The other day, Dave White started a discussion about finding time to write. What about finding time to read? A few other discussions have addressed writers' tendency to mimic too closely whatever they were reading. When you've made writing your first priority, when do you find time to read? How do you keep your reading separate from your writing? What are your reading habits like?

I was just about to make a big book order when I asked myself the ol' question: When will I have time to read all these books?

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I'm not of course abandoning books, but I do consider listening to books on cd or tape as recoup some of the reading time I've lost when I became a parent. I can listen it while walking the dogs or while doing chores and in fact it really brightens those duties.
I've always read voraciously, at every opportunity. As a teenager, I once came
home with a black eye after literally walking into a wall because I was so
engrossed in what I was reading. I've never worried about my reading infiltrating
my writing stylistically; I think I have a strong enough sense of the authorial voice and the
voices of my characters before I start a book to be easily diverted from it.
One of the blissful things about being a writer is that you don't just have to
learn from your own mistakes -- you can learn from those of other people. Every
book is a potential tutorial for our own work, whether we think it's a good book or
not. Arguably, you can learn even more from a bad book, though I don't have
the tolerance to finish many bad books these days. I tend to have several book
ideas in my head at various stages in development, and often it's reading that
will generate the thinking that kicks a project on to the next stage in my mind.
Of course, the downside is that the more craft we learn, the more critical we
become as readers and tha harder it is to lie in the sun and read for pure
pleasure... Always a downside. Sigh...
I've got a long-ass subway ride to and from work - a half hour to an hour, depending on whether the train is running express or not. Then, depending on how busy the bar is, I'll read during my shift (in lieu of actually making money).

I also read before I go to sleep and on the can. Wherever.
Finding the time to read is not really a problem. Squeezing in the housework and the gardening (so we can eat) around the reading is my problem.

I blame my parents (isn't that convenient). I could get out of anything when I was a kid if I waved a book around muttering "homework" whenever there was something to be done on the farm. :)
I've tried listening to books but I'm not an auditory person. I find I've tuned out way too often, and it's a pain to try to go back to figure out where you were. Something starts me on a train of thought and I'm gone,. With a book in hand, that doesn't happen - or if it does, you can easily find where you stopped paying attention.

I also can't read more than one book at a time, unless it's something like how to eat healthy or exercise or so forth. :) I seem to be an all-or-nothing kind of person. I hate starting something and not finishing it.

I think for me it's more of having too much going on right now so I'm almost afraid to get lost in a book.

And there's also a sense of being lost - as my world expands, there's so much out there, how do I find what i would like? And then I go back and reread an old favorite rather than face the stress of trying to find something new.
I can't do audio either.

I estimate that I read a novel every other month or so. It's awful. But with the kids around, it's often a choice between reading and writing, and as I commented on a blog recently, only one pays.

When I do read, I tend to do it in the evening and on weekends. Fortunately I'm a speed reader, so it's not unusual for me to burn through a book in a day or two. But that's with the husband around and no prior obligations!
For me, it's just like anything else I value... i MAKE time for it.
I get most of my book reading done while working the elliptical machine at the Y.... or riding the ferry into San Francisco for work.

& I've got a serious magazine-jones. Had it since adolescence. I've gotten to the point where I only allow myself to buy / read a magazine if I've first read a book. Otherwise, I'd read only magazines. And that would be awful.


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