Let’s Talk Books

I’ve been spending so much time lately going over my current projects that I haven’t said a word about books or reading in quite some time. Reading is an essential part of my day, no matter what it is that I’m reading. I read several times a day. In the last few days, three Harlequins have met their match (all very good, by the way ;-)). But I have also been reading other books.

During my lunch break, I’ve been reading One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead. This book is all about consumerism and the wedding industry. I still have a little bit of book left, so I can’t give a full review, but I will say that Mead’s research is thorough, and some of her findings are startling, to say the least. She also raises some big questions about why weddings are now so expensive, what we’ve been trained to think about them, and what big, expensive weddings are supposed to replace. I can’t wait to finish and review.

Also sitting on my shelf at the moment: Pledged– another nonfiction, investigative reporting style book investigating sororities. From the cover and introduction, it seems she focused on white sororities (that, and most non-white sororities are less likely to talk to her about their rituals and ways, seeing as though she is Caucasian, a non-member, and a member of the media); a book about a woman’s 40 day & night solo sojourn into the desert after a divorce (this is non-fiction as well); What Frenchwomen Know About Love, Sex and Men–pretty self explanatory, I should think; Faith Evans’ memoir, and; Heather Hunter’s attempt at fiction.

As you can see, there isn’t a lot of fiction; in fact, it leans heavily to investigative reporting style exposés and memoirs. While this is easier to jump back into (I usually read at lunch, while waiting, and in the evenings at home when I can), I can only guess the reason why I focused so heavily on these is because I’m going to be working on an investigative reporting style similar to Mead and others for the Marriage Kit book, and I’m going to be working on  a memoir of my college years. I’m taking a look at what works and doesn’t work in the genres, I guess you could say.

Does what you’re looking to write ever change what you are primarily reading? Are you a writer who stays away from all romance novels while you’re writing romance, or does your readership in the genre you are attempting to write in increase? How do you work reading into your day and not end up crowding out writing?

6 Comments

  1. Interesting questions! It used to be that I couldn’t read the same genre I was writing, for fear that someone else’s voice would seep into my story. But now I’ve learned to find the balance — otherwise I would never have time to read the kinds of books I love.

    • 2blu2btru

      This is true. I used to be frightened to read the same genre as I was writing in in case I picked up someone else’s voice (I pick up accents in a similar way). But usually, if it’s an unrelated subject, or “research,” it has no effect on my writing. I guess that realization comes with experience.

  2. Kaye Peters

    I also worried about having someone else’s voice confuse mine, but I find, for me, that reading what I like to write helps me get in the mood to write. It often inspires me, puts me in the mood to tell my story.

    However, I do believe in opening up one’s mind to other genres. It helps keep us balanced and open to new ideas.

    I usually dedicate my afternoons to reading while the kids are napping. I’m great at picking up a story only if I have 20 minutes to spare. Nap times are ever changing for us; sometimes its an hour, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. When I write I need to know that I have some time to get started and then to actually write. So I write at night when the kids sleep because I know they’ll be down for the night.

    • 2blu2btru

      This is a good rule of thumb. I tried writing on my lunch break, but it was too much pressure. When I did manage to get the ball rolling, it was time to go back to work right in the middle of my breakthrough–not conducive to good writing at all.

      My favorite time to write is Saturday morning. I’m up early out of habit, and there’s nothing that I have to do. It’s peaceful and quiet in my apartment, yet nature is waking up outside–it’s an inspiring contrast.

  3. It sounds like you’re a well-rounded reader, 2blu!

    I read what I like (90% is fiction, but I read several genres) regardless of what I’m writing. I squeeze in reading when I have a few minutes here and there throughout the day, but writing doesn’t happen until everyone else in in bed for the night.

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