I wasn’t a reader for most of my life. I actually hated to read. I avoided reading in school and I read maybe one or two books a year in my adult life. It wasn’t until I read the Harry Potter series that I started to enjoy reading. The true catalyst for my love of reading was the Twilight Saga, which I first read in June 2007.

In the last 15 years, I’ve noticed that my reading habits change from time to time. When I was only reading one or two books a year, I dog-eared my books. Now, I’d never even consider doing that to my books.

I know there are other readers who are on the no dog-ear bandwagon like me and others who don’t think it’s a bad thing. I also know that some of my other habits would be like nails on a chalkboard to other readers. For this reason, I thought it might be fun to share some of my current reading habits.

Reading in the Tub

My most favorite place to read is in the bathtub. I’ll read a physical book or my Kindle. I’ve never dropped anything in the water. Since I don’t have any kids, I soak in the tub with the door open; I don’t have to worry about the steam curling the pages of my book or ruining my Kindle. I read in the tub for around two hours by emptying the tub when the water gets cold and refilling it with warm water. It’s very relaxing.


I always use bookmarks. I never use random junk as bookmarks. I actually like to collect bookmarks. When I travel, bookmarks are one of my favorite souvenirs. They’re inexpensive and they take up little room. I also think bookmarks make the best book swag from authors and publishers. I have a cute basket on one of my shelves that holds all my bookmarks so they’re easily accessible.

Chapter by Chapter

I like to read a chapter at a time. I don’t mean just one chapter and then I’m done. I mean that I don’t like to stop reading in the middle of a chapter. If I don’t finish a chapter before I quit reading, it’s usually because I’m staying up way too late and I fell asleep while reading.

No Snacks

I know a lot of people like to snack and read. I’m not one of them. Even during Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, I don’t snack and read. I’ll drink water or gatorade while I’m reading, but that’s it. If I’m hungry or snacky, I take a break from reading for a few minutes and then continue reading after I’m done eating.

No Distractions

I don’t usually listen to music while I read. I usually like it quiet. Otherwise, I find myself concentrating on the music instead of what I’m reading. I only listen to audiobooks while I’m driving because, otherwise, I get distracted and I don’t pay attention to the book.

Mostly Monogamous

I usually only read one book at a time. I don’t really like to jump from one story to another. However, when I’m reading a book that’s taking me a long time to get through, I’ll often read another book alongside it.

Read Silently

I think I’m like most people when I say that I read silently. Reading out loud takes too much time. The only time I read out loud is when I read to someone, like my friends’ kids or a niece or nephew. I do enjoy reading to kids, but I like reading my own books silently. I think this is why I prefer reading books myself to listening to an audiobook.

Spoilers Welcome … Sometimes

Sometimes I read ahead and spoil myself. I know! I know. I only do it when the tension is too high, but I don’t skip pages. I read everything.

Books Have Feelings

As I said above, I don’t dog-ear my pages anymore and I don’t break my book’s spine. I also don’t write in my books, unless they’re textbooks or scriptures. I try to keep my books like new for as long as possible.

What about you? What are some of your current reading habits?

I recently read DUNE by Frank Herbert for the seventh time! The first time I read it was in high school for my Sci Fi class. (It was one of the only books I actually read.) I fell in love with the story that first time I read it. Over the years, DUNE has become my all-time favorite book. I adore everything about it. I love Herbert’s writing, the characters, the setting, the complexity of the story, and the ethical/moral issues it explores.

I understand why some new readers have a hard time with it. I had my IRL book club read it almost seven years ago and most gave up or didn’t understand the political and economical aspects of the book. In today’s publishing world, so much of DUNE would’ve been edited out and the third-person omniscient POV isn’t for everyone.

I’ve never read any of DUNE’s sequels. I’ve toyed with the idea, but I’ve decided against it. I don’t want to be disappointed and I don’t want that disappointment to ruin my love for DUNE. Fortunately, DUNE stands well enough alone that I don’t need to go on.

During this reread, I was very aware of how much Herbert relied on Islamic culture as his inspiration for DUNE. In past reads, I had wondered if some of the words were inspired by Arabic. It wasn’t until I was watching the new movie that I became more curious about Herbert’s inspiration. As I did a little research, I was surprised to find out how much of Islamic culture he used. It made me wonder … is DUNE a misappropriation of Islamic beliefs? If so, can I still love DUNE, acknowledge the misappropriation for what it is, AND help society do better by also supporting Muslim authors and authentic Muslim stories?

What are your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations for Muslim authors and authentic Muslim stories that I should read?

P.S. My shortest read of 2021 was DUNE, THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, BOOK 1 at 160 pages and my longest read was DUNE at 894 pages. Ha!