How the Wren reads // a good gab about things only bookworms will understand  


I have a blog post all about epic villains in mind, but as soon as I sit down to type it up I inevitably want to chat about books. What is with this, I ask? Why is the Annie-in-the-glass giving me trouble? (if you’ve read Emily of New Moon you’ll understand.)

I’m currently curled up in the coziest corner of our faintly vintage couch and I can feel a gentle breeze from the oscillating fan across the room. Just beyond the archway leading out of the living room I see my Older sister moving about the table as she snips threads, adjusts soft folds of fabric, and busies herself creating a masterpiece of a blouse. The First Younger sister occupies the corner of the couch opposite from me (she’s deep in the world of Magic for Marigold by Montgomery), and the Youngest sister washes dishes–the faint clatter of pots and pans a comfortable background as James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for Peter Pan plays. If I listen hard enough I can only just hear Mum in the room above me, talking on the phone with one of my brothers about strawberries and the dramatics of toddlers and life in general.

Possibly the atmosphere right now isn’t exactly suited to discussions involving death and mayhem and evil genius? Either way I feel the need to have a good bookish chat. Let’s do this, Wrenlings.

(questions borrowed from Schuyler who borrowed them from someone else. Such is life.)

The Curious Wren reading habits

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

The corner of the couch I’m curled up in at the moment. Otherwise I will read on the Older sister’s bed… when she’s not home. If she is home I get special permission lest I’m sent flying out the window in righteous indignation for rumpling her blankets (she really is a darling older sister though. despite her reluctance to take pity on my predicament when I’m short of a good reading spot). 

We used to have a comfy Blue Chair that I would happily get lost in the depths of with a good book, but it aged à la the Velveteen Rabbit so we had to move it to the attic when I was about twelve.

It was a sad time for a young bookworm. 

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Whatever happens to be near me. I try to use bookmarks or bits of silky ribbon as often as possible, but 10 to 1 I forget and end up having to hunt all over the book for my last spot. I do have a delightful habit of finishing Agatha Christie books in one sitting so that dispenses with the necessity of bookmarks altogether. BUT. I never, ever, EVER dog-ear. Not ever

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

If I’m called away to help with supper/keep younglings from murdering each other/put away groceries, etc, I’ll stop the instant I’ve reached the end of my sentence. If I’m stopping just because I’m done reading for the moment, I wait until I’m at the end of a chapter. Unless I’m at work and my lunch break ends. Then it’s a mad scramble to fling my book back in the drawer and kick my brain back into busy bee mode. The struggle is real.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

I devour lunch and books equally at work. At home everybody eats lunch separately and we all always end up reading anyway–my family is strong on the bookworm front (ink flows in our veins). Supper is interesting; if Dad is home we all chat over the meal; if Dad isn’t home we generally agree unanimously to read. It’s a delightful set-up and everybody is pleased. I remember one time the Youngest sister and I both wanted to read The Horse and His Boy during supper, so we just sat next to each other and shared it. Thankfully, we both read at about the same speed–which is very fast in case you were wondering. 

My favorite snack for reading is either apples (Jo March is basically the literary Me) or some other fruit like oranges. Also, chocolate. Because chocolate.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Not TV while reading–too much clamour and chaos. Music yes, as long as it isn’t streaming through earbuds, so basically as background noise. I can read and put a baby to sleep. I try not to read and cook because tragedy that way lies–I am infamous in the family for burning things because I got too involved with my book. One of my favorite things to do when I read is walk up and down the beach along the edge of waves where the sand is wet and firm–in a word: glorious.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One of the middle shelves on our family bookcase is dedicated solely to our family reading stack. Usually there’s about eight books on the stack and half are ones I’m in the middle of. I like to have a main novel and then several on the side. I balance out heavier, deeper tomes with lighter fiction and cozy reads or sometimes a non-fiction book.

Currently I am reading: 

— Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2).  A Wodehouse novel.  Dreamtreaders. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl. I just finished two Agatha Christie’s this week and I have at least six books that I am in the middle of that I’ve put on “hold” because there is only one Annie and she can not read three books simultaneously in one sitting. Alas. 

7. Reading at home or everywhere?


Reading outdoors = fantastic. My favorite place to read is on the beach. Second favorite place: by a fireside with a snowstorm howling outside, Christmas music playing, and a mug of peppermint hot chocolate at my elbow. 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Let’s put it this way, the only time I read out loud is if I’m reading to small humans. Then I do all the voices and accents and occasionally sound effects. Grand fun. 

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Goodness, no. I like suspense and I don’t like guilt or spoilers.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Sweet Ring of Sauron, why would anyone intentionally break a book’s spine? I know people do, but WHY. Don’t you feel slightly like a breaker-of-fine-china? *cringes at the thought*

11. Do you write in your books?

In rare moments, I will scribble a thought about the book along the margin in the faintest of pencil scratchings. I underline in non-fiction books and mark with tiny stars. And I black-out swearing with a fine-point pen. Unless it’s something like the Halo books in which case I hand it off to my brother or Mum and let them have at it. Family is so useful. ^_^

What about YOU, Wrenlings? What are some of your reading habits? Do any of mine mirror yours? And what’s one of the most unique places you’ve read in?

7 thoughts on “How the Wren reads // a good gab about things only bookworms will understand  

  1. I have tons of lovely bookmarks but I can’t usually find them fast enough, so I usually shove whats on hand. I think the tassels bug me too; I should just take them off.

    I tend to read in my room on my bed or the floor, but I can read anywhere with quiet. T.V., talking, music, too much for the senses usually although at one job I could read at the desk with the T.V. but that is hardly ideal.

    I do not like reading out in public for this reason and because I greatly dislike people asking about my book. I can’t read in the car much because it makes me carsick. I need to read outside more on mild temperature days; I just never think about it.

    I often have a couple books started unless I find some really addicting ones and then I just read right through them. Right now I have Albion’s Seed, Jane Eyre (slow-paced for Hamlette’s read along), and The Westing Game. The first is a scholarly monograph and is quite interesting, but I do need some fiction.


  2. BOOKMARKS. I’m obsessed with them – I have wayyy too many that I love, and I can never make up my mind as to which ones to use. *crying*

    Oh, dear. I’m often the “one more page – no, just one more – just a few more….wait, when did I read three chapters?” type of reader. YOU CANNOT DRAG ME AWAY FROM MY PRECIOUS DARLINGS.

    I usually try to drink tea while I read, but I get too distracted by the pages and forget about the tea….once, I was so involved in the book I was reading I didn’t hear the fire alarm going off around me. Luckily, it was just a drill.

    Who the heck just reads at home?? All reasonable people bring books everywhere, obviously.

    I usually NEVER skip pages, because then I feel like I haven’t really “read” the book, you know? But right now I’m reading the unabridged Les Miserables, so I have little guilt about skimming the 50+ pages spent on a tangent describing a battle which has absolutely no relation to the plot. Why, Victor Hugo? Why?

    I usually never write in books, but if I come across a particularly beautiful line of prose I’ll highlight it and maybe bookmark the page with a sticky note.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality


  3. I like that idea about marking out swearing. I only dare to put a pencil to my classics and academic books, though. Rarely any swearing in those, thank goodness.

    As for reading while eating/drinking, I usually have books reserved for mealtime/lunch and coffee break.


  4. First off: I love your blog ( First time visitor). Second: I am horrible about book marks… My books live a pretty tough life, as they come in and out of my pockets constantly ( at work I have huge pockets.) Third: I can read anywhere. Literally anywhere under any circumstances, I once read while on a Black hawk flying over Afghanistan. You have to hold the pages pretty tight up there lol.


  5. This was such a sweet post! I love how all your family reads over meals. Reading ahead is utter madness — how can anyone?! Why??


  6. Ooh, your description of reading on the beach sounds lovely. I’d like to try that sometime! I’m going to in Florida next month… perfect opportunity. 😉

    *shudders* Why… why would someone break a spine intentionally?? That’s like… breaking someone’s back. OUCH. Ickkk why.

    I usually read either while curled up in bed (right before I go to sleep), or while lounging outside in the evening, or on a couch while sipping a cup of tea. My most unique place so far has been in a tree. Getting up there with a book in-hand was a satisfying challenge, hehe.


  7. What a wonderful blog post, Annie! Ooh, armchairs were made just for bookworms to curl up in. Aren’t they the most marvelous pieces of furniture? I black out swear words in books as well, if they’re just not particularly necessary. And reading with the television in the background? How can one do so! I have to admit to a certain crime a few years back, though… I had a horrid habit of spine-bending. What can I say? I just couldn’t break the habit. (Puns are my favorite.)

    Great tag, Annie! I’ll have to do this sometime.:)


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