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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.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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