Monday, November 23, 2009

Reading With Purpose

This week I was visiting on the phone with a friend, and we were discussing our reading habits and how they have changed since we've been concentrating on writing.
The truth is, before I was a writer, I read voraciously. I read three to four books a week. The library and the used bookstore were my friends, and I bought books online and in our local bookstores.
Then I started writing with a goal of publication. Much of my writing time was carved out of the time I used to spend reading.
As a result, I haven't been to a used bookstore in months, and when I go to the library, it is for research or to have a quiet place to focus and work.
But I do still read. I feel reading is essential for a writer. But I no longer read just about anything. I have to read with a purpose. I read craft books, non-fiction books for research, and I read selected fiction--fiction I think will be both enjoyable and instructional. I read lots of historical romance, since I write historical romance. I also read authors I admire (regardless of genre) in order to learn from them and make my own writing better.
My book reading has gone down from three-four a week to maybe one per week? But I'm trying to make quality triumph over quantity.
Question: Have your reading tastes changed over the years? What do you like to read, and how many books do you read in a week or in a month?
Blog tour stops today!


  1. I was like you, and my reading has slowed too. I'd say one or two books a week. Sometimes it's for learning but mostly it's for pleasure. LOL

  2. Reading has always been a haven for me, and it took an earthquake to move my eyes from a page. Since pursuing writing for publication I tear into craft books the same way.

    I'm lucky to absorb one every two or three weeks.

  3. Hi Erica,
    I've had to cut back on reading too. But I'm loving the fact that I'm getting to read authors I actually know! (Like you!) That's one bonus about being a writer--we can read our friend's books!

  4. I used to read a book about every 2-3 days, but like you I've slowed down. Maybe 2 books per week now. My tastes HAVE changed, meaning that when authors don't follow "the rules" as I know them I put the book down. Also, I give a book 3 chaps then set it down if I'm not hooked. That's the downside to reading all the craft books! Thankfully, there are TONS of great authors out there so I never run out of reading material :D

  5. The days of being able to spend an entire day just reading are long gone with the demands of children, edlers, and work. Like you, most of the books I read now have to do with art techniques or web design and programming. Have my reading tastes changed? I'm still a glutton for action and recently have developed a taste for historical romance, a genre I never went near in my younger years. (-;

  6. Hi, Erica. I read your interview. Is your Calvary Bible College out of Belton, MO by chance? I live in Belton and have known some graduates from there.

    Your book sounds intriging. I'm a writer, as well, and really enjoyed reading about your approach. My site is

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. I think I read more now that I'm a writer - sometimes voraciously, sometimes not, depending on how deeply I'm into writing. BUT, it takes a lot more to astound me now, and I hate that I'm so critical of books that people have poured their hearts and souls into.

    Your book, BTW, was a delight, just so we're clear :-))

  8. Over the past ten years, I've become very picky about what I read--quality is everything and story is a very close second.

    But thankfully there are some exceptional Christian fiction authors out there.

    Erica, one of my favorite historical/somewhat-romance writers is Sir Mitchell. Have you read A Constant Heart or Love's Pursuit? They're so good.

    I think I read about three books a month right now.

  9. I love to read. I definitely have less time now. I haven't purchased a guilty pleasure book in quite a while, so this morning I got wild and bought two books--each new releases by my fave authors. It's like an early holiday present to me!

  10. Love to read. Wish I had more time. *sigh*

    I probably finish about one book a month. So sad, isn't it? Maybe more if I have more time.

  11. I read about 1 or 2 novels a week. I read because I'm addicted. Seriously, I can't fall asleep at night unless I read. I read because I just love a great inspirational novel. I mostly read historicals, but I started off reading Catherine Palmer contemporaries, then discovered Lori Wicks historicals. Now I read almost exclusively historical novels. I read for information and research, as well. As a writer I am always learning something about the craft while I read. That used to get in the way, but not so much anymore.

  12. Definitely don't have the time to read as much as I'd like. I read slower now too, figuring out how the author created that twist, transitioned so smoothly, hid that fact earlier,...