Do you think you read a lot? Is that good? And what constitutes a lot?
I thought I probably read 2 or 3 books a week but wasn’t sure, so I decided to keep track of what I was reading. Partly I wanted to see how much I actually read. I also wanted to see what genres I was reading and to record what I thought of the books. I don’t intend to do a review of each book, I’ll merely giving it a star rating. I decided I would also include books I had started and not finished – because yes, these days that does happen quite frequently.
So, 21 days into 2016, where have I got to? I’ve read and completed ten books, and started but decided not to finish one. Of the ten I finished, five are YA and the others a complete mixture of romantic comedy, saga, women’s contemporary fiction and fantasy. I haven’t finished any non-fiction books although I’ve dipped into one or two. I gave two books 5 stars, six books 4 stars and two 3 stars. If I was going to give a book fewer than 3 stars I probably wouldn’t finish it.
Is ten books too many or too few? Does that make me a quick reader, or someone with too much time on their hands? In my defence, I have to say I watch very little television, so reading is my number one leisure activity. If I carry on at this rate I will have read around 160 books by the end of the year. That’s a lot of books, but given how many books there are out there, I’m also very aware of the thousands of good books I won’t have read. Which is a very depressing thought.
Would you like to read more? As you might have gathered from the above, I’m very much in favour of that! Here are a few tips from a recent article in the BBC on-line magazine (full article here).
- Read after doing physical exercise. Apparently this increases your reading speed!
- Read using an e-reader, which makes turning the page easier and quicker.
- If you are bored after 50 pages (or whatever limit you agree with yourself) give up on that book and go on to a better one.
- Don’t think you need to put aside long periods of time for reading. Read in 15 minute gaps when you are waiting for dinner to cook, a bus to arrive, etc.
- Don’t feel guilty about time spent reading. I particularly like this one!
And for those people out there who want to write but say they can’t find time to read, remember what Stephen King said: ‘If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.’
Go read those books!
Gill-Marie writes YA mystery/romances as Gill-Marie Stewart. As Gilly Stewart she also writes women’s contemporary fiction. The first book in her YA series about George and Finn is Music and Lies (try out the first chapter here).
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