I don’t know about you, but I am a very curious reader. Reading to me is like being confronted with a large selection of appetizers: I grab one, then I want to taste another, mmm… that one over there looks good too. But then I tend to go back to the one that impresses me most.
I do the same with books: I read two or three (or maybe more) at once, they all lie sprawled beside my bed, and I grab the one I fancy at the moment. Right now I am starting “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?”, I am midway through “Heidegger And A Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates”, which is a partly comical, partly philosophical discussion of Life and Death, I am reading a book about photographic composition, and, finally, just to dip into at times, “The Bumper Book Of Useless Information”.
So maybe that’s why I begin so many books: some are just too “heavy”, or maybe “dense”, to read them all in one go. I have to sip at them and let the concepts sink. But when I find the real page-turner, then I become voracious, I can read 700 pages in a couple of days…
My brother used to read Clive Cussler’s novels. Sometimes I would find them lying around and I would start reading halfway through to the end, and then read the beginning. I know it’s a bit weird, but I only did that with those, I guess it didn’t really matter for the story.
I think a research should be made on this subject: how do people read? Are they methodic, and read each book from cover to cover, or are they dippers? Do they feel compelled to read each book to the end, even when they don’t like it, or do they think: “who cares?” and abandon it halfway? Do they read one book at a time, or do they begin several at the same time?