Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To Read or Not To Read?

Okay, so I'm about to confess to something... Are you ready?

I don't read very much. And by "very much," I mean "hardly at all." Like I maybe read 5 books last year.

I know that's not good enough, and I've really been thinking about the advice I got several years ago when I first started writing. Someone said that they advised all authors to take a year off and just read.

I remember being very hesitant to do that, because, well, I couldn't really see the value of reading as related to writing. I think I've fallen back into that same hole.

I think I have time. I'd have to take it from some other things, but I could do it. Another thing that's jaded me is sometimes I don't like the books I've spent money on. And I want to feel like my money is well-spent. I know there's not much I can do about that, but it's been a factor in how much I read.

Every book I buy goes to four different kindles, including my husband's and my ten-year-old daughter's. So I need to be somewhat selective in what I decide to purchase and put on the kindles. They can choose not to read it, but they can't choose not to see the cover if I buy it.

So it's been a bit of a dilemma. I've considered getting my own amazon account so that won't be an issue, but I haven't yet. And honestly, I don't even know what's "hot" or "popular" or "good" right now. Yes, I've heard of the big names and big titles. I don't need the same 10 books/authors recommended to me.

But what would you tell me to read if I wanted to get "caught up" with the books that have come out in the last couple of years? I probably haven't read it.


Mia Hayson said...

I don't think you need to feel bad about minimal reading if you're written a million fabulous books ;-)

But, for serious, I loved CLARIEL (Garth Nix's prologue to his other older works -- TWENTY YEARS OLD TO BE EXACT OMG BUT I STILL LOVE SABRIEL AND THOSE BOOKS SO MUCH) and THE FIFTH WAVE had such a great voice I was mesmerised by it. I guess THE FIFTH WAVE is very in keeping with the alien wave of books right now too :)


Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't think you're going to catch up. There's too many books. If you google the most anticipated books each month you'll get a sense of the books and authors book review bloggers are excited about. I feature many book review blog hops.

Maybe just find more of a balance in reading. The library is a great way to read for free. And if I don't like a book by about page 50, I stop reading it.

Since my husband died, I'm not reading as much though I do read all the time still. But I needed a better balance between watching TV and reading. And that's okay.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Since I left teaching, I have a lot more time to read -- but not as much money to buy books!

So now I've been making good use of my public library system to order the books I'm interested in. No financial expense, and while I'm not a sale and a royalty for the authors, I am circulating their book, which hopefully encourages the library to buy more by that author.

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story said...

It also helps to you prefer to read epic fantasy? Contemporary romance/issues? Dystopian? Paranormal? Thrillers? Fairy Tale/Mythological retellings?

If you mention what genre you like best, I can tell you some books I really enjoy in the genre! <3

Angela Brown said...

I've been mostly sticking with authors whose blogs I read or FB page I follow. So Dianne Salerni's MG adventure The Inquisitor's Mark just came out. Love it! David Powers King and Michael Jensen are about to release their fantasy Woven. Martina Boone recently released her YA novel Compusion. Her blog, Adventures in YA Publishing, often has some titles worth checking out.

Celine said...

Have you considered browsing in the library? If you don't like it, you can bring it back, and it won't show up onto the devices of your family members.

Chrys Fey said...

I wouldn't take a whole year off to read, but I do suggest starting with short stories and novellas. You'll be able to read those faster than full novels. I'm actually giving away a free PDF copy of my novella 30 Seconds. There's more info on my blog post if you're interested. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My "reading" has increased over last year by listening to audiobooks. I am a rare blood courier, so I have the time on my runs.

Audible has its Daily Deal which has introduced me to books I ordinarily wouldn't have "read", but am now glad I did.

I never read the Christmas Carol by Dickens but happily listened to Tim Curry read it to me one lonely Christmas eve night as I drove blood to a rural hospital.

Funny thing about reading more, it encouraged me to write more as well. Perhaps Stephen King was right? :-) Interesting post.

Adam Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Johnson said...

I really enjoyed a book recently. Can't remember the title exactly. Something about Shades of Gray. It was an action packed thrill ride that left me breathless. Wow! ;-) Have you heard of it?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You need a list of books? Let me pull up my iPad...
I'm a slow reader anyway, so I am way behind. I've managed to read four books in the past month and just started another, so I've back on a roll.

Becca Puglisi said...

Elana, I just wrote a post on my favorite reads of 2014 ( My favorite favorite from that list is sequel to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. So incredibly awesome.

Melissa Sarno said...

Dude, the library. It also makes me competitive because there are deadlines (due dates) and consequences if you fail to read in time. Ha. I get tired of the same YA books recommended to me as well. Some books I enjoyed and didn't hear tons and tons of buzz about: The Summer Prince and anything by Matt de la Pena.

Kittie Howard said...

I suggest you do what feels right and not worry about it. I go for months without opening a book because a book can be a walk along the beach. I highly recommend Cold Sassy Tree. It's out of print but available, finally, on Kindle.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's impossible to do it all - we've all got to cut corners on something (or many somethings). I loved RC Lewis' Stitching Snow & Mindy McGinnis' Not a Drop to Drink. Stephanie Diaz's Extraction is on my nightstand waiting for me next :)

Arlee Bird said...

Maybe my low number of books read is not as bad as I've thought. On the other hand you are far more productive than I when it comes to writing and I think I'd rather be doing more of that.

Tossing It Out

JeffO said...

I think telling an author to take a year off from writing to just read is preposterous, though I will allow some people might need all that time off once in a while.

And I'm afraid I can't help much with what's 'hot' right now, especially as we don't know what you're looking to read.

Karen Lange said...

As far as getting caught up - I've about given up on that. There are so many books and only so many hours in the day. Although if one was independently wealthy they might be able to pull it off. Since we are not...I guess we do the best we can. :)

I love to read, but my reading time has dwindled recently. Trying to get more selective about what I pick up to read (same deal with the Kindle here too) and creative with my schedule to fit it in. Have you considered audio books? I know some listen to them on their commute, etc. It's not exactly reading, but close.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! I was actually thinking about you the other day and thought I should stop by here to see what you've been up to. Hope all is well. Have a great weekend!

clarbojahn said...

Like those commens above I would so recommend the library. Ours has a teen section and books that are best sellers or new have a stand and/or displayed on shelves by the computers. Or do a catalog search of the book "Children's lit and YA" recommends if that is what you so desire. Or any title or author.

No need to pay anything and you can renew if you haven't finished it in two weeks. LIbraries are cool! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm a binge reader and will go months without reading anything. Half the time when I do, it's non-fiction.

Bish Denham's book, A Lizard's Tail, is really sweet. It's one your daughter would also enjoy.

mshatch said...

I have to force myself to read sometimes, but I'm always glad I did.

A few books I really enjoyed are:

White Cat and Red Gloves by Holly Black

The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni

Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

and Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

mshatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo Schaffer said...

I'm the same! Shocker!

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