In Others’ Words: For the Love of Reading

“I don’t want to write a blog post. I want to read a book.”

That’s what I said to my husband last night … right before I set my book aside and started working on this blog post. And that little bit of complaining sparked the theme of today’s blog: books and the love of reading.

I’ve always loved to read books, but oddly enough, my writing career has wrecked my reading habit. Back to back deadlines interrupt your reading schedule. Oh, sure, I still read books, but I wouldn’t call it “pleasure” reading.

  • Reading and re-readinng my own manuscripts doesn’t count as fun reading. That’s work, pure and simple.
  • Reading for endorsement? Well, that can be fun, but there’s a certain element of work there too, as I’m always thinking about how I want to word my written recommendation of another author’s novel.
  • Reading a book when I’m judging it for a contest? Yeah, that’s not pleasure reading either — and I know most other authors will agree with me on this.

As a writer, I need to fight to find time for pleasure reading. To discover new favorite authors. To treasure the books I’ve read over and over again because the authors wrote in such a compelling way that the emotion of the story embedded itself deep into my heart. The fictional characters seemed so real that I thought about them after I closed the book.

The book I set aside to write this blog? It’s Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring, a Regency romance I’ve read dozens of times since high school. Pure pleasure reading.

In Your Words: What book have you enjoyed reading more than once? Who are some of your favorite authors? We’re all busy — how do you fit pleasure reading into your schedule?

 

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10 Comments

  1. October 27, 2015, 5:02 am   /  Reply

    I can so relate! I have been an avid reader all my life, but when I started writing, I began getting critical of EVERY book. I took the book apart, trying to find “how” the author did it or kept finding faults now that I knew the “rules”. It’s been a couple of years since I stopped writing for publication and am just now getting my love back. Books I re-read are the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers and books by Lynn Kurland ( a secular romance novelists who writes clean time travel/medieval romances.)
    Love your heart!!!!

    • October 27, 2015, 8:20 am   /  Reply

      Sherrinda:
      You mention yet another pitfall of being a writer: reading with a “professional’s” eye rather than reading for pleasure. Analyzing the beginning of a book so much that I never make it to the middle, much less the end.
      And now I am going to check out Lynn Kurland. 🙂

  2. October 27, 2015, 6:44 am   /  Reply

    I suppose I was lucky, as I have made the trip there and back again

    When I started writing ‘seriously’, I also lost much of the capacity for reading pleasure…but when I realized that I was NOT a writer, and would never be one, it came back.

    • October 27, 2015, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      You’ve joined the conversation here many, many times, Andrew — and for the first time I’m ready to argue with you!
      I’ve read some of your writing … and you are a writer!
      You’re willing to take feedback about your manuscript, which many people refuse to do, and that puts you ahead of lots of others who call themselves writers.
      And I know you are well read, based on many of your comments. I imagine your library of books is extensive.

  3. October 27, 2015, 10:02 am   /  Reply

    I’m w/ you (and C.S. Lewis)! There was no school yesterday so when the grandkids and I watched Underground London on Netflix last night I was THRILLED when the thing that made them lean forward and get the most excited was seeing the vast Library of London, 80′ and many levels deep. They both wanted to go there (w/ me, of course) and read every book there. I wanted my grandkids to love reading, but they exceed my wildest dream and in fact mirror me as a kid. Thankful!

    • October 27, 2015, 1:55 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, I so loved this, Dee! I’m smiling BIG! 🙂

  4. October 27, 2015, 11:12 am   /  Reply

    You are so right! Deadlines make for a terrible reading habit. I’m so tired of looking at words by bedtime, I just fall into bed and go to sleep. And don’t even talk about reading my own work. When you’ve read your own words for the hundredth time, you pray others won’t be bored to sleep. 🙂

    • October 27, 2015, 1:54 pm   /  Reply

      Pat: Reading and rereading my manuscripts are exactly why I don’t read my books once they are published. One time I need to count how many times I do read my books before they go to print. One editor even commented on how many times I read my manuscripts …

  5. Edward Arrington
    October 27, 2015, 1:25 pm   /  Reply

    I am not a writer but I love reading. I also love winning books in giveaways. My wife and I have won several this year. The problem is that trying to read all the e-newsletters, blogs, Facebook posts, etc. takes me away from reading books. I could always skip all the other things and just read, but I have won a few books that I was not able to find at the library. I also learn about other authors via these various avenues. When I was still working, I had less time for reading so I just monitored the books by authors I like on Amazon or CBD.

    • October 27, 2015, 1:56 pm   /  Reply

      Oh … now you mention reading blogs … yes, I have quite a few of those I like to read too.
      But books shall always be my first love.
      And as an author, I love to host contests on occasion and give away copies of my books!

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