Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Books I Intend to Read

Since joining the Paperback Swap, I've been looking over the books I have on my shelves and also the books I've had on my Amazon wish list to buy. There are a lot of books that I want to read but have never gotten to. I have good intentions to read books that will expand my knowledge of literature (classics and NY Times bestsellers), help me with my job and my own desire to write (writing books), help me with my Christian walk (Bible studies and such), help me with my hobbies and current interests (books on gardening, organics, holistic health, etc.) I recently put the latest square-foot gardening book in my Amazon cart, but I have to ask myself when I'll get it read.

The problem with books is that I'm a rather slow reader and often don't have much time to give to my personal reading. (If it isn't a manuscript, I don't get it read.) If I start reading a gardening book now, by the time I get through it fall harvest time will be here. So, I've been surfing the web for short articles about building, filling, and planting raised garden beds. Maybe I'll buy the book this fall.

I was talking to an author about this type of issue today. She has been buying new writing books because she knows she shouldn't neglect learning new things and honing her writing skills, but she is a busy author with pressures from writing, marketing her writing, travel, and home life stuff. She doesn't have time to read a writing book when deadlines are looming.

So I sent her to a couple blogs and a Web site that would give her short articles to read that would be less intimidating and less time consuming than reading a whole book.
Kaye Dacus on writing romance
Chip MacGregor on publishing
Randy Ingermanson on writing fiction
Rachel Hauck and Susan Warren on writing fiction UPDATED 4-17-08

What do you do when the pressure to get the project done supersedes the pressure to stop and hone your craft or expand your knowledge?


Linda Harris said...

If I buy a book, I usually don't get around to reading it or, if I do, I don't finish it. But if I get it from the library, I finish it, because it has a due date!

Marcia Gruver said...

Becky, I had to laugh when I read your final question. It reminded me of a blog post I wrote about the true nature of a Deadline Diva:

"Where reality lives a deadline means late nights, early mornings, a dirty house, neglected spouse, missed appointments, unwalked dogs, broken promises, unanswered phones, unanswered email, fast food, frozen dinners, visible roots in stringy hair, no social life, no fun, stiff joints and a dead behind.

Oh yeah. And ten extra pounds.

Okay, twenty."

I manage to read a book by tackling it in little bites. Every time I have a few minutes I pick it up. Somehow this works, and I go through stacks of books this way. Sometimes (like now) I have more than one going at a time: One on writing, one on nutritian, and one (a Spyglass cozy) for pure pleasure. :)

Vickie said...

I'm guilty, Becky. I literally have a closet full of books--and two cabinets full--that I intend to read some day. In the mean time, I work on my deadlines and read little during those crush days. After a deadline, I allow myself some downtime to read as I get ready to jump into writing my next book. Just finished reading Carol Cox's A Bride So Fair last night. Very good book!

Oh, and I have one of those square-foot gardening books I bought 20 or so years ago--at least I think I still have it--unless I sold it in a garage sale.

Cara Putman said...

I have a stack of books to be read at any point in time. Some are research for books I'm writing or who's deadlines are coming in the next six months. Then I have the new novels that are coming out and others that I'm reading for style and to see what works and doesn't work in a genre.

I can't not read. I slow down when I'm under a tight deadline. Since my husband and I got on paperback swap, we've been getting rid of books that have sat on our shelves. Books are like friends -- it's hard to get rid of them, but I'm trying to be more realistic about which books I'll actually read a second and third time.

Blissful said...

I have really neglected the art of reading as a writer over the last few years. I am endeavoring now to read, read, read. I am reading books in the early AM (so I don't fall asleep in the evening, which happens to me!) and also magazines as well (I got some subscriptions from Amazon at Christmas when they were like $6. And just recently, Rachel Ray. I love reading about food.). Am finishing up a HP mystery - Recipe for Murder (oh boy, a book with food in it - this author should do a cookbook) and just finished Camy Tang's "Only Uni" which I enjoyed and Kathleen Y'Barbo's "Beloved Castaway" with a surprise ending (I loved to be surprised!). It's been good.

Ausjenny said...

I have around 200 books unread in my bookcases i would guess. i have joined a couple of blog tours and i now have some sent each month but i still want to read these books.
i have decided some of my favourites will go to the library.
(cant give away Gilbert morris) but some others need to be where others will appreciate them.

Oh this doesn't include the cricket books i got just so i could get them autographed by the cricketer and then never read over half of them.

my name is Jenny im a bookaholic

Mary Connealy said...

Jenny LOL funny comment. Yes, a twelve step program is probably just what I need, too.

Pressure, huh?


I usually just start eating.

It's amazing what a dozen Twinkies will do for stress.

Debby Mayne said...

My daily to-do list gets totally out of control--sometimes 2-3 pages. If I have a writing deadline, that's the first thing I work on each day.

I read constantly and often. I have books in every room of the house, and I somehow manage to keep up with all of them. I also read fast, so if a book is really fun, I have to force myself to slow down to prolong the fun.

Ausjenny said...

Mary I actually have a pile of around 12 books to go to the library now. Irony is they come from the bottom shelf which i couldn't get to last night that well so I think there will be more by early next week.
(of course any autographed cricket books or christan books dont go.
and my favourites cant go.)

I am finding this year having nothing to watch a couple of nights on tv is good. I am reading. advantages of 4 channels only and one of them has subtitles.