Saturday, May 14, 2011

Favorite Reading Habits

by Tawny

Like most of the Banditas and Bandita Buddies, I'm an avid reader. I adore books. Actually, I adore the written word on anything, from a book to a screen to the back of a box of cereal. I'll read them all.

But, over the years, I've developed some favorites in my reading.

  • I prefer light over dark.
  • I read more contemporary than historical.
  • I like witches better than vampires.
  • I love fantasy over SF, especially in YA.
  • I lean towards sexy over sweet.
  • I'm a fan of suspense, but no blood and gore.
  • I'll pick characters over plot every time.
How about you? What are your reading preferences? Do you stick with the tried and true favorites?

And how do you choose which books to read? I have auto-buys that I grab as soon as they hit the bookstore, of course. And I read on recommendations from friends. I used to belong to a couple of the Harlequin book clubs, getting the entire line of Temptation and Duets each month. But I ignore reviews and haven't ever bought a book because of an ad, although I have because of a blog visit here in the Lair if the person was fun and their book sounded intriguing.

Do you have a book buying regime you stick with? How do you choose?

And how about when you read. Do you have to have an open space of time to read the book all the way through, or are you able to stop at the end of a chapter and pick up again later? I'm an addicted reader, so I will skip sleep to finish a book. But that doesn't stop me from starting a story when I know I don't have time, if I'm in the mood to read.

Do you read through? Or take breaks?

Aaaand, last but not least... Want a copy of my latest Blaze, JUST FOR THE NIGHT? I'll draw two names from today's comments to win copies :-)


Unknown said...

is he mine LOL

Unknown said...

HI Tawny... a good blog.

When do I read, anytime...I often sit eating my breakfast and reading but if I don't get to reading during the day I always read in bed before going to sleep.
I sometimes can sit and read all day other times I will read to the end of a chapter and then pick it up again later.
I do have auto buys but I also buy ones that I see on different blogs but my preference is historical romance but will read anything as long as it has a HEA

Tawny said...

YAY Barb - congrats on grabbing the Rooster :-) I hope you two have a lovely day.

LOL on the anytime reading. I so hear you. I'm not sure I can fall asleep (unless I'm sick) without a book. It's a serious addiction.

I'm glad to see that the blogs do influence your book buying :-) I hope we've hooked you up with some new favorites!!!

Helen said...

Well done Barbara I will have to pop back down for a cuppa

Firstly might I just say that I finished reading Just Fot The Night last night and WOW what a blazing hot book I loved it and Jason and Larissa and I am very intrigued by Chloe and Conner will we see a story for each of them maybe?? I got this one as an e book this time.

Great questions
I will read any chance I get so I am a stop and start reader but I have been know to burn the midnight oil when i haven't been able to put one down and there are times here and there were I know I will have a day to myself and just read all day with the odd break or two.
I too have autobuy authors that I always get I also buy books from recomendations from friends and blogs that I have visited, I still probably read more historical than any other genre. I usually order my books from online romance bookstores here in Oz and they send a catalogue every month and I go thru and decide what I really need to have and what I would like and then depending on the bank balance that month order as many as I can LOL and add what I can't to a list.
I honestly am so far behind in some of my auto buy authors at the moment that it stresses me I just need more time to read please retirement.

Have Fun

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Barb.

Hi Tawny,
I like dark stories. The darker the better. I really enjoy romantic suspense and murder mysteries. I do enjoy light reads, too. I think I read the same amount of historicals and contemporaries.

lindsey hutchison @ United By Books said...

wow you asked some good questions. lets see

i carry a book in my purse at all times.
i choose paranormal romance lately over most.
i read started with harlequin presents and desires then moved on to blaze from blaze i went to paranormal.
i prefer sexy to sweet as well. if i can find some steamy scenes in a book i am pretty much grinning like a fool specially if im way deep in my imagination.
ive started reading historical. i like YA but prefer the adult books.

when buying a book normally i stick with the authors i know and love but sometimes a cover will grab my attention then i grab the book up and read the back will push me to buy or not thats in stores on amazon i go by recommendations see if they sound like something i would like then read a few reviews not always taking it all at values and still buying it if i think i would love to give it a shot. i read when ever and where i can especially before i go to bed.

Lolarific said...

I love to read late at night when my house is finally quiet, but if the story is just one of those that I hate to put down I will read it nonstop until I've reached the end. It's kind've like holding your breath until you reach the end.

For my buying habits I have a few authors that I am very loyal to and when they don't have anything coming out anytime soon they often mention authors with similar writing styles. I'll check that persons books out and see if it/they would be of any interest and sometimes that leads me to a new favorite author.

Mary Preston said...

I will usually go with favorites unless there is a great review or a recommendation by a friend or family. I can stop anywhere in a book, but when I pick it back up I will re-read a small passage to refresh my memory. I am patchy with my purchases - no set pattern.

Minna said...

Usually I read in bed and I read all kinds of stuff, but at the moment I prefer fantasy. I have my share of auto buys, but I try new things as well. Of course I get some books by swapping, and get a chance to try some new things that way, too. At least it doesn't hurt my wallet as much as buying the book if turns out don't like the book at all and if I do like it, I might end up buying some of the authors other books.


Sir Elwoodin Hiljaiset Värit - Neiti Kevät (Miss Spring)

Tavaramarkkinat: kevät (Spring)


Artemis said...

My teetering TBR can to my book buying habits. There are a handful of autobuy authors. Then again, if a book blurb, storyline, catch my interest, I will research reviews before I make a decision. I have been using the local library very much lately - trying new authors before I buy.

I tend to read an equal amount across the romance genre. It just depends on what I have read lately and the mood I'm in. But my tastes tend to be darker: vamps, weres, hot sex, uber-alphas with a good mix of character and story.

I tend to read very early in the morning and at night; never in bed. I don't watch much television at all - I'd rather read. I take breaks. No way do I have the kind of time it would take to read through a whole novel.

Would love to win a copy of your newest release. It has been on my TBB list since I first caught wind of it.

Gannon Carr said...

Great blog, Tawny!

I love to read almost any sub-genre of romance----helps keep things fresh.

I'll read anywhere at anytime, and I often have more than one book going at a time---one in the living room and one by my bed.

I buy many books on recommendations from friends and reviews in RT. And of course, I have my auto buys and the books I review. Is it any wonder my TBR shelves runneth over?!

I can stop and start a book if I have to, but there are some that I love to just gobble up in one sitting...when I have the time.

Katt said...

Wow, your list is almost identical to mine.

Add in humor (J.Evanovich)

I'm witches over vampires with C.Feehan as an exception, I love her Carpathians.

I have authors I automaticaly buy, in Category or single title. (Including you and Brenda Novak)

And a few like NR that I can't resist in hardcover...

I'm a sucker for Navy Seals, Special Ops and Cowboys...

oh yeah and my tbr pile? too small, I'm going shopping now!

I read anywhere, anytime - except if I'm driving ;)

BUT...if an author tricks me and doesn't have a HEA, I never pick up another one...

jo robertson said...

Wow, I'm so glad Blogger finished with his snit!

Intriguing questions, Tawny! I love examining how other people choose their reading, reading places, the whole shebang!

I have set times to read. Alas, I'm driven by schedules. So I read in the afternoon and about an hour before bedtime. I'm a deliciously slow reader. I say delicious because I can't break the habit of examining the style of the writer as I read. It's a cursed English teacher habit.

I don't mind quitting a book if it hasn't engaged me after fifty pages or so. Hey, that's fair, right?

And I've gotten many many book purchases from the Lair, both guest and Bandita books.

jo robertson said...

I, too, love historical romance, Barb. I like being swept away to another time and place. But I also enjoy suspense and don't mind the blood and gore that go with it!

jo robertson said...

Helen, you are too funny. Imagine being stressed over not being able to read your auto-buys! I totally get that. Is retirement just around the corner?

jo robertson said...

Jane, I adore dark stories. I think there mine be a twisted part of my brain LOL. It's why I enjoy J.R. Ward's brotherhood characters so much. She creates impossible back stories for them, all sorts of anguish for them to go through and then gives them their HEA.

jo robertson said...

Lindsey Hutchison said, "i carry a book in my purse at all times."

Absolutely! I'd rather leave my lipstick, money or tampons home than forget my Kindle!

Last Sunday on Mothers Day, my son caught me reading my Kindle during church! I thought I was being circumspect, and I'm sure I'm going straight to Hell!

Unknown said...

Well lets see....I have a kindle named Bob he is my best friend...travels where ever I go...which makes waiting rooms the nicest places now. I still buy hard copies because sometimes they're cheaper. I have a few authors that I own every book they have written ( I got hooked and then went, sought after their past books and now follow their future)..I tend to go for story line...although I do love my paranormal romance books and I can't get enough of my HIGHLANDERS!!!!!!! Men in Kilts....YUMMY!!! As for when I get a chance to read...I try to read when ever possible...Long car rides, at night when the sandman doesn't want to visit my house, as said before ...waiting rooms..when ever :0)

Tami Brothers said...

Hi Tawny!

I like lots of different books. I have my auto buys, too. But I also go off of recommendations from blogs. I have bought a TON more books this way with my e-reader than I would have if I had to write them down and go to the store. So this has introduced me to a whole new group of authors.

Right now I'm reading a LOT of YA but I still love those Blaze books...grin...

Also, I most ready straight through. BUT with all that life throws at me, I have had to revert to reading when I can catch a spare moment.

That's me...

Have a great weekend.


Dtchycat said...

My preference is historical romances, preferably anything 'western' or 'regency' - though I will stray outside of these boundaries depending on (a) the author or (b) what other readers are saying at a blog. I do read contemporary books but not as often as I usually am more picky about my characters - prefer Navy SEALS (or other strong military men), police officers, firemen, cowboys over the sit at a desk and issue orders to my secretary type males - yes, I really like those ALPHA males! But I find that once I have found an author/book that I like, it doesn't matter what else the author writes, it usually ends up in my favorite piles and then anything and everything else I can get my hands on usually ends up being read.

Tawny said...

Helen!! First off, thank you so much :-) I'm thrilled that you enjoyed JUST FOR THE NIGHT. YAY, go Larissa and Jason. As for Chloe and Carter, yep, they get a story. Its titled ALL NIGHT LONG and it'll be a free short story up on my website in the Members Only section next month. I'll let you know when it goes up :-) How'd you like reading the book in e format? I read Anna's Midnight's Wild Passion as an ebook this round. Great book!

Annnnd great reading habits!! That's cool that you buy from a catalog. I've done that before and forgot how fun it was.

Tawny said...

Hi Jane :-)

Ahh, those dark stories. I'm an admitted chicken *g* so they scare me. But they are definitely a hot commodity and there are some amazing authors out there writing them, aren't there?!

Do you find as much dark in historicals as in contemporary?

B. J. Robinson said...

I love reading on my Nook and after the day's work is done enjoy relaxing on the couch with it late every evening and/or at night. I also like sitting outdoors and reading on the swing with it, and I take it to restaurants and read while I wait on my food. Love to read on it in he car while hubby is driving, too. I chose character-driven fiction, women's fiction, and romantic suspense. Nice blog. I hope you'll visit mine. Blessings, BJ

Tawny said...

How cool that you started with Harlequins, Lindsey :-) I hope you're still enjoying the Blaze line (yes, I'm shameless LOL -but it really is a great line!)

Are you checking out the Nocturne line, or looking more to single title for your paranormal fix?

That's cool that a cover will grab your attention. I'm the same. I used to almost auto-buy anything with a cartoon cover (what can I say, I love rom com!) As an author, I'm always wondering of the reviews, especially on places like Amazon, matter to readers. That's good to see they do :-)

ClaudiaGC said...

I like to read a goood mix. I try to not "overexhaust" ne changre so that I don't get bored with one. I have my auto-buy authors but I'm always looking out for new-to-me authors. I like to read book blogs and twitter to get new recs.

Tawny said...

It's kind've like holding your breath until you reach the end.

Oh man, Lolarific - I love this description!!! It's exactly what an author hopes to hear about their story. I've read so many that fall into this category and know exactly what you mean :-)

That's cool that author recommendations influence you to check out new books.

Tawny said...

Marybelle, that's cool that you reread just a bit to anchor you back into the story. I actually do that when I write. It's easier to find the flow again, isn't it?

Are there review sites you depend on for recommendations, or just as one catches your eye you might check out the book?

Tawny said...

Minna, I've found a few new authors through borrowing books from friends. It's always great to be able to check out a story and like you say, find a new favorite author so you can buy up all their other books LOL.

limecello said...

Tawny, I'm 100% with you on all those reading preferences! We're like book twins! ;)
I... buy only ebooks now, so pricing has an affect on what I do/don't get. As for time and place... I'll read anywhere. I love when I know I have all the time in the world, but even if I'm rushed or shouldn't, I'll read. Although sadly I'm still in something of a reading slump.
If the book is really good I often stay up reading - I've been known to do this until 5-6 in the morning, then write punch-drunk emails to the authors, squeeing about the book and yelling at them for keeping me up so late.

Helen said...

Unfortunatley for me retirement is still about 13 years away unless I win lotto LOL

I enjoy reading the e books but I don't think I will ever stop buying books. Cool about Chole story I will be looking forward to it

Have Fun

Tawny said...

Hi Artemis :-)

I hear you on the teetering TBR piles. I can't see my alarm clock right now for all the books piled on my nightstand that I just have to read right away!

Libraries are fabulous for finding new authors. Is there a specific place you depend on for your review researching?

Given your taste for the dark vampire, I'll bet you'd love Virna DePaul's debut :-)

Like you, I rarely watch TV - Just Castle and the Food Network (which I can ignore easily while reading) in favor of books. But I can't read in the morning. Heck, I can barely talk in the morning LOL. I admire anyone who can!

Tawny said...

Is it any wonder my TBR shelves runneth over?!

LOL Gannon - nope, but you definitely can't have too much of a good thing when it comes to overflowing books, right?

Do you jump outside the romance genres when you read? I lean toward fantasy and YA when I'm writing to keep things fresh. And how do you juggle more than one book at a time?! I admire that. I can do one fiction and one non-fiction (or three or five non-fiction LOL) but not two fiction at once.

I wish you lots of book gobbling time ;-)

Tawny said...

Katt, we have great taste LOL. And yes, humor is fabulous in books. Rom Com is my fave genre of all and Evanovich is GREAT!

I'm honored to be an auto-buy. Thanks - you made my day :-)

And YAY that you're heading out book shopping. I love that even more than shoe shopping (which says a lot, given my shoe obsession LOL) I hope you find lots and lots of fab books to enjoy.

And this... if an author tricks me and doesn't have a HEA, I never pick up another one... Oh yeah! I'm totally with you!!!

Tawny said...

Jo, I am so envious of your ability to analyze a book and reading styles. I have tried and just can't do it. I think it's a brain blip LOL. I don't seem to think analytically at all, nor am I good with strategy (which is why, I'm sure, my daughter keeps beating me at Words with Friends. She thinks ahead on how to use those triple word tiles, darn her!).

I'd say I'm in awe of your ability to keep a schedule, too, but I'm horrible at self-discipline and if I'm into a book, I can't ever wait until 'reading time'. I was one of those students who always read in class instead of doing my work, obviously LOL.

Tawny said...

Jo said: Last Sunday on Mothers Day, my son caught me reading my Kindle during church! I thought I was being circumspect, and I'm sure I'm going straight to Hell!

ROFLMAO. Oh man, now I don't feel so bad about confessing my reading in class habits :-D I love this!!!

EllenToo said...

Gosh you asked a lot of questions.:)
Now lets see if I can answer them...
I prefer suspense but like you leave out the blood and gore. As a child I would read the back of a cereal box but since I now eat oatmeal there is nothing to read on the box.
I don't know about picking either characters or plot..I like them to both be well developed.
I have auto buy authors and then go with what the story is about.
I will read a book all the way through if I have the time but have no problems with putting the book down if absolutely necessary because something come up I have to do.
Aaaand I would love to have a copy of your latest blaze~Just for the Night.

Tawny said...

.I have a kindle named Bob he is my best friend...

I love it!!! :-D BJ, your best friend Bob sounds fab! Entertaining, supportive, and always there to make you smile.

Like you, I have a few absolute fave authors, and I love finding new authors after they've been out awhile so I can buy up their backlist and stay entertained for awhile :-)

I think I'm jealous that you can read in the car, though. I get sick LOL.

And a big cheer for men in kilts. Talk about yummy!!!

lindsey hutchison @ United By Books said...

@Jo Robertson you cracked me up with that but the thing is maybe make sure you have a slightly bigger bag to contain it all lol i normally have a kindle or a paperback i cant help it but why leave all the other goodies out after all there is nothing like a beautiful women with a book in her hand lol so keep your lipstick in your purse along with the rest of the needs we normally contain and go out and buy yourself a bigger purse

Caren Crane said...

Barb! Congrats on taking the GR home with you. Make him obey you! :)

Tawny, I always have at least one book going, but often two or three. I tend to read whenever I have a minute and pick up/put down OFTEN. I rarely have time to sit and read for more than 15 minutes or for 10 - 20 minutes before bedtime. It takes me a while to finish a book!

Since I got the Kindle, though, I've found I can read much more. I can lay it on the counter, say, while I dry my hair and read while drying, even though I don't have a free hand. It's amazing how much more reading I get done! I definitely love my Kindle and am a total convert. It is total, instant gratification being able to download a book and have it magically appear on my Kindle. I will always love books, but the Kindle has set me free!

lindsey hutchison @ United By Books said...

hey Tawny you may be Shameless but its in a very good way. lol i do still pick up blazes there are some that i see and turn over to read and buy. i also read the nocturne as well i have quit harlequin at all you never forget your first love. and as i been reading them since i was 13 i cant help to have a special place in my heart for them. the reviews do help but if someone posted a so/so review on it i still buy it just to see if its right. after all there type isnt like everyones.

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and as to WHAT I read, it varies from year to year. I have always been a huge SFF fan and my son recently gifted me with all of George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" series, so I am sucked into fantasy once again!

I love contemporary women's fiction, Regency and Victorian romances, other historical fiction of all stripes, mysteries from all time periods, contemporary thrillers. I'm kind of all over the place with what I enjoy, because it's all about the characters and the writing. I can go along for almost any ride if the writing is good and the characters are engaging!

Tawny said...

Tami, I hear you on the buying of m ore books with an e reader. Reading on it gives me a slight headache, but the convenience of being able to glom onto a new book and a newly discovered author at 3am is priceless :-)

YAY for still loving the Blazes :-) I hope you always do!!!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend, too :-)

Leni said...

My reading habits change all of the time. I'll get hooked on one genre and read a bunch of titles that fit it then discover a new book/author and find out all I can about that particular genre.
I usually read at least two books at a time. I'll carry one with me keep the other one at home or if it's an ebook I'll read that on my PC. This way I am never without a book and can start reading whenever I get some extra time.

Pat Cochran said...

Hey, Tawny,

I read most everything except dark
paranormals, some SFF & most menage. Favorites are historicals, Navy Seals,
Spec OPs, and many more!

Favorite reading sites: the corner of
my big comfy couch and my bed at night.

Pat Cochran

Tawny said...

Dtchycat you are clearly an alpha kinda gal, aren't you :-) Talk about some strong heroes!

That's so cool that you will follow an author through genres if you like them. It really is all about falling in love with the author's voice!

Tawny said...

Hi BJ :-)

The Nook rocks, for sure :-) I love mine. I do wish I could find a good book light, though.

It sounds like the Nook has really given you tons more reading opportunities.

Tawny said...

Hey there, Claudia :-)

That's a great idea to shuffle reading so as not to exhaust. I tend to read in gluts, so when I'm between books I'll read 20 or 30 of a single author or genre in a 2 week period, then feel all filled up and refreshed before I dive back into writing :-)

I hadn't thought about Twitter for book reviews, but I do see quite a few there now that you remind me. What a great resource. Do you follow specific reviewers or just notice as reviews pop up?

Tawny said...

Hey Lime :-D

Well apparently you have great taste *ggg*

I'm sorry you're still in the reading slump. I remember you mentioning that a few months back - I'd hoped it'd have lifted by now. Have you ever thought about writing? Sometimes that's the perfect push to write- frustration that what your sub conscious is craving to read isn't out there, and that's because it's in your own imagination waiting to get out :-)

I love that you send punch drunk emails. There's nothing an author loves more LOL.

Tawny said...

Helen, I'm with you - I still buy paper books over e at least 2 to 1. Can't ever get enough of those babies :-)

Tawny said...

LOL Ellen - my mom says I ask too many questions, too. What can I say, I am always curious :-D

I love your answers. LOL on the lack of reading on the back of oatmeal boxes. Yay for another non-gore gal.

That's cool that you can put a book down. Its so hard for me, but I will if I have to.

Tawny said...

Caren, another one who reads more than one book at a time. I don't know how you ladies do it. I'd be mixing up characters in my head LOL.

I hear you on the convenience of hands-free reading. I do that all the time with my iPad! It's so great to be able to prop it up and keep on working. The only thing that doesn't work so well for that is when I'm chopping veggies. I need to remember to quit doing that LOL.

Whohooo Fantasy! I pulled out David Eddings The Belgariad again last week to read, I love delving into those wonderful fantasy worlds.

Tawny said...

Lindsey, I hear you on the so-so reviews not stopping us from checking out a book. I rarely agree with movie reviewers, for instance, so tend to check reviews AFTER I've seen something LOL. Just have to be perverse, I guess.

Tawny said...

I'm getting a complex with all of you who can read more than one story at a time LOL.

Leni, that's cool that authors lead you through new genres. And that you always have a book to read on your PC :-)

Tawny said...

Hi Pat :-)

LOL on your very small list of non-favorites. From your faves, it looks like you're a fan of those hot Alpha heroes, huh?

A big comfy reading chair is so awesome, isn't it?!

Fedora said...

Hi, Tawny!! Late to the reading party today!

Let's see... I tend to prefer light over dark, too, although it depends a bit on my mood.

I think I read all over the board now--used to be only contemporaries, but now I hit them all, except horror... (still too chicken for that!)

I love fantasy AND SF--I used to read a ton of SF when I was growing up, and I am thrilled to see more scifi romance these days--it makes my heart happy :)

As for which books to read, some authors are autobuys (including you Banditas, of course!), and definitely recommendations from friends (including you Banditas and BBs, of course!) I also buy from blog visits and chats, including quite a few here in the Lair...

I prefer to read through, but that isn't always possible. Right now, I tend to choose shorter books and novellas if I know I can't stand to put something down. I haven't read many longer books lately because it's too painful to keep being interrupted. I have stayed up WAY too late to finish something, and yes, I occasionally ignore my children and household if I can't put something down. Oops... true confessions! ;)

Have fun with the GR, Barb!

Tawny said...

Hey there, Fedora :-)

You know, thats one of the things I love about shorter books (category) and novellas. I can read them in one quick sitting between chores or kid events or while waiting for dinner to cook *g* It makes it a lot easier for us obsessive 'have to read it all NOOOOOWWWW' readers.

YAY that the Bandits and BB have had such a wonderful influence on your reading and your TBR pile :-D That is so awesome.

I'm with you on the fab SF / fantasy out there now. So many SF authors have crossed over into romance as well, so the two genres are blending nicely.

As for horror, come hang out with me and we'll be non-reading chickens together LOL. I can't even watch scary movie trailers :-D

Fedora said...

Bok, bok! Sounds just about right, Tawny--I think for me, if I get a visual in my head, I cannot get it out. No scary (or even ha-ha scary) movies for me for sure! (I've been left unable to sleep after watching *ahem* an episode of Buffy. Which isn't even supposed to be scary!! *sigh*)