From the time I learned to read in first grade, I was hooked on books. Reading became my escape when life became topsy-turvy. Books have been a mainstay in life for as long as I can remember. When we were little, my mother used to read to us all the time.
I’ve read to my boys since they were infants. I’m thankful they love reading as much as I do. Every year they receive books as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and upon my return from the ACFW conference.
For me, a life without books is too hard to comprehend.
Imagine my surprise when a fellow writer commented she didn’t have time to read. With her busy schedule, finding time to write was a challenge.
I can understand that. We’re all busy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t. And our time is what we make it. I don’t know what happens in my friend’s life minute by minute, but I do believe if she wanted to read, she could find stolen moments to do it.
For me, I read every night before bed. I head to bed half an hour before lights out, and pick up the latest book on my headboard. Last night, I just finished Point of No Return by Susan May Warren. Confession time here–I read past my bedtime. I had just two chapters left and had to read the ending. After reading, I sighed in contentment over another wonderful SMW novel. Reading Point of No Return made me want to go back and re-read In Sheep’s Clothing and Wiser Than Serpents to visit with those wonderful secondary characters from Point whose stories were developed in Wiser Than Serpents.
Reading is an escape. Those characters aren’t calling to me for dinner or to help find that misplaced paper. Reading gives me time to myself. Women, particularly moms, tend to care for everyone else and care for themselves last. Reading expands my knowledge. I’ve learned a lot by reading novels–different topics I normally wouldn’t choose to research.
Reading as a writer helps me to analyze how best selling authors craft their words to create those stories that linger in my thoughts long after I’ve finished the book. This past week, my Ponderer friend Alena blogged on the MBT Ponderers blog about analyzing authors’ writing techniques. She provided terrific information for writers to consider. In the comments section, I mentioned how the thought of writing in a book horrified me, but then I realized it’s part of my learning process of becoming a better writer.
Your turn: Do you read on a daily basis? What book are you currently reading now? How do you use published novels to help you in your writing journey?