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Writing and Publishing

Determining Your Reading List

determine your reading list

Finding time to read and still have time to write and attend to the rest of life is a challenge for me. Yet I know it’s critical to invest in reading to better inform my writing.

Some people, those far more disciplined than I, chart out a reading course for the year, strategically picking books from different genres, both current and classic, along with memoir and nonfiction. By the end of the year, they’ve sampled a broad array of literature.

In an ideal world, I would do the same. But my world is not ideal.

To find the motivation to read, I must select books that grab my attention. If the book bores me, I’ll lay it down and stop reading.

Here’s what works for me.

First, I read mostly novels. I select books that are highly popular (or recently popular), books made into movies (since I love movies), books that come highly recommended, books from favorite authors, and books by friends (who often move to the favorite author category). I occasionally stir in nonfiction, mostly because I should.

Though my reading goes in spurts, I usually read about twenty books a year using this approach.

This isn’t an ideal plan, but it works for me. It’s also better than not reading at all.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!