binge reading


That’s my excuse for continuing to forget to post on Tuesdays: I’ve been reading.

One of the things they don’t tell you about becoming a professional writer is that it really cuts into your time to read. Every writer I know whimpers about this. I know one who got herself a part-time job reviewing books so she could read and not feel guilty about not working. That’s how bad it gets.

For me, I have a very difficult time getting involved in a book someone else wrote when I’m working on one of my own. The further out of genre I go, the easier it is, and re-reads are manageable, but essentially, when I find myself at the To Be Read shelves, what I end up thinking is, “…I’d rather be writing.” And I’ve been doing that for four years now. I take breaks between books, and read a bunch during those breaks, but they’re usually fairly short breaks and it often takes me a couple of weeks just to get out of Writer Head.

Slightly over a year ago my husband and I declared a moratorium on buying new books until we’d gotten the TBR shelves down to a single shelf. I just checked, and I’ve read 108 books since then. 17 of those were re-reads (and 12 of those 17 were graphic novels, which is almost cheating). Either way, they go under “stuff we already owned” or “stuff I wrote and was editing/revising”. Fifteen or so were new purchases despite the moratorium (though really, that’s pretty good, wouldn’t you say?), so I had around 80 books on the TBR shelf a year ago. I’m down to 7 now, and I read 33 of them in the last 8 weeks.

This is my entire excuse for failing to blog. 🙂 I must say, though, it’s been *wonderful* to read so much. It’s like writing, only somebody else tells the story! And boy, I’ve missed it.


4 comments to binge reading

  • “It’s like writing, only somebody else tells the story! ”


    I can’t go to sleep unless I read at least a page or two of someone else’s book. No matter how tired I am, or how early I have to get up the next day. It’s my present for doing all the work I was supposed to do all day.

  • I do my binge reading on weekends, when I am at the lab, and between patients. I once read 4 books in one weekend, I think it was a quiet pre-Christmas one. More likely, I read a book per weekend that way. And I might not finish but a book a month.

    It clears my mind and refreshes me for the next week’s writing. But I find that I get *very* particular. If the voice and writing style don’t grab me, then I stop and move on to something I like better.
    Picky picky picky.

  • Every time I go to lie down with a good book one of the kidlets finds me and sits on my head for attention. I miss quiet alone time. But like you when I’m reading I think ‘oh I should go back to writing now’. I guess its like that. But there are a few that I can’t put down, I steer clear of them if I’ve given myself a writing deadline.

  • I’m very much like you in this regard, Catie. I don’t read much when I’m writing, and when I do read it’s as far from our genre as I can bear. In between books, when I’m not updating the website or some such, I read in genre, and it’s great.