Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for... Reading

I love to read. My love of books and reading is what led me to write. And as a writer, it's the idea of people reading my work that keeps me going. I read widely too. While I do love YA contemporary, and I read a lot of it, my tastes are far broader than that. I like mysteries, thrillers, literary fiction, women's fiction, some sci-fi and horror and every now and then, a juicy romance is just what I need.

 My budget restrains me from buying all the books I want to read, and since I don't have an e-reader (yet..I do have a birthday coming up *hint, hint*) I can't take advantage of the low-price books available digitally. So I'm a library goer. A frequent library goer. I tend to take four or five books at a time because with all the beta reading and critiquing I do, that's about all I'll get through in the four weeks I'm allowed to have them.

 I try to get a variety of books too, and limit myself to only two YA titles per visit. Reading outside the genre I write is inspirational. Language is used differently, and stories are structured and told in a variety of ways. By reading broadly, I absorb all these techniques and styles, holding them in the back of my brain until at some point I may use them. 

 Years and years ago I was impressed by a book in which the story was told from the POV of someone other than the central character. The book was all about this one guy, but told from the POV of his brother. This stuck in my head and now, as I struggle with ideas for my next book, that shifting of perception is haunting me. I have no idea if I'm a good enough writer to carry it off, but it's an intriguing idea. 

 Every now and then I come across someone who says they don't read and I find this alien. Especially when it's another writer who says it. I can't imagine not having a book handy. How could I ride the bus without one? Eat dinner alone? Wait for a perpetually late friend at a cafe? Take a bath? 

 Some of my friends have pledged to keep track of all the books they read in 2012. One of them pledged a figure of 86. That didn't feel like a lot to me, so I figured I'd note down how many I read too, not as part of any particular challenge, but because I'm interested. As of today, I'm sitting on 31, so I figure I can make to 100 before December 31st without trying too hard. 

 How much do you read? What do you read? Anyone want to recommend something I should read?


  1. For some of these e-books (like kindle) you can download an app and read them on your computer even without a reader...Just sayin ;-) But that's not super portable so it does kind of defeat the purpose.

    My love of reading/writing story sounds similar to yours. For a couple years now I've found myself fascinated with less traditional writing styles. Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Carols Ruiz Zafon. I'd like to write a book like that, but it's just not my style.

    But your unique POV story sounds like a really interesting way to convey a narrative. I bet you could do it :-D

  2. I've always taken a book or two everywhere I go (it's even easier now, with a kindle). I normally average two books a week, but this month I'm recommending books I love for A-Z, so I'm not getting much new reading done!

  3. I also love reading. I love reading true stories of people and how they've overcome obstacles. I also enjoy relaxing while reading an article on molecular osmosis. :) Yes, I'm weird.

  4. Also, if you have any kind of smart phone (droid, bberry, iPhone, etc.) you can download an ereader app onto your phone.

    But yes, I carry my kindle with me everywhere I go. Everywhere.

  5. Have you read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafon? That has a great library scene and is a book worth reading, too. Also, if you didn't know already there are sites to help keep track of what you've read like Shelfari, where you can chat with other readers.