Sunday, May 24, 2009

How do you decide what to read?

I have my list of books to be read (in the sidebar), and yet I often find I don't "feel like" reading any of them.

Well, big surprise.

What do I like to write? Books about smart funny women taking control of their lives.

What populates my reading list? Thrillers and horror novels.

Why? In most cases, because they were being given away for free online.

There's certainly something to be said for reading something that's outside your comfort zone. I've learned a lot from books like that and have even enjoyed some of them. But why am I trying to force myself to plow through a list of books, especially the freebies, that don't interest me?

I'd love to post a pithy answer but I haven't got one. It makes no sense. But it's not a big surprise, I'm sure, to regular readers... I'm forever saying, "Because I HAVE to, that's why," and then analyzing that and realizing how silly it is.

For the record, I CAN learn, because I no longer set unrealistic running-speed goals "because I want to go that fast". Of course you do. And you might eventually. But not today. :)

SO... I will do a one-chapter exercise on my reading list. I shall read the first chapter of the book, and if I don't care, I won't go on.

And yes, as a writer that's a scary test! Someone could well ('could'... of course they already ARE, that's how agents operate) apply it to my work. And that's fine. I think I can survive it.

All I ask is that the books that get my spare time can also survive it.

How do you choose what you're going to read? Friend's recommendation? Online reviews? Reading the back cover blurb? And do you have any recommendations for me?

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Right now I'm going through everything by Ursula Leguin that our county library system owns. After that, who knows? I like using GoodReads, since you can read other people's reviews and find books similar to ones you've already read.

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