Friday, 24 January 2014

Tackling the TBR pile

I've confessed this to a few writers and a few have agreed with me, so it turns out I'm not alone in struggling to read and write at the same time. By that, I mean that it's difficult for me to be reading a great book whilst I'm drafting a story of my own - the author's voice attempts to page hop, details blur, and my self-confidence takes an absolute bashing.

I tried not reading contemporary when I was writing it, not reading YA when I was writing it, etc, but it didn't much help. This put me between the proverbial rock and hard place, because I was being forced to choose between two passions.

One of my new year resolutions was to read minimum of a book a month, which to bibliophiles would be a laughably low goal. But I write every day. I write when I should be doing something else. I write, because I can't stop myself. So you see my predicament: how to read a book a month when I'm always writing?

The short answer: I've started tricking myself.

I listen to audio books. I drive enough that I get through a book every fortnight or so. I have a book on my bedside table (although this is my least effective trick, as my laptop's beside it). I take my e-reader everywhere, and read paragraphs whenever there isn't enough time to write. This adds up over time. I'm lucky that interruptions don't phase me - I can write and read with them, pause my brain and resume it fairly easily. And so I think I'll reach these monthly goals.

I've surpassed my minimum this month, but as I'm retreating to the editing cave this long weekend, I don't see the harm in declaring January over in this post. I won't be reading anything again for a week at least, unfortunately.

What are you reading, and do you trick yourself into creating time for good books?

Here are the fabulous titles I've read this month: