ABC – Day 5 – Reading time

What do I read?

What do I read?

There’s a Stephen King quote that says: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?

I must admit that I don’t have as much time to read as I would like, however lately I’ve been handed a gift. My younger son is doing a program at the Royal Children’s Hospital and we have been travelling in by train. It’s been great to have this extra reading time. When I was at high school, I would read on the bus going to and from school.

I’m not sure how the things I read impact my writing. Most of the books I read for pleasure are aimed at adults and I write for children, though I do try and read some books aimed at the kids I write for as well. I also read non fiction, most recently I finished a biography about Graeme Clark, the man who invented the bionic ear.

When I’m reading, I try and find books that I enjoy. A librarian friend of mine told me that life is too short to read a book you don’t enjoy. Hearing this was great as there have been a few books lately that I’ve tried and just couldn’t finish…

The books I enjoy include romance, adventure, children’s books, non fiction, or almost anything else. I just like to read a good story or about a topic I’m interested in.

The sorts of books I typically avoid include books in the adult category as I’m just not that interested, and scary stories as they give me nightmares. Given the books I write, I don’t think my writing would change much as the books I avoid are not in the genre I’m wanting to write.

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  1. I agree, scary stories give me the heebie-geebies! I love children’s books, YA and historical fiction, though. I love to read anything that it written well and I think it only adds to my books and my skills as a writer.

  2. Melissa, we really overlap :-). The only things I don’t read are dark tales or heavily sexual works. I’m all about energy. I used to write poetry as well as my nonfiction and curricula. But I often like to read novels that take place in a lush environment, like a beach town or a forested estate. I love British cozies, with the atmospheres of quaint villages. Any advice for length and format of short stories?

    • I love those British cozies too 🙂 A couple of years ago my kids gave me a book by Monica McInerney and I’m hooked as they have lush environments in both Australia & Ireland.

      I like flash fiction – stories under 1000 words.

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