Do You Read Naked?

On Monday, I finished Where’d You Go Bernadette, which was my 43rd book of the year and my 701st listed  on Goodreads.  And it really needs a question mark at the end.  Because questions without question marks annoy me.

As well as a grammatically incorrect title, it was the first hardcover book I’ve read in a while.  I read it naked.  Smooth and unadorned.  The book, not me.  I find book jackets flappy and useless, and lose them quickly.  On purpose.

Nobody trusts me with book jackets.  Which is why I prefer paperbacks.  Less fuss.

Anyway, I was online a few weeks ago, looking to order the book group book.  Which I already own, but can’t find.  I’ve moved seven times since I read Ask the Dust for the first time.  It isn’t in a our sixty-four book shelves/two cases in the living room.  It isn’t in the hallway with my old textbooks.  So, I bought it.  I might have bought Bernadette, too.  Because online shopping isn’t really shopping.

Lately, I read in bed at night.  Sometimes, I get to the middle of a book and read right to the end.  If not, I must have a spent train ticket to use as a bookmark.  I used to have real bookmarks, but then I got beyond the age of ten.  And I don’t have kids yet, so I won’t be seeing real bookmarks until they make me ones for Christmas.  And so, while I am in this limbo between ten and motherhood, I’m using train tickets.  I hope books exist when my kids do, I hope their parents aren’t the last people on earth to buy real books.  I hope books don’t shrink to band-aids on people’s foreheads like the remote-control thing called Samantha 2 in Bernadette.

While reading Bernadette, I did not read the last page first, as I sometimes do.  One of my old (and favourite) English teachers said reading the last page first puts the whole book in context and changes the way you read it.  Sometimes I start with the last page and sometimes I don’t.  It depends on what kind of experience/relationship I want to have with the book.

What are some of your reading habits?

Do you read naked?

Do  you read the last page first?

As for me, I’m now reading The Interrogative Mood.  Which more than satisfies my need for question marks.

Have you read it?

Naked and beautiful. See?
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40 thoughts on “Do You Read Naked?

  1. How remarkable that you’ve read 43 books this year. I feel like cheering for you. I wonder if you are an endangered species (rhetorical question so no question mark needed). I have bookcases galore and would have a whole room lined with bookcases (filled with books, not bric a brac) from floor to ceiling if I could. I only read the ending when I’m about 2/3 the way through and can’t stand the tension b/c I’m so wrapped up in what the characters are going to do, I have to see how it turns out. I just did that with The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Excellent book.

  2. I always whipped off the dust jacket… but now I’m a kindle reader. The “naked” issue applies to that, as well. I’ve always enjoyed my Kindles naked, but for this recent version, the paperwhite, I am using a cover.

  3. I never read the last page first, because I usually reread books, so I can do the context/perspective time the second time. With Maggie Stiefvater’s books in particular so much emphasis is on the ending and how the little clues are leading up to it the whole way, and if you read it first that spoils it. Her plot twists are absolutely beautiful.
    Most of the books I read are from the library and have taped-on dustjackets. It’s super irritating. I prefer paperbacks because they fit better on my shelves.

  4. does it count to read naked if you’re always naked anyway?

    i don’t read the last page first because you never know what it might give away that you don’t want to know yet.

  5. I try to read books with covers on because I often read while eating/drinking and have books with stained covers/pages to prove it. However, about halfway through I get annoyed and take the cover off anyway. I have to say that I am a bookmark person. I have quite the collection – from museum stores to “special gifts” I get when i donate to PBS to these wonderfully beautiful ones from Korea (usually half etched metal and half woven silk tassel. These are a standard thank you gift which I receive regularly from my Korean students. I’m now up to six – but honestly, they’re too pretty to get hidden in a book, so I display them on the bulletin board in my office.

  6. I read naked all the time. My favorite reading location is the bathtub. Oh, wait, you didn’t mean that? LOL.

    I keep the jacket because I use the jacket as the book mark. Train stubs are not something we have around here. On the other hand, I use receipts from purchases more often that bookmarks. I remember when books store always put a bookmark in your purchase with the receipt. The bookmark was a store advertisment. I always lost the bookmark but the receipt always stayed in nice and tight. I think it is because it is very thin paper and it works down to the spine easily. It’s tighter closest to the spine like that so the pages hold onto the receipt better.

    Once I found some money I apparently used to mark my page. It was only one dollar. So it wasn’t as good as finding a Twenty in a pocket when you pull out the winter coats.

    I have occasionally read the last page first. And then, if it failed to make sense, I read a few more of the last pages. I try not to do that. It has actually ruined a few books for me. Not because knowing it ruined anything. It was because I hated where the author took the story. It’s better for me to work thought the entire story to arrive there as the same time the characters do.

  7. I always remove the hardcover jacket, because I feel guilty about damaging them. I don’t know why. I have a few “real” bookmarks, but I usually use some scrap of paper. Probably because I don’t feel guilty if I lose it 😉
    While I don’t read the last page, I do like to skip to future parts of the book and scan for main characters. I want to know if s/he is still around. I read somewhere that spoilers like this can actually make a book or movie more enjoyable, and I definitely feel that way. I hate worrying if a beloved character is going to die.

  8. This really made me laugh, Lorna. I, too, am irritated by questions with no questionmark. And that bit about being ‘between 10 and motherhood’ really made me chuckle! Love it! Maybe you could get your kids, when they come along, to make you bookmarks in the shape of question marks, so you’ll always have one handy. Congratulations on book 43 this year. I’m still on no. 19, but enjoying the ride.

  9. Sometimes I read naked. I usually read the first few chapters then skip to the last page, then go back. I *try* to no peak ahead, but I rarely make it. I have an evil Kindle, which helps. It’s too annoying to go to the last page then go back, haha.

    I always take the hardcover jacket off… but I keep it nearby, because I’ll put it back on to use as a bookmark 😉

  10. I tend to leave the jackets on because I use the flaps for bookmarks. I’ve never read the last page first, but I always read the introduction and acknowledgements. I also reread the same books over and over — to me, it’s kind of like watching reruns of shows or movies I really like.

  11. I used to read naked but since I got my nook I don’t read naked anymore. Sometimes I miss just holding a book but for the most part my nook and I are the best of friends. I generally read in bed after the kiddies have gone to bed. I don’t read as much as I used to since I am trying to start my scrapbooking business. I miss reading though and I am trying to make time for it. I am almost done with a Nora Roberts book. I love her books, they are predictable but they are good, fun, romance reading! I have another book already for me to read but I have to finish my Nora Roberts book first. I am not one of those people that can read multipile books at a time. I enjoyed reading your post.

  12. Love to read with or without the jacket. I never read the last page, takes the fun out of it, I want to surprised every step of the way and wonder about the end until the end. I have read very little lately in comparison to my normal reading habits. Hopefully this will be cured soon.

  13. Yup, I read naked. I hate to see those covers crushed. And I like finding old airline tickets etc in the book when I re-read them And if you read the last page of Bernadette it probably didn’t help you much because the author didn’t really wrap up the plot-lines. (see my review on Goodreads, under my name, as always)

    1. I usually tend to rate up. Unless a book is hideous, which is a matter of opinion! I was going to add you on GR, but I see you got me first. Hello!

  14. absolutely, all the time! 😉

    Seriously though – I love the way a beautiful dust jacket looks on my bookshelf, but for actually sitting and reading, they are so impractical. I always pull it off and put it on the shelf until I’m done. Mom used to wrap her books in old grocery brown paper bags to protect them when she took the jackets off, until she realized – what on earth do people think she’s reading when she sits in the park with a book in a plain brown wrapper? 🙂

    The girls and I used to cover our romance novels in white paper and write “Great Expectations” on the front in HS….

  15. I tend to leave jackets on books, using the flap as a bookmark until it’s impossible to do so. Then I scout around for a bookmark, usually something close enough within eye-shot. I don’t read the last page first, although I know John Irving writes his books backwards, coming up with the end, then working to the beginning. So maybe if I did that with his books, it would be more meaningful. Something I will ponder in the future.

    I haven’t read The Interrogative Mood. Do you like it?

    And, thank you for following my blog; I hope you enjoy the posts! 🙂

  16. This is funny, I never thought of books as being naked without their dustjackets. In that case, I never read my books naked–I feel like I’m defiling them if I remove their dustjackets. Recently a friend lent me a book and it didn’t have a dustjacket, and it made me feel….unsettled somehow. The same feeling I get as when I write with a pen that doesn’t have a cap. I don’t read the last page first, but I tend to get impatient with books after the first few chapters so I end up skipping ahead to the end a lot. And I usually have at least 2 or 3 books going at once. My problem is that I end up having to re-read several pages or even chapters because so much time passes before I pick up a book again, it’s like I have to start over. I really need to streamline my reading habits a little.

  17. So jealous that you read in bed AND get to the middle, let alone sometimes the end! I am reading Atlas Shrugged, have been reading it for years actually, and it is one slow page at a time before I am snoozing contentedly. Does it hurt you to know I turn down the corner of the page?
    As for naked I am happy to use the jacket as a bookmark.

  18. I hate book jackets and try to get paperbacks and or e-books. I think I might still have some bookmarks from when I was a kid stuck inside random books. Never, never, never turn down a page. It ruins the book. Reading the end is perfectly fine.

  19. I just recently finished that book, too. 🙂 Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest. The bookmark part made me laugh out loud. I tend to use the book jacket as my bookmark or if I am reading a paperback, I will sometimes dog ear the page. I know, I know, I know. Somewhere in heaven my mother weeps about all the years she tried to make me not do that! 😉

  20. Hello from St. Louie. Stopping in from SITS. I always disrobe my hardcover books but never read the last page first. The last book I read was “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Really good.

  21. Sometimes, the twist at the end is so good that it is worth reading once for the surprises, and a second time to get the whole in context.

    I keep the jackets on, so as to avoid defiling the book with my grubby fingermarks. If I read a paperback I can usually manage to avoid getting the spines creased. Once, I had read half my “complete works of” some poet, and the first time someone else read a poem in it he made a sharp crease down the spine. I have not fully got over that experience.

    Thank you for the follow. Come and Comment! Comments are what fill my heart with joy!

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