While some writers say they haven’t read a book in years, most writers I know are voracious readers. But, of course, the time spent reading takes away from your writing time and vice versa.

Stack of booksI can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, but since I started writing every day, my reading time has declined. Most nonfiction I read nowadays is research for my next novel or book on writing.

And when it comes to reading fiction, those numbers have declined a bit. In 2010, I read a total of 79 novels. Still not bad, but it was more in the past.

I do most of my fiction reading when I’m not working on a book of my own, so now that I’m working on True Nature, I read very little. My to-be-read stacks are starting to look like skyscrapers, and e-books are queuing up on my e-reader.

How about you? How many books a year do you read? Does it depend on whether you’re working on your own novel or not?

The Romance Bet by Jae

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13 thoughts on “Skyscrapers”

  1. I find it fascinating, that you count how much you read. But I’m also amazed, that you count how much you write. I usually don’t take count for myself.

    Anyway, I read about 1 till 3 books (and maybe the same amount of short stories) a week. That is, if I don’t write intensive on something. After a 12 or 14 hour writing day I’m usually not in the mood to read. But if I just write 1 or 2 hours a day, I like very much to read as well on that day.
    When I say ‘writing’ of course I mean the initial writing cause the post editing (which also takes then about 1 till 3 hours a day) is not really a distraction.
    Reading provides me in this case a good balance to something I’m not really fond of. But let’s face it: who likes the post editing? :-D

    If I’m not writing or post editing at all (which is very seldom) I read almost every free minute.

    • I started keeping count of how many novels I read when I participated in the 50-book challenge. And I started taking notes on what I liked in a story or what jarred me out of the fictional dream.

      Wow, a 12-to-14-hour writing day is impressive!

      > But let’s face it: who likes the post editing?

      Um… I do, actually :-)

  2. Oh, by the way: In my initial post, I wrote that I read 79 books in 2011. I wish. I meant 2010.

    In order to read 79 books in 3 months, I would have to give up working or writing… possibly both :-)

  3. I read 141 books/stories in 2010 – 41 of them were lesfic. Not too bad, eh ;-)
    I usually read on the way to work (train) or before I go to sleep. So, reading doesn’t take time away from writing. Now here is a question for you: did you finish all the books you read last year?
    Cause I didn’t.

    • 141 books is great!

      My time on the train is writing time, not reading time. I actually get a lot of my writing done on the train because there are no distractions.

      No, I didn’t finish every book I started to read, but I didn’t count these in my book-challenge statistics. In the past, I tried to finish every book I started, even if I had to force myself to do it, but now I think time is too precious to do that.

  4. I have to say that I read a lot – OK more than a lot! I think it was in the year 2010 about 350 stories, including short stories. Maybe this is a little bit extreme – but I love reading :). I always try to motivate my friends to read and I gave one of my favorite book to my best friend – but until now she didn’t read it!

  5. Ah… I have a pile of books that even rivals yours, as impressive as it is. ;-) The main reason is because I don’t read while I am actively working on a book. Since LA Metro took so long to complete, my to-read book shelf is overflowing. Now that LA Metro is finished, I’ve started wading through the pile. I’ve read 6 books in the last two weeks. And that has not even made a little dent in the pile.

      • I’m a big fan of Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme’s books. I really enjoyed “The Burning Wire.” Not only was it a good thriller but really made you think about how complacent you can become about the things around you. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say after reading the book for about a week I hesitated every time I flipped a light switch or plugged somthing into a wall socket.

      • Thank you. It felt great to finally finish it.

        And I’ve been remiss. Congratulation on the recent awards that several of your novels have received. They are well deserved.


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