What Do Writers Read?

Do you ever wonder what book you should pick up and read next?

Does your to-be-read pile threaten to topple the lamp on your night table?

Or do  you think that if you only read what your favorite author reads you’ll be as successful as she is?

This morning my email included a post from a writer to whose posts I am subscribed. Brinda Berry always has something interesting, unusual, or delightfully techie and today was no exception. She introduces the post this way:


WWW WEDNESDAYS… is a weekly event started by MizB of Should Be Reading.
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions… • What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?
Then she goes on to answer the three questions. I thought I might do the same just this once.
What am I currently reading?
Casual Vacancy 2  picture
JK Rowling has ventured away from her Harry Potter series with The Casual Vacancy, which I received for Christmas. I am about 200 pages into it and it is slow going for me. A friend we met in the airport said that it was a slow start but quite worth it and I value his opinion. Still, I am waiting for the story to grab me. More news on this book when I finish it.
What did I recently finish reading?
I recently finished reading two books, both short and neither historical fiction (my fave reading genre) but they were good. Little Red Riding Wolf, by Jessica Aspen was a delightful romp full of muscles and a strong female. I wrote a short review on Goodreads here. Note: naughty words and steamy sex.
No Brother of Mine
The second book I just finished is No Brother of Mine by Matt L. Holmes and my short review is found on Goodreads here. This book is cleverly written with the details of the past juxtaposed against the present for the hero of the story. I found the characters believable and likeable and was drawn into their various lives. The fact that Matt chooses to publish his books himself was intriguing as he does a good job.
What do I plan to read next?
This is the most difficult of the three questions because I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go to the used book store here in Hilton Head (we’re on a working holiday) and wander among the books and the yarns seeking inspiration. Or maybe I’ll receive my copy of Stephen Koch’s book, The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction in the mail. Or maybe I’ll find something wonderful this afternoon when my husband and I take a break from working and hit the book store here on the island. Whatever it is, I’ll be a happy reader. And writer.
Do you have certain genres or authors that you especially love to read? Would you care to write your own post following the guidelines above? Could you ever consider going on a holiday and not taking lots of reading? Leave a comment revealing your own reading habits and how-tos or anything else that suits your readerly fancy.

15 thoughts on “What Do Writers Read?

  1. I have heard similar remarks about Rowling’s book. I wondered about her debut in adult fiction. The blurb didn’t grab me enough to put it on my TBR list, but a friend’s recommendation would.

    I do read other books besides YA and fantasy. I read all three of Gillian Flynn’s books in a row.

    I still need to read Jessica’s book. It is in my genre. Lately, I try to read books written by writers I know, but I don’t guarantee a review. Thanks for the mention, and I like knowing which books you are picking up to read!


  2. I read as many crime novels as I possibly can, especially those the are in a similar genre to what I write. That way I never feel guilty about spending time reading – it’s like I’m doing my homework and loving it.


  3. Hi Elaine,
    Thanks for the boost! I’m glad you enjoyed Little Red Riding Wolf. I had fun writing it and I hope others have fun reading it. As for reading. The last book I finished was Tamara Hogan’s Chase Me. A fun sci-fi paranormal romance. I also finished Crack the Indie Code by Robert Chazz Chute. If you are looking for some commentary about the book industry and indie publishing in general, it was a good book. Not a hard How-to book, but I enjoyed his sense of humor. In 2012 my goal was 12 books, and I read 15 (actually I think I read more, but I forgot to put them into the Goodreads counter.) I set this year’s goal at 15. I’m pretty sure I’ll hit it way before the end of the year if I manage to input the books!

    Love to hear how Casual Vacancy goes. I’m with Brinda, haven’t read it, but if you recommend it I might just pick it up!


    • Good for you, Jessica, reading more books than you planned in 2012. I never set reading goals but maybe I should. I do keep track of books I’ve read and have for over 20 years. Now I do my short reviews on Goodreads but I have books full of my comments on my reading over the years. those books are a good reference when I can’t remember a book.


  4. A great post! Reminded me I have a huge “To Read” list that I need to get started on before the break is over and all my reading time becomes devoted to school…

    Thank you for the inspiring post!


  5. An interesting idea, Elaine. As I am at present a romance writer, I make a point of reading romance novels written mostly by my favorite authors as well as some by new or different authors. Of course I find myself analyzing the writing as much as enjoying the story. I also read a lot of inspirational books. I am presently reading Wayne Dyer’s new book Wishes Fulfilled and Nora Roberts Daring to Dream.

    Keeping notes on the books you read is a novel and useful idea. thanks. I think I will do that in future. Happy reading and writing.


    • Hi Carol! I,too, find myself analyzing the writer’s techniques as I read so that I guess I am always working even when I’m reading for pleasure. I’ve read some Nora Roberts but don’t know Wayne Dyer–another new author for me to explore! Thanks for visiting and weighing in, Carol.


  6. Great post, Elaine and Brinda. I just ordered James Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Thriller, so I hope to be reading that soon. Like Carol, I write romance, so I have a stack of my fellow author’s books to read and review. I’m reading Once Upon a Couch at the moment by Kristine Overbrook and quite enjoying it. I read Karen Marie Moning’s Iced over the holidays for the continuation of her fever series. She left us dangling with a major cliff hanger argggg.


    • Does that mean we can expect a thriller from you one day soon, Sharon? And here I am waiting for that historical fiction to see the light of day! I feel the same as you do about cliff hanger endings. They seem to be a cheat on the idea that stories have to have an ending, whether we like that ending or not. So I agree with your argggg although I haven’t read that book. Thanks for visiting, Sharon.


  7. Great discussion….I like the idea of making a list of books to read. I used to do that…and now I’m wondering when and why that stopped. I love hearing about the books that others are reading and have found to be great reads. I can start my new list with all of your great ideas!


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