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Thursday, November 09, 2006

So Many Books

I ordered some books and they arrived yesterday. I got Jenna Black's Watchers In the Night, a Karen Marie Moning book, and two Anne Stuart books, including Cold As Ice. (That is her newest Ice book, right? I get confused when all these titles are so close to each other. Like Nora's In Death books--I have to remember them by plot because the titles all blend together for me.) I just wish I had time to read my haul!

That's one of the things I really miss--reading. Before I committed myself to writing, I used to read a book a day. Actually, I think my voracious reading helped me with the writing because I internalized so much. I'm not big on consciously analyzing books because it leaves me paralyzed. This is the same reason why I avoid in-depth craft conversations because I never think I do what they're talking about and then I can't write because I'm worried I'm doing it wrong.

The 90s were my biggest decade for devouring books. I was on Prodigy Classic with a great group of readers and writers and I found so many great books that I would have missed without all the recommendations. Of course, these women are also responsible for the explosive growth of my TBR pile. I went from less than half a dozen books I had in the wings to read to hundreds and right now my list of books I want to read is over 1000. :-( And it's only getting bigger since all the times I used to read have been converted to writing time. About the only place I can sit down and just enjoy a book is when I'm on a flight.

I used to take vacation every summer and go to a cabin in Wisconsin. There was no telephone, no television and the only radio station we could get in there played polka music (not something I like). I'd bring a huge tote bag full of books down with me and I'd read and read.

It was so great! I'd get up when I felt like getting up, eat when I was hungry and go to bed when I was tired. No clocks. No schedules. I found and read some great, great stories while I was there. :-)

I remember the planning of the trip. The biggest thing was trying to decide which books to take. I had to have a choice because I didn't know what kind of story I'd be in the mood to read, and since I would go through 15-20 books in that week, the decisions were critical. I'd study my TBR pile. I didn't just want to take favorite authors, I wanted to take new-to-me authors too because I wanted to discover another must-buy writer.

Hours later, I'd have my books ready to go. I spent more time packing them than I spent packing my clothes, but then I wasn't going out while I was at the cabin, I was only there to read.

The cabin is gone, the group that owned it sold it to a developer and I'm sure the lake is surrounded with homes by now. Of course, if I went their today, it would be with my laptop to write for a solid week without interruption, not read. There's always another short deadline up ahead or recovering from a short deadline. I have a hard time reading while I'm mentally exhausted and I usually just stare at the television in a partial vegetative state. :-) What can I say, I burn out a lot of brain cells.

Sometimes I wonder how writers who work full time manage to squeeze any reading time in. I know some do and I figure they must be more organized than I am or maybe they're faster writers and they don't need as much time as I do to write a book.