How Do You Read Your Book?

If you do not find this question strange then you are in a reading relationship.

Arun Rafi
Arun Rafi
May 8, 2019 · 3 min read
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Photo by Min An from Pexels

Reading is an extremely personal experience.

Here is the way I read.

Flirting with the book

Deciding on a book is critical.

This sounds trivial but is not. Trust me. Good books are pointless if you have picked them at the wrong time. Your bookshelf is your literary playlist. There is a book for every phase you are in.

I find myself grasping a book, running my fingers along its backbone, tapping the cover and thumbing through the pages.

Sometimes it feels just right.

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Photo by Artem from Pexels

Checking it out

You should not judge a book by its cover, but you can say ‘hello’ to it for sure. I love spending a more than average time looking at the cover.

I read the back carefully. Then I move on to see how many pages the book has. Just for a mental note.

Claiming Ownership

Get straight to the book title page and

  1. Sign the book
  2. Note down the current date
  3. Sometimes, I write why I am reading the book

Now, I officially proclaim both of us related.

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Reading Speed

I read either to escape into or find out something. I do not read to get ‘done’ with the book. I am fine if I am lingering around a book for months reading a page at a time.

Reading Efficiency

There is a pencil in my book. Always. Even if I am on a beach. To an onlooker, it does look like I have an examination coming up.

Reading is expensive. Not for the cost but for the time and energy that is locked in. Once the book is over, I jot down all the points into Evernote under the Title-page-content format.

When it is done well it creates a skeleton of the book, that can be used for re-visits.

Mortimer Adler, in the book How to Read a Book, asks readers to skim through the chapters and create a skeletal framework before diving into reading. Of course, you shouldn’t do that for a thriller.


I read a book almost everywhere. On my table, bed, sofa, garden and yes, in the bathroom too. When you love reading you might not always have the best light everywhere. So I do keep one of those USB reading lights. But nothing beats reading in the sun.

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Why Not Kindle?

  • I find reading on Kindle very binge-y. Too many screens anyway.
  • Easy access to dictionary and x-ray reduce the reading challenge.
  • Since the time publishers have taken pricing control, the price differences have dropped.

How do you read a book? What are your quirks?

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