Monday, January 27, 2014

Read to write. Write to read. Yes.

There's a believe in the world of writing, or much of it at least, that in order to write well you must also read widely. How can you stay on top of what counts as current in the if you're not on top of what's being published today.

I get that. And I try to read stuff that's relatively current, when I can.

But I have also been notoriously slow about reading these past few years. I also know a LOT of writers and like to support them when I can by buying their stuff. (Note to the writers I know: Stop putting out so much good stuff, will you? Yeesh.) In theory, I should be reading it when I buy it. In practice, not so much.

So when people talk about their TBR piles or TBR stacks, I look at my boxes of books I have bought but not yet read, some going back about eight years if not more, and I sigh and despair of reading current things. How am I ever going to read the stuff I bought back then if I'm supposed to read the new stuff, and yet read series in order and  and and...

It gets a little overwhelming, you know?

Last year I read 16 books. Some of those were current. Several of them were old. This year, my baseline goal is 25 books. Some will, again, be current. Some will be old. It would be great if I read more than that, but 25 seems like a nice solid probably-achievable start.

Between them, I will write and edit current stories. Will reading old books influence my current writing style? Not in any harmful ways, I hope. We'll have to see.

Speaking of which, got a pretty great review on Immortal Lies today. I'm pleased! (Not about the typo comment, but you know, when there are still typos in the file, it's not the reviewer's fault. They have now been fixed. I hope. Sweet Pete, I hope.)


  1. It does get overwhelming. I own so many books that I haven't read yet, and it seems like I see more at the library every single day I'm at work. Some I get and whip right through (those dastardly line jumpers!) and others just languish to be read "someday". I do feel it's important to my writing to also read, and in some cases, I draw on the years I spent reading before I started writing.

  2. I have brought home fewer physical books since I stopped working in a bookstore. Go figure. This may eventually be replaced by all the ebooks I can buy now, but at least they don't take up shelf space and don't need to be packed in boxes to move.

    Being a librarian or working in a library would be just as perilous for me, I think. :) We're in agreement about the need to keep reading, though, no matter how tall Mount TBR gets.