Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hard time reading books?

I've heard a lot of writer's say they don't read the way they used to read before they became writers. A lot of times, they just can't get through a novel they're reading, because they're too critical, not reading the book like a non-writing reader reads--just for the pleasure of reading the book and enjoying the book. This is a problem for me as well. I can't tell you how many times I've began a book, even best-sellers, only to quit reading them, because they just don't measure up to what I expect from a book.  Obviously, the problem is mine. I'm too critical.

I know a way around this problem, where I can once again "read" books just for the pleasure and enjoyment. How? By listening to recorded books. There's a world of difference between listening to someone read the book and reading it yourself. Your inner critic turns off, unless the book is just not your cup of tea. I've listened to many, many books that I couldn't or wouldn't normally read: Meet Me Under the Umbu Tree, Last Voyage of the Valentina, (those two are romances), many thrillers, James Rollins among others, Maeve Binchy, The Horse Whisperer, biographies, science books, just hundreds of different books.

Listening to recorded books may return you to that innocent state in which you can read a book just for the pleasure of it.


Tanya Reimer said...

What a great idea! I honestly haven't read a book just to enjoy it in a long time. When did become work? Not sure. Don't get me wrong, I love reading, but I save a dozen books on my nightstand to read for fun, that never get cracked. There are too many I need to learn from first!

Listening to them might be a solution. I could even to that in the tub! haha!

Jolene Perry said...

I have to consciously TURN my editing side off, especially b/c I'm always editing for SOMEONE.
It's hard.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Actually, reading like a writer has enhanced my enjoyment of books. I may notice at times, "hmm, a little contrived in this place," or, "could have yeasted that up a little," but most of the time I find myself admiring imagery and plot points and other aspects of the craft they got right. Now, some of that may be because I review books for Sacramento Book Review, and am always balancing things out to give a fair review; the other reason may be that I'm a former teacher, and you always look for a student's strengths while encouraging him/her to overcome weaknesses. Or maybe it's just because I love books! :-)