1. Pauline
    Offline

    Pauline Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    37

    How much do you read?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pauline, May 13, 2016.

    We all write, clearly. But how much is everyone reading? A lot of questions I see posted can be answered simply by reading in our chosen genre. So peoples, how much time is devoted to opening a book?
     
  2. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,284
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    Location:
    London, UK
    When I'm writing, I read hardly anything. Perhaps 20 minutes a night to wind down before bed--mostly short stories. Most of the novels I've read this year have been unpublished, beta reads, rather than purchased.

    I read hardly anything in my genre.
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  3. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    I read at least a couple of hours per day, more lately because I'm working on giving up TV.

    Mostly I read within my genre (I find most popular novel genres make me far too tense and then I can't sleep which means my writing falls by the wayside) but it's a pretty narrow field with few authors (humorous science fiction) so I run out and have to start over. Thankfully, I have poor reading retention, so I get a lot of mileage out of the first five or six reads of the same novel. After that, I start remembering every little nuance and have to move on.

    I used to do that with other science fiction as well and now there are some novels I simply can't even contemplate reading any longer, like The Foundation Trilogy (Asimov) or Replay (Grimwood) even though these are among my most favourite of stories.
     
  4. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,586
    Likes Received:
    5,073
    I read voraciously for most of my life before I started writing. Then for the first couple years of writing I didn't read at all--too obsessed with my own stuff! Now? I read a book or two a week, probably. Some in my genres, some other stuff.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    Lifeline likes this.
  5. DeadMoon
    Offline

    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    441
    Location:
    fargo, ND
    I read more when I have new books around. I have been siting on Finders Keepers by Stephen King for a while now because I want to buy and read Mr Mercedes first.
     
  6. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,284
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    Location:
    London, UK
    So jealous. We didn't have a TV for a few years, then we went on holiday with a TV in the room and my husband got one for our house. I'd get rid of it in a heartbeat if I could.
     
    rem and Sack-a-Doo! like this.
  7. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    Oh, I know how to deal with that:
    Oops! Oh, darling? I was just preparing supper tea and accidentally cut the power cord on the telly. :)

    My wife just bought a 55" monstrosity, but thankfully she uses it for playing Diablo III most of the time, so it's unavailable for TV viewing.
     
    Tenderiser likes this.
  8. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I probably average about an hour per day, but it comes in waves - if I'm reading something that really grabs me, it will be much more intense, and when I'm between books (or dealing with other aspects of life) it will be a lot less. Sometimes I'll go a couple of weeks without picking up a book or my kindle.

    Lately, I've been trying to branch beyond the cozy confines of historical fiction. While I agree with @Pauline that it's helpful to read in one's chosen genre, I think it's also very healthy to read other genres as well. To this end, I've been taking the 2016 Reading Challenge:

    - A book published this year
    - A book you can finish in a day
    - A book you've been meaning to read
    - A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
    - A book you should have read in school
    - A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child or BFF
    - A book published before you were born
    - A book that was banned at some point
    - A book that you previously abandoned
    - A book you own but have never read
    - A book that intimidates you
    - A book you've already read at least once
     
    123456789, KhalieLa and TheWingedFox like this.
  9. plothog
    Offline

    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    England
    Not as much as I'd like. On average a book every two months.
    Over half of which are in the genre I'm writing. (fantasy)
     
  10. Aaron Smith
    Offline

    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    401
    honestly think I read more of you guy's stuff than real books. It usually takes me a few months to finish a book anyway, so while I am constantly reading I am not reading much.
     
  11. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I read constantly up until my late 20s. Science fiction as an early teen, then "serious literature" from my Dad's bookshelf later on. When I started writing seriously in my late 20s, my reading time got cut way down because I was focusing on my own stuff. Also, I had a demanding job then and was working 60-80 hour weeks on average (that's what happens to you when you're a partner in your own company).

    I'm basically retired now, but I still don't get much time to read. Nowadays it's mostly because I still write a lot and my roomie has serious health problems and I have to take care of him a fair bit. Fortunately, he's slowly getting better, and that frees up more of my time.

    I've also embarked on a project to refresh my knowledge of math and physics. I studied engineering in university, so I was good at that stuff back then, but that was more than 30 years ago and I've forgotten too much of it. I don't like having learned something and lost it along the way; it makes me feel like I'm mentally shrinking as I get older and it scares the bejeezus out of me. So, back to studying, and that takes time, too.

    So I don't read anywhere near as much as I used to. Maybe a novel a month these days. Lots of magazine articles, author interviews, and books on writing, though!
     
    123456789 likes this.
  12. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    I used to think I was an avid reader, then I found out how little I have read compared to most actual avid readers. Two things: I'm a slow reader and I tend to re-read works I've really liked over and over instead of starting new ones. I'm trying to change that habit, though, because I obviously need to read more to become a better writer.
     
  13. Kikijoy
    Offline

    Kikijoy Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I read a lot less than I did in high school. I still do and many people would say I have a lot of books, but I tend to read at least one book a month in addition to other reading online. It is a great way to get away from my own writing and give my mind some rest :)
     
  14. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I read way more nonfiction (for work and school mostly) than fiction, which is the exact opposite of what I want. I'm down to reading maybe six or so novels a year. I read more short stories and poetry, however, so at least there's that.
     
  15. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    I haven't read anything but technical manuals and books on strategy since starting my current WIP 5 months ago. It's left a big hole in my life to be honest, but I wanted to focus in on my own story until I at least got my 1st draft down.

    I have still been buying books to read once my WIP is down on paper. Here's a list of a few I have waiting for me.

    The Martian, Andy Weir
    The Finest Hours, Michael J. Tougias
    Black Hearts, By Jim Fredrick
     
  16. Charlemagne Swift
    Offline

    Charlemagne Swift Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    A dark room
    Well, when I was younger, I was banned from reading Books purely because I read too often. My school librarian knew my code by heart, and my name was on every old-fashioned book monitoring tag in the library, before they were updated to digital.
     
  17. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I probably read something every week - but it's not always fiction and not always published fiction. I find I'm reading more stories on writing sites than anything. I'm also an eclectic reader. This week I read a novel by Sylvia Frazer, The Essence of Fiction by Malcolm McConnell, a children's novel by C.S. Adler and I'm starting on a book called How Old was Lolita by Alan Saperstein. I liked his book Camp. He didn't seem to write much else. I always seem to latch onto authors that never seem to write much - :rolleyes:
     
  18. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Who would ban anybody from reading books? There's no such thing as reading "too often"! Were you also told not to listen to music, not to play with your friends, not to study, not to exercise, and generally not to live?

    Gaah. Who did that to you?
     
  19. Charlemagne Swift
    Offline

    Charlemagne Swift Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    A dark room
    I was the child of Social butterflies, but I spent most of my time away from other people, and only had a couple of friends until I was about 12. My parents didn't like that, and tried to encourage interaction with other people,by limiting my reading time and going to sports groups, and school clubs. But in spite of all that, the only difference is that I am now quite fit, and the few friends I have are quite social, so I can bluff that I have many friends by naming the people I met because of my friends.

    In hindsight, my life seems a lot like a TV drama
     
  20. IHaveNoName
    Offline

    IHaveNoName Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    157
    I constantly have a book at hand. Since I go through them so fast (and new books I haven't read are hard to find), I generally limit myself to reading during breaks and lunch at work, so I can drag out your average novel over a couple weeks. I don't read a lot of fantasy, simply because not much is getting published vs. urban fantasy (but that's okay - I love UF too); I also go for modern fiction, some sci-fi, and a couple mystery writers I like.
     
  21. Charlemagne Swift
    Offline

    Charlemagne Swift Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    A dark room
    I often have that problem, and books that sound interesting are hard to find. My favourite genres to read are High fantasy and science fiction.
     
  22. TkTish
    Offline

    TkTish Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NY
    I've always read a lot when I was younger, but I think I read even more now. I can average 2 books a week; sometimes more if I have a bunch of new books. I sometimes even read to the point where I tell myself to go write, but I just read more instead.

    I read just about everything too, but the only things I really look for is an element of romance (ie - two characters are on an adventure in a high fantasy book (main plot), but they also fall in love too) and the book must be LGBT+.
     
  23. Vrisnem
    Offline

    Vrisnem Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Scotland
    A fair amount. I've read five books in the past week. Two YA, two erotic (one M/F and one M/M), and a crime novel. Six if you count reading over the second draft of one of my own stories. :p

    I usually try to have one fiction and one non-fiction book on the go, but that's been failing lately.
     
  24. CMastah
    Offline

    CMastah Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    43
    I used to love reading as a kid, but that was probably because I live somewhere where if you don't have cable or some other special connection there's pretty much nothing worth watching (we only used to get whatever channels broadcast locally or from nearby countries). Then at some point we moved and got internet and I discovered the ability to watch shows online and....everything went downhill from there.

    I now give myself about a fortnight to a month to finish a book. I try to read fantasy as that's the genre I'm writing in but I can't help but fall in love with some non-fiction books I've read.
     
  25. KhalieLa
    Offline

    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    390
    Location:
    United States
    My library does something like that every year for adult winter reading. Last year was bingo and I missed a blackout by one square, "A book you saw recommended on TV." I told the librarian that I don't have TV therefore the square was illegal, but she wasn't impressed with my argument. I tried telling her I deserved a one square handicap because I represented an underprivileged household, but she didn't buy that either.

    Overall, I read about 100 books a year. It's usually about a 50/50 mix of fiction to non-fiction, but the last couple of years, I've been going heavy on the non-fiction.
     

Share This Page