So Many Books…

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

~~ How tall is your “to read” stack? Or maybe your “already read” stack is the tallest? In this stack I’ve got a mix. Some I’ve read. Some I hope to read soon and some I’ve had a while that keep getting pushed to the bottom of the stack by new books. There are even some I might give away in a book giveaway in the weeks ahead. How do you decide what to read next? Do you make your stack with the most favored book next in line on top or do you like to shuffle through your stacks to see which book grabs your interest on any particular day? I’m definitely a shuffler.
~~ Another question – do you read only one book at a time or do you have several going at once? I used to read only one at a time, but then I decided I could dip into more than one book and manage to keep the stories straight. Usually one of the books is nonfiction or not as compelling a page turner as the other. Right now I’m finishing up Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Somehow it got pushed aside before I got to the end and I’m just now picking it back up. I finished Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier after the Christmas madness was over and now I’m about halfway through Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. In addition I have a couple of devotional books with bookmarks holding my place. And I’ve got dozens more books of all types I’m anxious to read. But I also have a book I’m anxious to write. That means I’ve got to read a research book or two. There’s always a book to read and nearly always a chore to keep you away from that book you’re dying to finish.
~~ Do you keep a list of the books you read so that at the end of the year you can count them up? I’ve seen some amazing reports of books read on Facebook. One reader said over 400 and another said over 600. Think about it. That’s more than one a day for the first reader and almost two a day for the second reader. Even if I counted every time I read A Monster at the End of This Book starring sweet, lovable Grover and didn’t just count it once, I wouldn’t hit 400, much less 600. As you may have guessed, my grandkids love that book almost as much as I enjoy reading it aloud. But I do admire anyone who manages to read so many books. I don’t only admire them, I’m amazed by them.
~~ Do you do book reviews for fun or for pay? I’ve done a few book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t find it easy. You have to condense this several hundred page story down to a few sentences without putting in any spoilers. At least I wouldn’t want to put spoilers in any review I did. Then you have to say what you liked or didn’t like. Of course since any reviews I’ve done have been just for fun, I don’t post reviews of books I don’t like. Mostly because I know there are other people out there who like things I don’t like, who enjoy stories I don’t enjoy. I certainly wouldn’t want them to be put off reading a book they would find entertaining by something I wrote. Plus since I’m a writer, I know how bad it feels to read a review that slams your book.
~~ You can get a dozen favorable, even gushing reviews and that one review that says you write like a kid who flunked kindergarten is the one that plays over and over in your head. Which is crazy. But then who ever said writers weren’t crazy – at least some of the time. If we weren’t crazy, we wouldn’t read those reviews. We’d just trust our own instincts and bask in the loving words of our friends and relatives. Ahh, but we want the other pats on the back too. We want everybody to love our characters and their stories as much as we do. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t.
~~ I’m doing edits again. This time on the book that will come out next January. It’s got some great characters that surely everybody will love. You see hope is always alive in a writer’s heart.
~~ One of those hopes is that you have a great rest of the week and some restful hours to make a dent in your “to read” stack.