Reading and Writing – The Balance

I’ve always been extremely skeptical of writing advice that says I have to read every day and I have to write every day and I can’t just read whatever I have to read poetry and thick meaty stuff and to be honest I just end up walking away feeling very discouraged because I am only one person. A person who usually is working over 40 hours a week, while attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle like eating right and that horrible thing known as exercise. Combine that with attempting to forming and maintaining social communities (which, hasn’t happened yet but it’s on my To-Do list) — well, you can see where I would read these friendly suggestions and walk away because

who has the time?

So yeah, I’m not really a big fan of that sort of prescriptive method (sorry, Mr. King).

But, I do think people should try to read. Whether that’s graphic novels or web fic or fan fiction or that 99 cent novel you picked up for the kindle (hey, one day it might be my 99 cent story which would be even better) or whatever it is that floats your boat.

Read what you want. Read what you like. If you feel up to it, stretch your boundaries but don’t feel bad if you don’t finish it when the library due date comes round or if it sits unread on your bookshelf.

I once started reading House of Leaves and I renewed it the maximum and I still wasn’t able to finish it. It took a long time to forgive myself for that one, for having a hard time keeping it up, but I let it go. Because one day, I’m going to have time. I’m going to have time to carve out huge chunks of time to sit down and read that book with the attention and devotion and focus it deserves.

It’s not the right time now, and that’s okay.

All this is to say that I went to the library today. I am attempting to structure my life a little better to be able to do the things not that just need to be done, but that I want to do. I picked up three books, which is two more than I was expecting.

The first book I picked up was Zombies Vs Unicorns, an anthology of short stories. I usually have a difficult time sitting down and reading anthologies, which is why I picked this one up. I want to start reading for a short while after I wake up in the mornings, and I think that starting with a short story per morning (and, once my tv shows go off the air, per evening) will be the perfect impetus. A cup of literary caffeine, if you will.

The second book I picked up was Death Troopers. This is my work book–the one I’ll read (but let’s be honest here, probably speed read) during my lunch break. I’m very excited to see how it made it onto the Times Bestseller lists, as its cover boasts.

The third book I picked up was This is How You Lose Her. This is my “heavy” book. I’m not sure when I’m going to read this, but I am going to try a targeted approach where I read it over the course of the weekend. We’ll see what happens.

What books are you reading? Or planning to read, as the case might be. 🙂

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