Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's Your Reading Style?

I was thinking about this the other day as I stared at my little Goodreads page. I think I'd entered a contest for a book and everybody else who entered had thousands of books on their lists and I had some pathetic number--42, I think.

Don't let this number fool you. I love to read.

But when I started thinking about it, although I love reading and I make reading a regular habit, I don't get through a huge number of books in a year. My writing definitely takes precedence over reading. Also, I'm not a fast reader. Editing has trained me to be slow and careful.

When I sink into a book, it's like sinking into a hot bath. I'm not a woman on a mission. I'm there to enjoy it, savor the moment.

I'm curious ... what's your reading style? Do you devour book after book or are you more of a tortoise? If you're a writer, do you spend more time reading than writing, or are you primarily a writer? 

It's my birthday next week, and since I'm sneaking up close to 300 hundred followers, I'm planning a little critique giveaway. I have one critique in the lineup that I promised a friend, but after that, my schedule is wide open, so I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate a birthday and a milestone at the same time. I hope you'll check back next week to enter!

Also, on a side note, Sharon Mayhew has a little critique fest going on right now at her blog. I'm entry # 2 if you'd like to head over there and leave a comment. These are lots of fun and I always walk away learning something from the experience. (My writing friend Grace, who guest blogged for me once before, also decided to enter. This is her first time putting something up for public critique, so if you have time, check out entry #8. Thanks!) 

Photo credit: grafixar from


  1. I'm on GoodReads too – I'll have to find you on there!

    My reading style is varied – typically I have two or three books going at once, and I bounce around to different topics. In the past month, I have read the Hunger Games trilogy, two French parenting books, a memoir about growing up in Norway during World War II and now a book about a commune in the 60s. :)

  2. I would say that I go through spurts. Occasionally I'll have a span of time that I devour every book in sight. But then I apparently wear my reading head out, and I'll go six weeks before I pick up another book and my GoodReads account starts sending me rude messages about my brain losing IQ points.

    In Which We Start Anew

  3. I read a lot, especially when I'm not actively drafting or revising (like now). When I am drafting or revising, I definitely write more than I read, but I use these in-between times to catch up. (I'm averaging about two books a week at the moment.)

  4. I read a lot when I'm not cranking through a first draft. But, I am a very slow reader, and if I have to concentrate hard on the reading, I get headaches... a side effect of dyslexia.

    It took me ages to get past the stage where all reading caused headaches, to actually learn to enjoy reading, but at the other side ... if the style is hard for me to read, even if I love the story, I will put that book down. Reading for pleasure becomes much less pleasurable when it causes headaches.

    (Aside, GoodReads sends IQ emails!? wth, how have I not noticed/gotten these?)

  5. Depends on the book. Some books require more concentration while others I find I flow right through it.

    Headed over to check out your entry now.

  6. I'm not even on goodreads, so I guess that makes my bookshelf empty. :) I zip through books, but when I do, I write less. This year I've been reading less, but writing more. Hard to do everything.

  7. I'm a really fast reader, but I'm like you, I put writing first. My goal is to read 52 books this year (i count MS that I critique) and right now I'm on track so...

    Most of my reading I do while I workout. No time for it otherwise :)

    And i'll be here for your 300 followers and bday!! :)

  8. I'm a fairly slow reader. My son isn't. He can finish the same book as me in a fraction of the time it takes me to finish it.

    I read a book or two a week. It depends if the book is put-downable (I totally made up that word) or not.

  9. I'm not a fast reader, but if the plot is fast paced then I devour. I've been pre-reading books for our little school library and I feel like I've needed to devour them, which I don't really like.
    And since I've been busy, and reading on the bus passes time, I feel like I've been reading more than writing lately.

  10. Used to be more of a book gobbler, but now I feel like if I read too many, I can't remember most of them. I always have something going, but I take it slower now.

  11. I probably read and write in equal amounts, although the ratio fluctuates from week to week. Sometimes I can get hardly any writing done, so I'll try to devote those times to more intense reading. In terms of how fast I depends. Usually I'm reading about five books at a time, so it's hard to say!

  12. I'm a really slow reader. I like to think about what I'm reading and mull over things. I can't see the point of skim reading a novel.

    For one weird minute I thought you were going to say that you were sneaking up close to being 300 years old. Phew! Happy birthday.

  13. I spend more time reading. But hey, that's part of the writing process. Right? Right?
    Book Parakeet

  14. Hi Amy .. I'm probably not a good reader - but when I settle with a book, I like to read it through - and that time frame seems to stump me. I read a lot of other things though ..

    Congratulations on nearing 300 followers .. and enjoy your birthday with the family and friends ..

    Have fun - and thanks for reminding me about Sharon's fest -I must pop back ..

    happy weekend .. Hilary

  15. I read fairly continuously. Now. My secret is reading on the treadmill. I get a good 30-45 minutes a day. If I didn't do that, I probably wouldn't read as much. I'm a fast reader too, so I can probably do about a book a week and if I'm really lovin the book, then I'll read at night too.

  16. I'm a slow reader - I even mentioned that in my post today. I usually save reading for right before bed. If I have free time before that, I try to use it for writing.