It bothers me on a wince-inducing, cellular level when an author says these words: I don’t have time to read.
Dude (used in the gender-neutral, collective sense) – that’s part of your job as an author. To read. Oh, I know. We can’t read everything. Sometimes it’s difficult to grab enough time to read, certainly. Most of us don’t have the time to read all the books we’d like.
But we have to grab, borrow and steal some time. Somewhere. Especially when an author writes genre fiction, it’s a good idea to understand what’s out there. Are we being too derivative? Has this been done several dozen times this way before? We need to read to learn about ourselves as authors, about what works and does not work for us as readers and why. We need to read so we don’t stagnate, so that we continue to grow.
I like to vary my reading, cycling through different genres or authors. (Though I do go through author binges, I won’t lie.) Light reading and more difficult prose, serious and not – I like a reading buffet. I’ll read in the evenings for a bit, or when I get frustrated with my own work, when I feel down, when I’m waiting in doctors’ offices and when I travel.
So when do you get your reading in?