According to my Goodreads account, where I track all of my reading, I’ve read 261 books in 2011. In 2010, I read 280 books. Those numbers don’t include any submissions or acquisitions I read for work, so you can easily put those numbers over 300 books read per year. Now, granted, some of those are shorter books, some novellas, a few short stories. They’re not all huge novels. But a lot of them are novel-length. In fact, the majority of them are novel length.
I tell you this not to brag, but because people often ask me how I find the time to read all of those books and my answer is two-fold:
1) I’m a fast reader. I’ve always been a fast reader. I remember them testing me in first grade and saying I read at a 12th grade level. Reading has always been a gift for me, and I’m lucky to be able to read quickly and still comprehend and retain what I’m reading.
2) I watch very little TV. In fact, 95% of my TV watching is sports or sports-related TV shows. The other 5% is children’s programming on the Disney channel, lol! I do have a few TV series I keep up with, but I buy them on iTunes and watch them when I travel (I do a lot of TV watching on planes), because it’s harder for me to focus on reading when I travel.
So the answer is, I make time. Reading is important to me and to keeping up with the industry that puts food on my table. But in reality, I just love to read and it’s what I’d rather be doing than watching TV or other hobbies. Some people knit or garden, I read. Of course, I do have other interests besides reading (you know, like shoe shopping and eating, heh) and sometimes I read about those hobbies. Okay, I don’t read about shoe shopping, but I do read books about cooking, gardening, sewing and crafting.
I also read to support my job. Not just to keep up with “trends” or to know what’s being published, but I also read non-fiction to grow my knowledge of things like marketing, social media, etc. I try to never stop learning. So, yes, I read a lot, when other people are doing other things (like sleeping). I also read every day. Even if I can only slip in 15 minutes, I make sure I’ve read that day, unless I’m traveling (because sometimes my days when I travel go from 7a to midnight).
One of the things we talk about having to overcome in publishing, is other distractions. It’s not the competition from other books, authors or publishers, it’s the competition from gaming, videos, TV and all of the other things people do these days, especially on their smartphones and tablets, besides reading.
Clearly I still choose reading most of the time, but I know many other people–including those who have asked me “how have you read so many books” often choose other distractions. So you tell us? Reading or television (or something else)…what gets more of your time? For something new, I’m adding a poll, for those who don’t want to comment, but of course I also want to hear your comments and thoughts as well! (I have no idea why the poll gets distorted in some browsers. My apologies!)
Tags: you tell us