View Full Version : How much do you read?
December 18th, 2004, 11:39 PM
It's been asked time and again "How much to you write?", but I'm curious how much do you read? Do you read lightly and infrequently? Are you a voracious reader? Do you read only the style or genre you write?
I read anything I can get my hands onto and also listen to audio books when driving. Currently I'm reading:
Gemquest: The Twins in Soft Cover
Aretimis Fowl - The artic incident - in e-book format.
Listening to The Hammer of God in my truck
Listening to Stranger in a Strange Land during lunch at work (can't read while eating can I?)
I also read multiple magazines (both online and in mag format) during off times. I'd hate to try and count the number of stories I've read throughout the year, but I'd say I read (and listened to) nearly 100 books this year plus numerous short stories. I read a lot for the same reason I write a lot, it's all practice and learning. I learn from everything I read be it a good work or a bad work. To me, reading is almost as good as writing to gain practice in story telling, except that you learn differnt styles and 'hear' different voices in another's works. This can help me when trying to refine my own style and capture my own voice.
What about you? How much do you read and why?
December 19th, 2004, 12:53 PM
I read this forum everyday, isn't that enough!? :p
Anyway, I read mostly every day. It helps me wind down at night before going to bed. Sometimes, I am just tired or the story is at a weak part and I don't feel inclined to read at the time.
I do enjoy reading very much, it is just difficult for me. I have a mental condition that causes me to not be a good reader pretty much. I have to read the same paragraph sometimes 2 or 3 times before I comprehend it. It is like my eyes see the words, but my mind isn't making the picture. I also get hung up on small details, and it causes me to go back and reread the section.
I enjoy reading, but it is a little difficult and the author has to be really good to drive me to read a lot.
I'd say I read about a full book (usually around 400-500 pages) in about two months. I read Earthsea 1 is about two or three weeks. It was very thin, but once again, the author didn't drive me to read it a lot. I only sped up at the end because I wanted to get it over with! :rolleyes:
EDIT I am currently reading Four Past Midnight by Stephen King. And I am currently on the first story, "The Langoliers." I got this book simply to read "Secret Window, Secret Garden" becasue I love the movie.
December 19th, 2004, 02:10 PM
I don't read nearly as much as I should. In general I get through about one or two novels per month. I don't have a lot of time in which to read. I tend to spend that time writing. Also because I'm a grad student, I spend a lot of time reading academic journals - although I'm not sure that really counts.
One thing I notice is that I have a tendency to copy the style of an author that I'm in the process of reading (or recently read). A while back I read a lot of Shelock Holmes stuff by Sir Aurther Conan Doyle and I began to write text in such a manner as:
"By the queen! This man has been murdered," said he. (Which I still think is cool.)
I've recently read:
Writing to Sell by Scott Merideth (non-fiction)
The Search by Iris Johansen
New Spring by Robert Jordan (can that count as 2?)
Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
I also spend a few hours here and there reading the work from people in my local writing group.
And in the new year I plan to read something of Mr. Stover's as I have enjoyed his input in this forum and believe the least I can do is support his work.
December 19th, 2004, 02:36 PM
Generally I only read non-fiction stuff now. Research type things.
December 21st, 2004, 09:36 PM
I read about a book a month when I'm writing, but I haven't written anything substantial since Aug. 17th, when the good Lord blessed/body slammed my wife and I with twins. BUT, I've been a reading machine since I perfected the technique of reading while feeding a baby. It's been good. I've read a little of everything and have made good headway on my 200 book TO READ list. Here's the list since the kiddos were born:
1. The Wasteland - T.S. Elliot (poetry)
2. The Eyes of Otherland - Jack Vance (fantasy)
3. The Future Eaters - Tim Flannery (non-fiction)
4. The Fatal Shore - Robert Hughes (non-fiction)
5. Last and First Men - Olaf Stapleton (sci/fi)
6. Starmaker - Olaf Stapleton (sci/fi)
7. Downbelow Station - C.J. Cherryh (sci/fi)
8. Stardust - Niel Gaiman (fantasy)
9. Venus Plus X - Theodore Sturgeon (sci/fi)
10. Earthworks - Brian Aldiss (sci/fi)
11. A Case of Conscience - James Blish (sci/fi)
12. Malevil - Robert Merle (sci/fi)
13. UBIK - Phillip K. Dick (sci/fi)
14. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (sci/fi)
15. An 80 Minute Hour - Brian Aldiss (sci/fi)
16. Islands in the Net - Bruce Sterling (sci/fi)
17. Homecoming - Orson Scott Card (sci/fi)
18. Stars in My pocket Like Grains of Sand - Samuel R. Delany (sci/fi)
19. Dracula Unbound - Brian Aldiss (sci/fi)
20. Encounter with Tiber - Aldrin/Barnes (sci/fi)
21. Expendable - James Alan Gardner (sci/fi)
22. Byzantium - Stephen R. Lawhead (fantasy/ historical fiction)
23. A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge (sci/fi)
24. The Stars my Destination - Alfie Bester (sci/fi)
25. The Game Players of Titan - Phillip K. Dick (sci/fi)
26. The Divine Invasion - Phillip K. Dick (sci/fi)
27. Fevre Dream - George R.R. Martin (horror)
28. Expansion - Peter F Hamilton (sci/fi)
29. The Craft of Research - Booth, et al. (non-fiction)
30. Quantum Questions - Ken Wilber (non-fiction)
31. City - Clifford D. Simak (sci/fi)
32. Mission of Gravity - Hal Clement (sci/fi)
33. Iris - Barton/Capobianco (sci/fi)
34. The Stone Canal - Ken Macleod (sci/fi)
35. Dark Light - Ken Macleod (sci/fi)
36. Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds (sci/fi)
37. Police your Planet - Lester Del Rey (sci/fi)
38. 1984 - George Orwell (sci/fi)
39. When Trouble Beckons - Mike McQuay (sci/fi)
40. Dying of the Light - George R.R. Martin (sci/fi)
41. Windhaven - Martin/Tuttle (sci/fi)
42. Norstrilia - Cordwainer Smith (sci/fi)
43. Space Lords - Cordwainer Smith (sci/fi)
44. Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein (sci/fi)
45. Rendevous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke (sci/fi)
46. Dream Park - Niven/Barnes (sci/fi)
47. Saturn's Race - Niven/Barnes (sci/fi)
December 22nd, 2004, 03:24 AM
I used to read a novel a month plus short stories in the various mags I subscribe to but in the last year I've started reviewing books for a mag so I find I have to read two novels a month to keep up.
December 22nd, 2004, 03:34 AM
Probably 2 books a month is my average this year - usually novels but sometimes history books or other non-fiction. This is a lot LOT less than it used to be as a responsibility-less teenager :(. I also read articles from medical journals, and medical textbooks - though probably not nearly as much as I should! :D
December 22nd, 2004, 03:35 AM
Depends on the time of writing year to me. I read a great deal of research and as much fiction as I can early in the year. But as it progresses, while I still research as I need to, my reading of fiction, particularly genre fiction, decreases to nothing.
For me, reading a fantasy novel while I'm writing one is like a busman's holiday (and for those who don't know that terribly British phrase, it means doing the same thing in your leisure time as you do for your day job).
There is a serious point too. If you're reading a particularly strong book, there is a danger of taking its voice and motes of its style into your work, thereby diluting your own. Not a good thing and it does happen. Worth looking out for when you are revising.
December 22nd, 2004, 04:52 AM
I read four to five books a month, as well as meny magazines. I don't simply readr fantasy and sci/fi, I mix in history, mythology, poetry and just about anything else I can get my hands on. Some times I wonder if I read to much and may be missing out on some of the other things in life.
December 22nd, 2004, 07:11 AM
I used to read one or two books a week. I had a well paying job doing nothing so to fill the void I read like a mad man. Looking back I should have written more than I did.
NOW, I have a 16 month old girl, got a promotion from doing nothing - so now I actually have responsibility at work and we (my wife and child) just moved into a new house. Pretty much I read at night in bed and fall asleep after a page or two so at this pace I will probably read two books a year! :D
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