I’ve been a reader for most of my life. Not just in the sense that I’ve been able to read for many years now, but that I have consumed books in the way people take in food, drink, and shows on Netflix. It makes sense. Both of my parents worked in academia when I was a child and reading was always encouraged.
Some of my best memories are of stories read by my parents. In particular, I recall one Christmas break during high school when I was extremely sick with a cold or flu. I was bundled on the sofa and feeling miserable. My dad came in, pulled a chair over, and began to read me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not that you asked, but you should know: my dad does a fantastic Dobby voice.
In my younger years, I could hardly be kept in books. The bigger the book, the better, too. King and Crichton were major modern favorites. Austen and Montgomery were my picks for female leads who were ahead of their time. The used bookstore I went to in Ft. Lauderdale had the entire lineup of the Sweet Dreams series, and I read them ALL. (To this day, I would love to do a series like that. Like, make it totally retro and regrettable and ridiculous, but wonderful.)
In college, though, and for several years thereafter, my recreational reading dropped significantly. I probably only read two books a year during that time, and even that might be an exaggeration. Luckily, that was merely a dry spell in my personal literary journey.
Prior to beginning work on Black Wolf, I read constantly. Any downtime I had–even in the line at the grocery story–I read. My Kindle, the Kindle app on my phone, paperbacks, whatever I had. Sometimes I re-read things I’d read before, but I don’t tend to do that. There are so many books out there in the world, and I want a chance to experience as many as I can in my lifetime!
Last year, though, I didn’t get as much reading time in as I would have liked. As I mentioned when I was discussing my goals for 2017 I want to read more this year. Reading is a vitally important part of writing. You must hone your craft if you hope to improve. Stretching your mind by keeping up a healthy reading habit is absolutely among the ways authors get better. I read more analytically now–judging even little things like line spacing and ornamental initial caps at the beginnings of new chapters and scenes. It hasn’t taken the fun out of reading, but it has made me focus quite differently on the material.
With that goal in mind, I made my (very short, don’t judge me!) reading list for January 2017. The major books on the list are:
- A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer — My dad likes to send books my way when he has finished them. This one came from him. I started it twice–once in the fall, another before Christmas, but never had time to sit down and get absorbed. I was sick the week following Christmas and finally got a chance to dive in, but got less than halfway through it. So, to the top of my January list it went! I’m deeper into it now, and enjoying it so far!
- Inharmonic by A. K. R. Scott — This was an easy pick. It’s the debut novel by a dear friend of mine. I got an early peek and was thrilled by what I saw. I can’t wait to read the finished product! This will be my other major read this month.
My goal for this year is one to two books a month, but I’ve got a nice stack lined up to fill in if I can read more than that.
What books do you plan to read this month? Are there any you’re looking forward to this year?