Sunday, April 19, 2020

Making Time to Read

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is reading! Do you set aside time for it each day? How do you decide what to read next?

Like most (all?) writers, I have always been a reader. My mom tells stories of me learning to read from Sesame Street when I was four, and how she stopped reading aloud to me before bed - a nightly ritual - because I started reading over her shoulder and correcting her mistakes.

So, yeah, I was one of THOSE kids. The ones whose parents yelled at them to get their nose out of the book and look around. The ones who carried their current book to class and snuck reading from it while the teacher was talking. The ones who read widely and deeply.

This continued into my adult life. My husband remarked once that he'd never known someone who read EVERY DAY. No matter how busy things got, I always got in some reading.

The only time this changed was when I began writing fiction.

For some reason, writing books took up the same space in my brain that reading books had occupied. At first I was kind of thrilled, because writing a book gave me the same joy and sense of enchantment that reading one had given me - and it lasted so much longer! And it was MINE! But then I began to see how dramatically my reading had dropped off - and I knew I had to fix that.

So, yes, I set aside time to read every day. At first it wasn't easy to rebuild the habit. I had to make myself observe that one hour of reading. It also took time to resume the habit of picking up my current read during spare moments. But now I read for usually a couple of hours every day.

As for how I decide what to read next? Any of you who've followed me for any length of time should know the answer to this! I have a spreadsheet, OF COURSE.