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?