I don’t read. Really, I’m pretty sure I don’t read. There aren’t a lot of book cases in our house. I know this because the three bookcases we own are overfilling with books. There are books on the kitchen table. There are books covering two dressers in a guest bedroom. If you open the nightstand by my bed you’ll find a book or two. They look pretty next to the books sitting on top of my headboard. (It saves the books from my greyhound who knows if he sniffs books he has my complete attention.)
Nope, no books at our house. No fiction ranging from family fiction, to the entire Godfather Series (yes, there were a few books), to sci-fi (blame my husband), to historical fiction. I assure you we don’t have books on mathematics, geology, chemistry, physics, geological engineering, American West history, World War Two, Texas, white supremacy (I’ve got to research the book) or a bunch of books on economics and politics.
I assure you I don’t have a bunch of writing books and marketing books all over the place, including in the credenza. (Who says you need to keep stuff for the table in the credenza?) I assure you that I’ve never read The Odyssey, The Iliad, War and Peace (and then found out my father read the Cliff Notes, not the book he insisted I needed to read!), Withering Heights, or anything else that’s considered a classic. The Complete Works of Shakespeare I have sitting in my bookcase is just there to show. (Might be because I’ve got all the plays in separate books.) I’ve never read the whole Sherlock Holmes series, and I assure you I never read the entire book of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
I hate Bernard Cornwell and the Sharpe Series. That’s why when my husband messes up and the series isn’t in order I don’t go crazy. (One little shelf I want kept sacred! Is that too much to ask?) I assure you that I’ve never run out to buy a new book right away, nor am I upset to realize the American Girl Series are 25 years old. (I remember waiting for the new Molly books to come out. That I never read.)
I promise my husband doesn’t go crazy about my books on dueling, including two books that are reprints from actual handbooks on dueling. I don’t have first edition books that are older than my great-great-grandparents would be if they were alive. I promise I don’t stand in the aisles at the bookstore trying to remember what books I have at home, and if I’ve bought the book that looks great, only to buy it go home and realize I’ve got a copy. Opps! Glad I haven’t done that.
I admit I don’t read every day. I mean, there are only so many hours in the day. And for the “real” job I need to know what’s going on in the world. That means reading the London Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, a few political blogs, and usually a local newspaper or two from the region where I’m working. It takes a bit out of the day, and leaves very little time for reading fiction.
Then you add on some of my fave non-political blogs to read every day. And there are the writing blogs to read. Then there is time to write the novel and the memos for politicians. Really, who has time to read with all that reading?
So when people ask me what my favorite book is, or even what my favorite genre is, I can’t give them an answer. If someone doesn’t read they can’t tell you what books they love. (And one favorite book? Who is anyone kidding? No reader can pick one favorite. It’s like picking a favorite organ in your body.)
All kidding aside, I’ve got to ask how anyone who wants to be a writer/author can actually truthfully say “I hate reading. I don’t read. And I want to write.” It’s like a cook saying “I don’t eat, but I know everyone in the world will love this recipe.” Yeah, crazy! I may not be a real author yet, but I know that reading helps you hone your craft as a writer. Reading is extremely important for everyone, but especially for a writer.
If anyone needs me I’ll be busily not reading the newest book I got on the history of dueling. I promise. I’ll be busy studying another book on how to properly format my manuscript and my synopsis.