Growing up, I was a huge reader. I was the kid who went to the library weekly and carried out a stack of books taller than I was, only to return the following week to do it all again. I think I actually read all of the young adult books they had in their stacks (or at least, what passed for young adult at the time) one summer.
As an adult, I read less, but I’m still an avid reader. I tend to stick to what interests me in the moment, rather than going for the popular “book club reads” or the ones that everyone has read and are now being made into movies. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, I just have to be in the mood.
The more stressed my life gets, the more I want to read romance. I need that happily ever after and the emotional highs and lows that come with it, in order to get myself out of the funk that the stress brings.
My problem with reading now, though, is that I am constantly noticing author mistakes. I’m not sure if I’m exposed to more new authors by belonging to writer groups and hearing about releases on social media pages, or if I’m more cognizant of editing and writing problems.
I know I’m certainly not perfect. I make mistakes that embarrass myself constantly and no matter how hard I try or how many times I proofread, something slips through. But there’s a difference between something slipping through and writers who don’t have a basic grasp of English grammar. And unless their story is so compelling that I just can’t put it down no matter what, I start and don’t finish many, many books.
To an avid reader like myself, who was taught to give the book a chance and keep reading because you don’t know what you’re going to miss, it kills me to have to hit “archive” on my Nook or Kindle (I can’t bear to erase the book completely). But my time is limited and I don’t have the patience for some of the problems I see.
I’ve also decided that because I can’t possibly read every single friend’s book (as a writer, I know a lot of other writers), I don’t tell people if or when I’m going to do so. If I read it and I enjoy it, I’m sure to tell the person. And I have quite a number of friends’ books on my TBR list. But the TBR list is long and it’s going to take me a while to get to it. Plus, I have a lot of friends who write wonderful books, but in genres that just don’t appeal to me.
And, despite knowing how much writers love reviews (myself included), I write very few of them. It’s awkward doing so for friends and I only do it if I think the book is spectacular. I’d much rather send the friend an email saying how much I enjoyed their book and let them quote me in their own publicity.
Currently, I’m reading a boxed set that I saw somewhere, probably Twitter, called Ten Brides for Ten Heroes. The name sounds a little cheesy, but the first book is fun and seems to be a very quick read. We’ll see how it goes.
What are you reading?