This, of course, isn't me complaining. I'm always good with multiple piles of books cluttering up my desk. I mean, books are awesome and writers should read as many as they can get their grubby fingers on.
It astounds me that some writers don't read. If you want to study craft, the best way to go about it is by reading books. They don't have to be books in your genre or age group--just books in general. Reading is one of the best things you can do to make yourself a better writer because it shows you what publishable writing looks like.
And I know, the excuses are endless. Here is what I have to say to them:
- I don't want anything to influence my writing style (is that 100% a bad thing? really?)
- I would rather spend time with my own novel (uhh, self-centered much?)
- I'd rather do something completely unrelated when not writing (yet you want people to read your book?)
- I don't want to spend the money on new books (libraries! or free e-books!)
And to help motivate you, I present the idea of a reading goal. Turn reading into a competition and leave your fellow readers wallowing in the dust. There's nothing like the schadenfreude of crushing the unworthy!
Having a goal always makes things more exciting. There are a bunch of great reading challenges on the net, like the ebook challenge, the global book challenge, and the YA debut author challenge to mention a few. Personally, I'm participating in the Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge and am aiming for at least 50 books this year.
So, what do you guys think? To read, or not to read? Have any of you set a reading challenge for 2011? If so, how are you doing on it? If not, well, it's never too late to start! Tell me your thoughts in the comments.