The Great Big Reading Poll

Gabe Habash -- May 23rd, 2013

big book

The last Official PWxyz Poll we did saw To Kill a Mockingbird win the Great American Novel title. Now: we want to know about how you read. Print or digital? New or used? Bookmark or dogear? See if you’re as neurotic as other PWxyz readers!


32 thoughts on “The Great Big Reading Poll

  1. Bobbie

    I also wish we could have marked more than one response. Sometimes I lay a book down, sometimes I use a bookmark, and sometimes I dogear it! I only highlight my Bible or study books. I like only good old fashion books, no e stuff for me!! I have read books I have over and over again if I really like the story: The Fifteen Streets by Catherine Cookson, A Town Like Alice and one from my younger days; Mrs Mike. I can’t afford new books so usually go to library sales or Amazon. My husband built me a bookcase that covers one whole wall and I still need more room!

  2. Shelly

    It was hard to answer these as I could answer a number of the questions with two of the choices, or a choice not offered. I organize my books by genre, then by author, but some have to be in size order because they’re on immovable shelves. I read paperbacks, hardcovers, and ebooks, though mostly paperbacks as that’s what I most can afford in order to get as many books as possible. eBooks are recent additions to my reading. As for libraries, after being a public librarian for 3 decades, unless I can guarantee I’d be the first one to read a copy of a book, I wouldn’t want to take a chance on where it’s been before me. Plus, I like owning books I enjoy, so I’d just go an buy a copy after reading, anyway.

  3. Beth

    There were a few of these where I would have answered more than one way and would have liked to be able to. I read all book formats with paperback coming just ahead of e-books. I also highlight and underline depending on what marking method is most readily available to me, but I only do this on certain types of books. Still, fun to see where the majority fall on these questions. =)

  4. Cheri

    I couldn’t answer the organization question. My fiction is “organized meticulously by author” and my non-fiction is “arranged by a method known only to me.” Then again, I am a librarian…

      1. Carolyn

        My fiction is by author’s name, and my nonfiction by subject matter, although not in categories a librarian might recognize. I’ve been reading a lot of e-books this year, and I can tell already it’s going to drive me nuts not to be able to be able to quickly reference some passage when I think of it. I love the portability, but I was paper trained and probably always will prefer it for works of lasting influence. The trouble comes with calculating which you’ll want to read once and which will call to you later.

  5. Connie Brown

    I was sad that we couldn’t check all of the above for the book formats. I reed e books, hardcover, paperback, some audio-books in the past, but I just read whatever I can get my hands on. I don’t think about my books first because I have Living things(pets) in my house and they come first. Books come second. As for highlighting, It depends on what type of book it is. My Bible gets highlights and writing. It is a study guide. Other non-fiction books get that treatment too. My fiction do not get written in. The poll was not quite what it should have been. . I always have more than one book going at the same time. I have one e book going and several paperbacks and a hardback. Some friends have called it multiple reading dysfunction. The pollsters do not understand readers. There is no typical reader, we are all unique.

    1. Kathy

      I read hardbacks, paperbacks, e-books, and audiobooks – both download and CD. Yep, they needed more formats and an “all of the above” choice.

    2. Lisa

      I agree completely. I had trouble answering almost all the questions because the real answer was that it depends. I also do things differently with books I am dealing with for work and books that I’m reading for fun. Does anyone else love post-its as book marks? Handiest thing ever.

  6. CharlieLane

    In terms of the format of books I read then it is all three. I have hardback, paperback and e-books in my collection. I don’t purchase certain books in one format or another specifically. My book purchasing has always been based on value for money and impulse. If I go into a shop which has a sale on i’ll have a look and if something catches my eye i’ll buy it, regardless of whether its paperback or hardback. If I am desperate to read something then I might download it if i’m not going near a bookshop.

    In terms of storing my books I have a pile of books to read in my room and a box of books to keep in the garage. I’m hoping one day to fill a bookshelf with the books to keep box but I don’t currently have room. I only keep books I have enjoyed and think I might read again. I always pass my books onto others, if I want to keep it I make sure I get it back, if not I ask them to pass it on. If no-one is interested in reading it I donate it to a book share scheme or a local charity shop so it can find a good home.

    Personally I like to keep my books in the same condition they were when I brought them. I hate reading dog eared books, somehow it spoils my enjoyment somewhat. I always try and read them before I give them to my sister as they are never the same once she gets her hands on them. Turned down pages, bent covers, cracked spines, drink spills all deter from my reading experience, but that’s just me!

  7. CindyK

    Many of the questions seemed to need multiple answers not just one. Still fun to see the answers.

    I love all forms of reading, although for me audio books are at the bottom of the list. I find my comprehension suffers with audio books. Notes often get added to my books, I’ve even written in alternate endings. I love to lend or give away books to friends and yes, sometimes to strangers.

  8. Patty Olson

    Well, and if you’re talking about ebooks, highlighting in ebooks is a much different question than highlighting in paper books, and it’s impossible to highlight if you only every use audio….

  9. zandperl

    No choice for audiobooks? That’s about all I read. Not to mention the implication that blind people who read audiobooks and braille aren’t reading.

  10. Anthony B

    On a related topic, I wonder how people read tweets. If someone is following 80,000 tweeters, how do they manage to read their tweets? Do they actually read them, or is it just a means of attracting followers? Are there, within Twitter, readers and number-obsessives? Cue for another poll?

  11. Rudy

    Agree with other commenters on the either/or flaw in the book format question. I’ve switched to e-book for fiction, literature, and some nonfiction. But I still use print formats for many books–not everything is available in e-book, for one thing, and even large tablets and desktop/laptop computers aren’t best for large-format books with color illustrations, pull quotes, boxes, and other layout-intensive pages. Also, some other questions were too either/or. I seldom lend books, but I do occasionally to highly trusted people–mainly family–with the strict understanding that I expect to get the book back eventually (many people think a loan is a permanent gift). The only books I EVER wrote in were teaching copies, and then I wrote lightly in pencil, hard lead to avoid smudging; Post-It notes made this unnecessary; writing in books is otherwise, in my view, an act of vandalism, a desecration. I use e-book annotations to note typos for later reporting to the publisher if they’re bad enough or frequent enough.

  12. Sheryl

    I read both paper and cloth but this let me chose only one – truthfully I read 90% galleys and manuscripts because I get things early.

  13. Sheila

    Choice was narrow as I read paperback & ebooks and about underlining or highlighting it depends on format as with ebook I highlight. but on paper books I never mark it as it spoils the book.

    1. Uma Krishnaswami

      Good point, Sheila. I had trouble choosing a format too, as I read books in hard cover, paper, and e- formats. And now that I think about it, I do highlight and make notes in e-books, but never ever on paper.

    2. Kristina

      I agree. I read hardcovers, paperbacks and e-books as well as listen to books on my mp3 player when I walk. No preference for any–just whatever is available for the book I want to read. How could you even ask a question like this without including at least an all-of-the-above option?!

  14. Susan

    The question about hardcover, paperback or e-reader is faulty. There needs to be a fourth choice of all of the above, or what ever format is most convenient at the time. That is part of the reason I usually have at least 2 books going at the same time. Some authors I have to read immediately so I get the hard cover. Other authors or older books I get in paperback because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to support my reading addiction. I was given an e-reader as a present (someone who knows I love to read) and, while initially resistant, I find it convenient since I can change the print format size when I am tired or there is too much or not enough light.

  15. Cathy

    Your Format? question isn’t worded well. What’s my preference? Hardback. What do I usually read? Paper. I also have an ereader. So wouldn’t all of the above work for me? There’s no option for that.

  16. Colleen Theisen

    The man in the photo is Bill Voss who bound that 100,000+ page book of poetry the “Largest Book int he World” that was created by Dave Morice “Dr. Alphabet” in 2010. It is housed in Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries.

  17. Steve Walker

    I confess that I live to read. Seriously. I have eight books I am reading at present. I mark in my calendar when new titles are coming out.

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