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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