- What I read has changed. I don’t have as much time to read historical fiction as I used to have. All my life I’ve kept journals of the books I’ve read and I would compare years to see what my yearly count was.I still read for about 20 minutes before I turn out the light at night and I read during the day as time permits. Okay, that last part is just funny. Time permits? Not so much. These days, what I read might be edits from my editor, how-to-write books by writers who have gone before, writing magazines–I love The Writer and the Historical Novels Review!, or books in other genres by writers I’ve met in person or online.
- How I read has changed.Plot. I was such a reader for plot I would forget the characters’ names and have to go back and check them out. Paragraphs of description were annoying and I became a great skimmer for the ‘good stuff.’ I preferred books that got to the details and wove in character, setting, themes, as needed and certainly not obtrusively. I still love to see how it will all turn out but I find myself looking at the writing differently. Rather than rushing through the story I am noticing just how the author wedged in that essential bit of backstory or just why he or she chose third person or first person. I see the plan behind the story like the framework of a house. I notice whether the framework is steel or wood timbers. And I learn for my own writing.
- How I record what I’ve read has changed. As mentioned earlier, I was a great keeper of my reading record. Now I consider whether the author might be someone I’ll interview on this blog. Shall I do a review on Goodreads? I ask myself. Or will I just let the book and my reading of it quietly die? And I love this change as I’ve discovered amazing people through interviews, reviews, and contacting the author to tell them I had written about them. Just this past weekend I finished Barbara Kyle’s 4th book, The Queen’s Gamble, a great read. And now she has the 5th in The Thornleigh Series out so I’ll put it on my list as well. How did I meet Kyle? I found her writing course online a few years ago, took it, signed up for a couple of her workshops, and now I am a Kyle convert. Just this morning I found that she is speaking at Stratford’s Shakespearean Festival this summer and I’ve marked the date on my calendar.
How have your reading habits changed over the years? What has affected them, having children, working full time, change of jobs, change of circumstance or taste? Consider leaving a comment below.
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The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler