Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reading? What's That?

Okay, that's a dumb question. We all read. All day long, every day. Cereal boxes, road signs, billboards, emails...thank a teacher that you can read! It's a blessing that I'll always be grateful for.

I'm a complete bookworm. Thank you.

Having said that, I can tell you I don't read anymore. Not for enjoyment anyway. I used to have a 45-minute commute to work. A six-mile distance took nearly an hour, because of city traffic. I kept a book in my car and would read at each red light because I never could get through the first cycle. So, I read while I inched my car forward. Once in awhile I'd look up to see the car in front of me, way in front of me, and the drivers behind me irate and honking. This was before texting and smart phones, so I'm thinking this isn't a problem anymore. Everyone is probably doing what I'd been doing all along. 

I remember when I used to sneak in moments all day long to snatch a few more pages in the current book I'd borrowed from the library. I'm a library geek. Love walking in and seeing the endless possibilities lined up like soldiers on the shelves. Same goes for a book store. Sheer bliss. 

I recall watching the clock after dinner, waiting for that golden moment when the kids would be in bed and I could get in bed myself and read without interruption. And I'm one of those weird people who can read in the car without getting carsick. In fact, I get carsick easily and reading is how I learned to deal with it. 

But I no longer read. For pleasure. It's such a rarity, I can tell you the last book I did read, but not when - JR Ward's latest Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Lover Unleashed

I have two Kindles and a Nook. I have over a hundred books downloaded on them, all with good intentions to be read. I'm hoping to read The Hunger Games before the movie comes out. We'll see.

Why don't I read like I used to? Because I'm busy reading everyone else's books. I edit. A lot. And by the time I'm done working on an author's book, I'm fried and don't feel like reading for my own pleasure (or writing either). Love my work, yet the side effect can be sad.

But a really strange thing happened recently. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about authors who'd influenced me with my own writing, authors whose voices, characters and themes helped me develop my own style. LaVyrle Spencer is at the top of my list (along with a couple of others). Yes, she writes in the older style of more narration, less deep internal POV. Doesn't matter. She weaves stories that fill your head and heart, make you cry and even though the conflict and resolution are over, quite satisfactorily in fact, you don't want the book to end. My favorite book by her is Home Song, an amazing tale of forgiveness. And I was thinking nostalgically about it, because, remember...I don't read anymore, and how I wished I had time to read it again... 

A few days later, we were camping in our motor home and I went into the campground laundromat. I glanced over at the little library that campers have set up to recycle old books and magazines for other campers' enjoyment. On the top of the pile was

Home Song

Coinkydink, you say? Nah, the message was clear. Clear your calendar, you need to read this again. And I am. 

What are you reading right this minute? You aren't reading for your own personal pleasure? That's criminal and I won't tolerate it! Leave me a comment (with your email address) and one lucky commenter will win an Amazon gift card. You can buy a book with it.
Congrats to ALEXA for leaving a great comment! I'll be sending your Amazon gift card soon!


  1. I'm reading Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz. One could argue that I'm reading it to review, but I've been waiting for this book to come out so I could (hopefully) share Hannah's work with my son (who is too young for her very serious YA work).

    99% of what I read is for reviews, but it's pretty rare that I choose something to review that I wouldn't have wanted to read anyway, so... *shrug*. Next up is Cads and Cadavers or The Graveyard Gymnasium (both by Kelly Lougheed... I haven't chosen which yet). Again, it's for review, but I got a little sample of her voice a while back and I *want* to read her stuff. Then I'm reading Incarnate by Jodi Meadows... again for review. However, that one I did a beta read on before she signed with her agent and sold. I know it's gone through major changes and can't wait to read the new version.

    So... all for review, but also all for me.

  2. I am reading The Man Who Invented Christmas...about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol and I'm fascinated. Also half a dozen other books...but my reading time is mostly spent editing and critiquing and such New Year's resolution is to put my favorite activity back into my day!

  3. YAY, Valerie got her read on!

    I am reading Judy Mays' sci-fi series at the moment. I don't know why, it was on my Kindle and I was interested in something completely different than what I'd just read.

  4. Okay, so I'm not as busy as you, but I don't read for pleasure that much anymore, either. I most often am reading my critique partners's work. Besides that, right now I'm reading Madame Eve's 1Night Stand Holiday Anthology. :)

    I recently read Hunger Games. Loved it! And only because another author asked me to read it as she wanted someone to talk about it with. I do plan on reading the rest of the series, but I'm not sure when. LOL

  5. Well, consider yourself told! Time to get your reading groove back!!
    I'm always sneaking in a read here and there! I actually just discovered some of my favorite authors work is now available on ebook -- so I'm revisiting Virginia Andrews' dark and twisted tales. WOOT

  6. I'm not sure how, but quite a few free ebooks have been heading my way. I guess some through contests, and some from friends needing reviews for Amazon and other sites. Mostly indie authors. Oh, how I wish these people would have hired an editor! The stories have been really good but need some TLC.

    My husband works the graveyard shift at the airport and I keep his hours. So when the kids sleep I read. When they go to school I sleep. Usually a book per night. I am out of control. When I need a break from the longer stories I hit up Decadent and find a short story. Speaking of I need to hit up the review sites for Jessica Subject and JoAnne Kenrick :)

    The Hunger Games - I really enjoyed the series. I say make time for those!

  7. I love to read but often find myself too tired to do anything but veg right now. Too much stress and even books are a chore.

    I did just finish reading Hunger Games - mainly to see if I wanted to go to the movie. I enjoyed the book and the plot made you want to turn pages. Something in the YA voice didn't sit right. I can't pinpoint whats nagging me, but something annoyed me about the main character. Although not near as much as Belle since I never read past chapter 1 in Twilight (and no I haven't seen the movies.)

  8. Being a fan of not just erotica and romance, but of horror too, I've picked up a couple of my favorite old-school horror writers work. I'm re-reading after a few decades Brian Lumley's Necroscope. Ahh ... how I miss reading the likes of McCammon, Lumley, and Wilson. ;)

  9. My shelves and night table, and computer and Kindle, are jam full of books. I need to catch up on my reading too!
    Love that Home Song found its way back to you. :)

  10. I'm reading The Blue Moon Cafe by Rick Reed. I am under no obligation to read it, so I consider that recreational reading. It's erotic m/m and very well written. I also have a growing list of peeps who want to burn me at the stake because they've read my books, but I haven't waded through theirs yet. It's such a challenge. I've all but given up watching TV. Might as well unplug it. I've started reading a few books recently, and probably like you, Val, I get distracted by writing issues and pretty soon I can't get my editor's brain to ignore that and I stop reading. It's a blessing and curse to be an author and an editor.

  11. My New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to read a book a week for pleasure. I did great until about September. I'm hoping to do it again in 2012.

    At the moment, I'm reading fan fiction from the TV show Supernatural. The book is called Night Terror and I've got less than 50 pages left. That's my goal tonight!

  12. You're all inspiring me! I guess the moral of the story is, it doesn't matter what we're reading, as long as we're getting satisfaction from it!

  13. John Ringo, Live Free or Die.

    Reading is my in between writing books thing, I can't live without. Sometimes my brain screams enough and gasp, I have to read something outside what I write. Horror, or straight sci fi, or even history books, art books, or quilting books. Anything that pulls me out of my world and puts me somewhere else for awhile, some place I don't have to think about building or making believable.

  14. Yay! Thanks so much, Valerie! I just might buy myself some more Supernatural fan fiction!!!! Or a mainstream suspense. Or a Scottish historical. Or....