04 December 2009

Reading Randomosity

Ha! I bet you thought I wasn't going to post today. You did, didn't you? Oh ye of little faith!

Anyway. On to the post.

I'm sure, if you've been writing for any amount of time, that you'll have stumbled on this piece of advice: Writers must be readers.

It is, believe it or not and contrary to all expectations, a good piece of advice. Well, I think so, anyway. Given the rambliness of my brain tonight, who's to say whether what I think is actually sane or not?

But anyway. (I have a feeling I'm going to be saying a lot of that tonight). I think it's good advice; so good, in fact, that it deserves its own blog post. So tune in on Monday for More On That. What it all boils down to for the point of this blog post, however, is that a lot of people have been reading lately.

There's Natalie Whipple, client of agent Nathan Bransford, who does a kind of anti-NaNoWriMo and takes the entire month off writing, and only reads; there's Yuna, a good friend of mine who reviews books and recently sent a couple to me to devour; there's Liana, who's been complaining lately that she's out of books to read; Sparky and her booklogs; Merc and her 100 book challenge.

It's probably not true, but it feels to me at the moment like everyone is reading - and I'm not. I feel like I haven't read in aaaaaages. For the first fifteen years of my life, I read voraciously. I devoured books. I could read about 100 pages/hour, and read everywhere; Mum used to joke that my younger sister and I were the only kids on the planet that had to be told to stop reading and take a day off school :D

For the next couple of years, I still read a lot, just not quite so much.

And then I went to university. Does this happen to everyone? Do we just hit a certain stage in life and all of a sudden there just isn't time to read any more? Because it wasn't that I didn't want to read - it was just that all of a sudden, my university reading was taking up all my time and my studies were taking up all my brain, and... I just... didn't read.

With all these people reading lately, and with having done so much writing in November, and with (woo hoo) university finally being over, reading is calling me again. And, wonderfully, I've received not one but TWO packages of books in the last couple of weeks - the first a pack from Nancy Holder from a competition that I won, and the second from Nayu's Reading Corner, won in another contest :)

So now I'm debating: do I want to do an anti-NaNo now and take the month off from writing, and just read? But what about my goal to finish HNOT by Christmas?

Decisions, decision.

At this point, I think I'll meander along as I have been the last four days: reading when I feel like it, writing when I feel like it. It's quite likely that I'll make Sun-Mon-Tues my writing days, because I'm off work, and Wed-Thurs-Fri reading days, since reading requires less brainpower and is easier to do at lunchtime at work ;)

And I'm reviving my read-every-book-I-own challenge; I really do need to read them before I buy any more. To that end, over the weekend I'll be updating the links on this site: the TBR pile will be updated to include all the books I own but haven't read, and somewhere I'll add a link to books read, because I find that I need to keep such a list or I forget both what I've read, and how little I've read O:)

I might even, if I'm brave, attempt Merc's old challenge: 100 books in a year.

To that end, links to reviews by Yuna of the two most recent reads: The Glittering Eye, by L.J. Adlington, and Magic Ponies: Pony Camp, by Sue Bentley.

So, anyone else out there reading at the moment? Do you go through anti-writing phases? Do you come back to writing refreshed, or does it just make it harder to get back into it? And what's your fav book that you've read lately (ish) that I need to the Towering TBR Pile of Doom (TM)?


Merc said...

I totally failed the 100 book in a year challenge. :| Just saying. :P

I know the feeling though, it's like at some point while working I just didn't read as much as I should and wanted to... definitely not good. (I'm a slow reader, too.)

Trying to remedy that more now by working through my stack of TBR (books I own and haven't read yet--then comes Sparky's bookshelf, and then the world--er, the library). Last thing I read was "Whitechapel Gods", which was okay. I WANTED to love it, but it didn't happen.

"The Hunger Games" is now staring at me so that's next. When I hit something I really like I shall recomend it to your Pile of Doom (tm). ;)

ElanaJ said...

'Tis true, I need to read more. Sometimes I don't want to start because I'll never finish. There's no way I'll ever be caught up with books to read, so why start??

At least that's how I'm feeling right now. Watch, I'll probably read tonight!

Krispy said...

It's true! It does feel like everyone's reading!

I totally understand what you mean about university and reading. It was weird because even in high school, when there was school reading, I'd often have my own leisure reading too. During college though, not so much. Sometimes it was I didn't have time, or I had so much course-work related reading to do. Other times, I was just so tired from doing brain-powered things that reading was kind of too much.

After I graduated, I did an internship in the summer, and then the month after I got back, I went on a reading rampage. I had a lot of time, you know, and I just really wanted to read again. Plus, huge TBR pile.

I read slow though, like really slow, so I go through reading phases. I don't do it for a while and then I read a bunch of books, then I stop.

I'm probably going to continue the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. I finished Book 1 a long while ago and started Book 2, but got distracted by another series I liked better. My sister just finished Book 1, and now my sense of competition has kicked in. So I'll probably read Book 2 just to stay ahead of her. Hahaha. Also, the movie for Book 1 is out early 2010, so got to get ready for that. :D

I also just finished reading Hush, Hush.

Yunaleska said...

Thanks for the mention! What did you think of the books?

Yup, I read. Like you, reading slacked off at 16yrs, due to the discovery of video games. Now I try and read one every few days (sometimes 1 a day). Books are addictive, I'm beginning to feel I need them like I need food, water and air. Get me in a bookshop and I'm mentally bouncing around going *squeeeeee*

I thought reading more would make it harder to write. But it makes it easier. I get confidence from reading, I learn what works and what doesn't, and try to apply that in my writing.

Rie said...

I'm not reading sadly. I haven't read a book (for fun) in ages. What I am reading is other unpublished writers MS.

Inkblot said...

Merc - The point is trying, right? O:) I hate it when you want to love a book but just can't. So annoying. I shall eagerly await any recommendations, though :D

Elana - I so understand that. I think it's why my pile has managed to get so big: it's like, blah, I don't even have time to finish ONE book, let alone all of them, so I'll just ignore the situation completely. That said, since I made the determined commitment, I've been practically racing through them, finishing on average one per day. Granted, it's been my run of days off, but you know O:)

Krispy - that sounds just about exactly right. I've just finished, so this is my reading rampage now :) And I /do/ read fastish, but I still go through phases :) I've heard a bit about the Olympian series of late - let me know how you like it.

Yuna - for me it's not so much a matter of making it harder or easier to write, but a matter of time. This year, I didn't read in my spare time because I wanted to be writing! :D I will definitely let you know what I think, though - the first booklog will be up on Friday ;)

Rie - that totally counts :D Go check out my 'books I've read' list in the sidebar - you'll see that any time I complete an unpubbed manuscript, that goes on there too ;)

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