Last year was a terrible ‘reading’ year for me. Although I’ve struggled with my internal editor for about five years, last year was exceptionally bad. I would pick up a book that I knew I should like and not be able to push myself past a few pages.
(This is somewhat similar to not enjoying going to a department store. I was a buyer for several years. I’ve been on the inside, and I go there and want to straighten their racks, change their displays, and mark down their stock. I struggle to pay full retail for -anything- because I understand markup too well. And I have varying respect for brand names and companies based on my experiences with them. So for me, going to a department store is different because I’m seeing layers of deception and marketing of which most people are blissfully unaware. And I want to fix it.)
But having given this several days’ thought, I know that part of the problem is that I’ve just gotten out of the habit of reading for anything other than research. I’ve been researching in my free time for a couple of years now and A.) I feel guilty if I’m not researching–see previous post–and B.) I get tired of words.
Yet I know there’s honestly NO amount of research that will make my work perfect, or even close. (I’m certainly not Isabelle Allende, who gets to take four years off writing to research her next novel. I have a couple of months at most. That’s it.)
And I should read for fun. It keeps my brain flexible and ideas flowing.
So I’m trying an old method to kick-start my reading. I’m re-reading.
That way I don’t have to get as thinky about what’s on the page (because I know what’s going to happen.) Instead I just get to enjoy the words. It makes it relaxing.
I’ve started back with the novels of Margaret Miles, because I remember how much I love them. Then I’ll probably tackle Sheila Simonson, Jim Butcher, and C. S. Harris. Possibly some C. J. Cherryh after that (The Faded Sun beckons) and some Susan Dexter.
I’m about halfway through A Wicked Way to Burn right now.
It’s a historical mystery sent in 1763 Massachusetts. I particularly enjoy all the details associated with farm life. Good books. I think I will read all four. Then we’ll see…