Monday, November 23, 2009

Reading With Purpose


This week I was visiting on the phone with a friend, and we were discussing our reading habits and how they have changed since we've been concentrating on writing.
The truth is, before I was a writer, I read voraciously. I read three to four books a week. The library and the used bookstore were my friends, and I bought books online and in our local bookstores.
Then I started writing with a goal of publication. Much of my writing time was carved out of the time I used to spend reading.
As a result, I haven't been to a used bookstore in months, and when I go to the library, it is for research or to have a quiet place to focus and work.
But I do still read. I feel reading is essential for a writer. But I no longer read just about anything. I have to read with a purpose. I read craft books, non-fiction books for research, and I read selected fiction--fiction I think will be both enjoyable and instructional. I read lots of historical romance, since I write historical romance. I also read authors I admire (regardless of genre) in order to learn from them and make my own writing better.
My book reading has gone down from three-four a week to maybe one per week? But I'm trying to make quality triumph over quantity.
Question: Have your reading tastes changed over the years? What do you like to read, and how many books do you read in a week or in a month?
Blog tour stops today!

12 comments:

  1. I was like you, and my reading has slowed too. I'd say one or two books a week. Sometimes it's for learning but mostly it's for pleasure. LOL

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  2. Reading has always been a haven for me, and it took an earthquake to move my eyes from a page. Since pursuing writing for publication I tear into craft books the same way.

    I'm lucky to absorb one every two or three weeks.

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  3. Hi Erica,
    I've had to cut back on reading too. But I'm loving the fact that I'm getting to read authors I actually know! (Like you!) That's one bonus about being a writer--we can read our friend's books!

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  4. I used to read a book about every 2-3 days, but like you I've slowed down. Maybe 2 books per week now. My tastes HAVE changed, meaning that when authors don't follow "the rules" as I know them I put the book down. Also, I give a book 3 chaps then set it down if I'm not hooked. That's the downside to reading all the craft books! Thankfully, there are TONS of great authors out there so I never run out of reading material :D

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  5. The days of being able to spend an entire day just reading are long gone with the demands of children, edlers, and work. Like you, most of the books I read now have to do with art techniques or web design and programming. Have my reading tastes changed? I'm still a glutton for action and recently have developed a taste for historical romance, a genre I never went near in my younger years. (-;

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  6. Hi, Erica. I read your interview. Is your Calvary Bible College out of Belton, MO by chance? I live in Belton and have known some graduates from there.

    Your book sounds intriging. I'm a writer, as well, and really enjoyed reading about your approach. My site is www.linnettemullin.com

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  7. I think I read more now that I'm a writer - sometimes voraciously, sometimes not, depending on how deeply I'm into writing. BUT, it takes a lot more to astound me now, and I hate that I'm so critical of books that people have poured their hearts and souls into.

    Your book, BTW, was a delight, just so we're clear :-))

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  8. Over the past ten years, I've become very picky about what I read--quality is everything and story is a very close second.

    But thankfully there are some exceptional Christian fiction authors out there.

    Erica, one of my favorite historical/somewhat-romance writers is Sir Mitchell. Have you read A Constant Heart or Love's Pursuit? They're so good.

    I think I read about three books a month right now.

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  9. I love to read. I definitely have less time now. I haven't purchased a guilty pleasure book in quite a while, so this morning I got wild and bought two books--each new releases by my fave authors. It's like an early holiday present to me!

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  10. Love to read. Wish I had more time. *sigh*

    I probably finish about one book a month. So sad, isn't it? Maybe more if I have more time.

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  11. I read about 1 or 2 novels a week. I read because I'm addicted. Seriously, I can't fall asleep at night unless I read. I read because I just love a great inspirational novel. I mostly read historicals, but I started off reading Catherine Palmer contemporaries, then discovered Lori Wicks historicals. Now I read almost exclusively historical novels. I read for information and research, as well. As a writer I am always learning something about the craft while I read. That used to get in the way, but not so much anymore.

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  12. Definitely don't have the time to read as much as I'd like. I read slower now too, figuring out how the author created that twist, transitioned so smoothly, hid that fact earlier,...

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