?

How often do you read

  1. At least everyday for more than an hour

    14 vote(s)
    51.9%
  2. A few pages every day

    8 vote(s)
    29.6%
  3. Several moments throughout the week

    4 vote(s)
    14.8%
  4. Rarely

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  5. I don't read

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. VenomHawkings
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    VenomHawkings New Member

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    Writing without reading

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by VenomHawkings, Aug 18, 2016.

    Heya all,

    So there's something I'm wondering about. It's pretty much naturally assumed that writers are fervid readers but I wonder how much that counts for the community here. While I love writing, I read much, much less. Like, I barely read. Sure I'm always in the process of reading at least one book at a time, but not actively and not of diverse genres (pretty much only fantasy). Which I know puts me at a disadvantage with writing.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I read quite a bit, especially since I retired. I have the time now. I read TONS when I was a kid and a teen - well into my 20s, in fact - but I had to cut back when my career got busy. I always missed it. Now I'm trying to catch up, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read like a maniac for my whole life until I started writing. Then for the first couple years of writing I stopped reading almost entirely. But then I started reading again, and I read quite a bit again now.
     
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  4. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read as much lately as I used to, but I did just start The Girl on the Train and have Game of Thrones on hold at the library.
     
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  5. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I used to swallow several books a week but these days I don't so much. I wish I could say it's because I don't have time, but I totally do - I just usually end up watching netflix or playing a game instead. I'm planning to get back into it, though, especially this fall. I read more more critically now than when I was younger, and I tend to get impatient and annoyed with things I don't think are well-written, which makes it harder to read as a leisure activity, unfortunately. Most of my reading lately has been comics / graphic novels because I'm less of an elitist asshole about them.
     
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  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read voraciously and precociously as a child (no, that's not an experimental novel by Jane Austen!), fairly steadily for most of my adult life, lost the habit about ten years ago (I found that my library books kept going overdue because I couldn't find time to go because life got in the way!) and, now that the kids have left home, I've got a Kindle and my daughter and I share a library on it...so I'm reading what she's reading! At the moment it's The God of Small Things, before that it was The Shattered Sea trilogy, before that the Red Rising trilogy.

    I tend to read during my lunch-half-hour at work, and on my commuter train home at night.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I used to be almost always reading - I'd read for a month and then write for a month, and alternated like that. I'm usually not doing both at the same time. Now I might pick up a book every couple of months and then finish it in a few weeks. However, I'm always reading something from around the web.
     
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  8. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    I'm always reading, usually multiple books at a time. At the moment I'm reading Rise Of Empire from the Riyria trilogy by Michael J. Sullivan, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks and a Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies.

    I find this too. I once bought a fantasy novel that looked interesting and had a pretty cool cover. But the writing was so clunky and disjointed that I got halfway through the first page before putting it down as all I could think about was how bad the writing was. (The book and author shall remain nameless and yes this is a lesson in not judging a book by its cover - literally :p)

     
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  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, definitely. I think that's one of the reasons I stopped reading for so long when I started writing. It was really, really hard to turn off my analytical side and just enjoy the stories.

    I've gotten better at the muting, now, but it took some effort.
     
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  10. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Most of the time I can get into it but sometimes it just grates on me. I keep thinking "that's not how I would write it", which is a bad way to think about it but I can't help it sometimes. (It should be noted: I am not a published author nor anywhere near it so if I come across as conceited it is entirely unintentional. I'm sure if I shared my work with the distinguished members of this community the response would similar to the above)
     
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  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think once you really start thinking about writing, whether you're publishing or not, it's hard to stop thinking about it.
     
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  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I was a voracious reader all through childhood and my teen years. It waned a bit when I started working, mostly because there just weren't enough hours in the day.

    These days my reading is very sporadic. When I'm writing, I snatch every spare moment to write. When I'm not writing, I try to read but often need to recharge by switching my brain off and playing some mindless games instead.
     
  13. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    I find that as a reader and a writer (albeit on a steep learning curve), when a book grabs me I read it once for pleasure and a second time to see just what made it so un-put-downable. Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy and Ian Banks' Crow Road and Espedair Street being my most recent reads.
     
  14. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    I always like to have a book on the go, especially one that's hard to put down. Reading books perfectly compliments writing and I love to connect with the different styles of their authors.
    You can learn a heck of a lot from how others write.
     
  15. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I haven't been a member here too long, but I am a little shocked at how often this topic seems to come up. If you were a musician, would you listen to music? Of course you would. I don't see how the relationship with reading is any different. If you don't like reading or read very often, what makes you think you can create the material for us book lovers? I've said this before in a similar thread, but I will say it again. No one has to read to write, but a writer will never be as good as they could be without also being a reader. It's really that simple.
     
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  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mainly it is teenage writers with anxieties about enjoying their writing hobby - youth, inattentive to swallowing the Jane Eyres, The Mayor of Casterbridge portals to true learned state, condition Creative Writer.

    Pity tiny minds. If only one day I might tackle those Russians on my high shelf..

    ...

    I am reading at the moment mainly seafaring - and can't believe Hornblower's not so bad, unbelievable. Modern days though nobody reads in bed, so the lavatory only, with my condition reading four hours a day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  17. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I read a hell of a lot - not least because i have a near photographic memory for things ive read so I can't read the same thing twice unless i liked it so much i don't mind knowing what happens ... I'm also very fast ( i read the lincoln lawyer last night in its entirety , a big tom clancy like the bear and the dragon takes a couple of nights)
     
  18. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    When I am seriously writing something I can't read as much as I want but I do read. When i am taking breaks between drafts I read even more. Its like I try to squeeze it in because I know I will get too busy once i start editing and such.

    the way i think about writers who never read is the way I think about someone who wants to direct Broadway plays but never go to the theatre. Its makes little the no sense.
     
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  19. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    The writing bug goes hand in hand with the reading bug for me. When I'm writing I'm reading, but when I'm not writing I'm probably not reading.
     
  20. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think AASmith has the right idea, don't read too much while you are actively writing. My reason for this is that reading someone else's work might influence your own writing and if you are striving for your own voice that might not be such a great thing. From a more scientific standpoint nonbiased objectivity is key, reading might sway your thinking and cause you to expect certain things in your own writing and to borrow a general concept from Bayview, it probably helps a weak writer but it might degrade an already good writer. That is a bit of a stretch of her point which was about using critiques to improve your writing but I think it has some merit in this situation.
     
  21. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    I disagree with the folks saying (or implying) that reading too much while writing is a bad thing. Authors who don't expose themselves to new ideas and themes will become stale in a hurry. A good writer uses his/her influences to write better material.
     
  22. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with this. I'm still finding my feet and would be lost without the influence and inspiration of the writers I admire.
     
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  23. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Also, by subconsciously writing in someone else's style, that allows you to identify your own style or lack thereof.

    And the more you read, the more you notice other writer's style, voice and tone. With enough data, you can easily distinguish your own with the others. And this will be a platform for you finding your own style and voice.

    So I agree that you should read a lot even if you're working on a manuscript. Your writing might get contaminated, but it will train your eyes and ears, giving you the ability to distinguish yours to theirs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Somewhere in between the first and second choices, depending on what else I have to do.
     
  25. Anna100
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    Anna100 Member

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    I feel you, I've never been a very active reader myself, but I'm always reading something. I'm amazed at people who can devour several books a week (wish I could?). The only time I'm able to read like crazy is when I read a book I really like. Maybe that's the problem with people who say they don't like to read -they just don't read the right books? and plowing through books you don't like, just to read something, can seem like a chore. I'm that kind of person that always preferred the illustrated books. :p I love reading a good story, but it's not always you come across one, unless you read a lot. And when you read a good story you can easily get inspired to write one yourself. Because I'm not the most avid reader, I think (know) that my own writing lacks because of it.
     

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