Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Leaning Tower of Books

I used to shake my head over readers/writers who had towering To Be Read piles of books. I was such a voracious reader that a paperback rarely lasted more than an afternoon, and a hardback might have taken me two or three days, tops.

But in the last year, I've found myself more and more relying on audio books to get my reading in while I do my daily commute.

Part of it is because the time I used to spend reading is now devoted to writing -- and carting Kate to and fro from all her extra-curricular activities. Part of it is that fear that I will unconsciously copy others in my genre. I remember listening to a best-selling author talk, marveling at how he said he couldn't read within his own genre any more. At the time, I thought, "If you write mysteries (which he did), you must prefer them, so why wouldn't you read them?"

Ahhh ... Now I know. I don't read romances while I'm actively writing -- save those of my CPs, who don't write in the same sub-genre I do. One writes paranormal with yummy ghosts (that's Cindy Miles who's releasing SPIRITED AWAY in the spring), one writes romantic comedy with heroes to die for, one writes romance with a liberal dose of mystery (or mystery with a liberal dose of romance), and one writes women's fiction with a healthy dollop of romance.

So all those other authors? Well ... I just have to wait until I take a break between projects. My TBR pile gets higher and higher ... And my reading addiction seeks its fix in the audio books of another genre.

What about other writers? Can you read within your genre while you write?

And readers who are not writers -- do you go through authors and genres until you're satiated? Or do you jump around?

For both readers and writers, how do you choose new authors? That's a tricky one for me ... But I guess that might make another blog entry, huh?


tammy said...

Ah - the towering TBR pile. I have one of those. Actually, I have books scattered all around the house. I'm not sure if I read when I'm writing - it seems like lately I haven't had much time for reading at all. Not sure if it's because I don't like doing it while writing - or just because I've been freaking out about other things and just busy with life and all. I'll have to think about that. I do know that reading always inspires me though and gives me ideas of how I can improve. I've never really read outside my own genre though. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons some.

Cindy Miles said...

I tend to read what I like, mostly--which is the same thing I write! But, I do vary with my reading materials. I like to read mysteries because seeing how others handle the weaving of info helps me with my own work. Erin Hart, author of HAUNTED GROUND, taught me so much about keeping the mystery a secret until the end. she's wonderful!

But my TBR list is still long. I can't resist books, and even if I don't get around to reading them right away, I buy them anyway! Right now I'm reading PETER PAN IN SCARLET, and oh, BOY! What a great one this will be. A more perfect author couldn't have been chosen to write the official sequel to J.M. Barrie's PETER PAN AND WENDY. I'm loving it!

Great post, Cynthia!

MaryF said...

I read romance almost exclusively. Besides, if I stopped reading romance while I'm writing romance, well, I'd never get through the TBR!

I do love the audiobooks, though they can get expensive, and our library doesn't always have the books I want.

I usually choose new authors through recommendations or reading reviews I like. Lately, it's been people I know who get published and I check them out.

BillRicksofSoperton said...

I'm glad I know a professional writer, and I enjoy writer discussions, even when I don't know what they're talking about.