I often focus on discussing my writing habits, but really, I wouldn’t be a writer if it wasn’t for my love of reading. And I’m guessing if you’re on this site, you’re a big reader too, so let’s chat about our book habits and confessions today.
Confession #1: Even though I write fantasy, I actually prefer to read classic literature.
I obviously love fantasy too (Harry Potter? Nuff said), but my first love is classical lit. I could read Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Medieval Romances, and James Joyce all day. As funny as it may sound, I first connected with classical lit while watching Wishbone (anyone else?), and when I was getting my undergrad degree in English, I lived for my literature classes.
My classic lit favorites are some of the few physical books I’ve hung onto. I’ve mostly switched to ebooks (so much easier when you’re living in an apartment), but some of my favorites I still prefer to read in paperback are:
- Anything by Jane Austen
- The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
- Dante’s The Inferno
- Dubliners by James Joyce
- The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
- Le Morte D’Arthur (in Middle English of course!)
Confession #2: I usually have to schedule reading time.
Don’t get me wrong: I love reading, but I can go weeks without reading if I’m not purposeful about making time for it. Too much happens each day, and it’s too easy for a day to fill up and vanish before I’ve had a chance to read. So when I find the days slipping by, and I know I haven’t been diligent about reading, I start scheduling blocks of reading time into my calendar, which works! If it is on my calendar, it’ll happen.
If you have trouble finding the time to read as much as you want, try making a reading “appointment” with yourself. I know if you treat this appointment like you would a doctor’s appointment, you’ll be able to sit down and get thirty minutes to an hour of reading in.
Confession #3: My favorite time to read is on a rainy day.
Now, I live in Palm Springs, so I rarely get rainy days, but I love them so much, when one comes my way, I’ll rework my personal and work schedules so I can stay home and read all day. For real. All I need a cup of cocoa (okay, a few cups of cocoa) my current read, and a view out the front window so I can watch the gray sky.
Confession #4: I like to read out loud to my dog.
This is something I’ve done since I was a child. I am very shy and have always struggled with my speech. Because of this, I mispronounce words all the time. Reading out loud has done wonders for my speech, and even though I’m an adult now who can speak well, I still find myself wanting to practice. Why the dog? Because I need an audience of course ;)
Confession #5: I avoid reading long books.
Logically, I know that taking the time to read three short books is kind of the same as taking the time to read one long book, but the page count of long books psych me out. There are books I want to read like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but they are so freaking long. And The Wheel of Time series intrigues me, but have you seen the size of those books? I just look at my husband’s collection on our bookshelf and balk.
But I will get to these books...eventually.
And while we’re talking about long books, someone please tell me I’m not the only one who avoids reading long books...anyone else? What book(s) are you avoiding right now?
Confession #6: I can’t stand corny romance.
This is probably why I prefer classic lit. I can handle romance in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and even Romeo and Juliet (but just barely on that last one). Maybe romance is hard to write—I wouldn’t know since I don’t like to write it, but I just cannot get behind the romance in most of the books today. I’m not even a fan of the way J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry-Ginny romance.
I’m incredibly picky with romance, but as long as romance doesn’t drive the plot forward, I’m okay. If a book’s plot is solely based on romance, however, I am more critical of it.
Confession #7: I’m trying to learn how to not finish a book.
What? Let me explain...I’ve always felt the need to finish a book even when I’ve hated it. I’ll skip through pages (sometimes chapters) and skim as fast as I can to get over a book I don’t like. Honestly, that sounds pretty stupid saying it out loud. Why waste the time trying to get through a book I don’t like when I could be spending that time reading something I enjoy? So I’ve decided to make a pact with myself this year and stop reading any book I’m not enjoying. There are worse things than half-read books, right?
Do you have any book confession? Leave a comment below and tell me what they are!