their updates from Goodreads to Facebook. I’m more likely to see them this way.

Kindle Daily Deals or the Science Fiction Newsletter from Amazon. Every now and then, I see a book in these emails that looks good and is on sale. I purchase it based on overall rating and strength of the blurb.

Bookbub and EReader News Today. I get both of these newsletters and sometimes will buy a book on sale from it that looks good.

My Amazon Wishlist. Over the years I have added books to my Amazon Wishlist I wanted to buy. I recently put all the ebooks on one wishlist, added all the books I was still interested in from my Goodreads queue, and I check it a few times per week looking for discounts. You can sort by price, lowest to highest, and all the discounted books will float to the top. I love that.

What Annoys Me As A Reader

There are certain tropes or writing styles that drive me nuts but I won’t go into them here. They do make me set down a book, though, if I can’t get past them in the first 15%.

My biggest annoyance is badly formatted ebooks. They do NOT have to be pretty, but all the indents and margins should be correct. This is not a hard thing to do. Get it right the first time, please, or I may never read your book again.

Creative capitalization is also a big turn-off for me. I recently saw a book that didn’t capitalize any of the “I”s in the book and then did some other strange stylistic things. NO. JUST NO. I know you’re trying to be unique, but your STORY should be unique, not your formatting. Learn proper punctuation and capitalization and leave your creative typing ways to your blog.

How I Review Books

I don’t really. I stepped away from Goodreads, mostly for the long haul. I don’t like going there anymore. Anything that I read and love shows up here on my blog in the Book Chat section. Anything I read and hated, you will never hear about.

I do read and blurb other authors as often as I can. When I read something written by a fellow author who either gave me an ARC or I bought it as soon as it came out, I try to mention it online (Facebook and Twitter) as much as possible (and here on Book Chat) and then give them a quote they can use however they like. Some authors will put my quote on Amazon or their website. Some will just hold onto it. I like to give praise where praise is due. I do not like to review in the strict sense of the word anymore. Some may remember that I had harsh things to say about some books. I still hold those views. Now when I read a book I’m not enjoying, I just set it aside and not think about it again. I may also never buy from that author again. But that’s how I choose to make my vote, with my wallet, not with my opinions.

And that’s it! Share your reading habits as well! Feel free to comment about how you read below or link to your blog post in the comments :)


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