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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reading is a Challenge

I visit a lot of reading blogs -- most of them having to do with historical fiction but a few which deal with all kinds of genres. Many of the blog owners are involved with "reading challenges" (which I will never do because I would fail then feel bad about it!) and some of these folks read ten or twelve (maybe more) book per month. I'm doing good to read that many per year. I absolutely adore reading -- a good book is a good friend and I always like to have a couple around. I'm usually reading both a novel and a non-fiction book at the same time (and,boy, does that take some hand/eye coordination!). Seriously, though, I go back and forth unless one of the other has me so wrapped up I want to finish that one first.

I used to read a lot more than I do now. I don't know why but I don't really set aside any time for reading except at night -- right before I fall asleep. And that's my problem -- because, quite often, I can only get through one or two pages before the book hits the floor. I really need to carve out time for reading because my personal library is absolutely full. And, I've found that when I'm reading, there's a part of my brain which says I should be writing instead.

The thing is a writer needs to read -- for relaxation, for escape from whatever world she has going on in her head, for inspiration. When I say inspiration, I don't mean for copying purposes -- I simply mean that sometimes reading can spark an idea -- I've had sparks come from a historical novel when what I'm writing is contemporary. When I read Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER, I had a huge spark -- a sudden memory of a story I had had in my head for years -- long before I'd heard of OUTLANDER -- in fact, long before OUTLANDER was even written. But it took reading OUTLANDER, to cause me to remember. I ended up writing that novel (ALANNAH) and it ended up being a whopping 97 chapters long. Alannah needs heavy-duty editing and, maybe if I ever get around to it, I'll actually shop it around one day. That and all the other novels I've written.

Anyway, I'm just amazed at how many books some folks can read during what, to me, is a short period of time. Awed and amazed. If I could read one book per week, I'd be thrilled. I might actually be able to cut a swath through my over-loaded bookshelves.

So, how in the world do they do it?


  1. On average I can read a book every 5-7 days. I'm also amazed at how many books some people are able to read. I am soooo jealous!

  2. I think, if I made time for it, I could read one book (depending on the size!)per week -- I know I could do it back when I was a teenager/young adult -- but, now, it's more difficult -- I think part of the problem is that I'm not disciplined enough to set aside certain times for reading, certain times for writing and certain times for just surfing the net and having fun! I need to crack down on myself.

  3. A big part of my reading time is spent on my commute - 3 hours a day minimum equates to lots of reading time!

  4. Wow, that's quite a commute -- I assume you're not driving!!

  5. Nope. Catching the train so unless any of my friends are on the train I read!


  6. I don't have a commute but I usually take a book with me everywhere I go -- just in case I have to wait -- as long as I have a book, I'm usually okay!