Okay, I admit it. I’m definitely odd in some respects. Barbara commented on one of them last night, and threatened to post about it, so I’d better get my side of the story in first.
You know those novels that have italicized sections, often at the beginning of a chapter, but sometimes in the body of the chapter? I never read the italic sections. Never. And I haven’t done for at least 30 years. I remember reading Niven’s and Pournelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer back in 1979, and I remember skipping the italicized sections even then.
The only italicized text I’ll read is short sections like a book title or a foreign word or phrase. If the italicized part is longer than a phrase, I just skip it.
I was reading a mystery novel last night that Barbara had just finished reading. I commented about how much I disliked italics, and she pointed out that if I skipped them I’d be missing important parts of the story. I told her, smugly, that I’d already figured out who the killer was when I was less than halfway through the book, and without reading the italics.