One of the things I wanted to do when I started writing the first book in my Jeremy Shuttle Adventures series was to temporarily stop reading similar genre books so as not to be unduly influenced in my story ideas and writing style.
Recently, I joined Goodreads, a home for recommending and reviewing books as well as for authors to promote and offer glimpses into their stories. I started rating various books I had read in the past, intending to add reviews as time allowed. As I worked on the first few reviews, I realized it was tougher than I thought due to the time-lapse. I remembered the stories and my overall impressions, which made giving it a “rating”, easy enough. Adding some meat to the review to make it useful for potential readers trying to decide whether to buy the book was difficult without committing to re-reading the books.
That was when I discovered a disturbing fact. I had not only stopped reading books in my genre, I had simply stopped reading books! Ridiculous for anyone; worse for a writer. How you learn the craft of writing comes as much from reading others’ works as it does from practicing your own. That left me doubly cheated, losing both the pleasure of reading and the education of writing.
Though immersed in writing Book 3 of my trilogy, I have re-opened the “library” in my house. I was abashed to note how many books I own that have not been read. Looking at the glass differently, I am excited by how much I have to look forward to reading without a visit to the library or bookstore. Expect to see the results of some of that reading on Goodreads.