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How do you read?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Kelise, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    So, a few questions for us all. Feel free to answer one or all or none of them at all, just trying to generate discussion :)

    Do you read one book at a time, or many?

    Do you only read fantasy, or do you read many genres?

    How many books do you read in a year? Many authors say you have to read between 60-80 books a year in order to be well-read enough to write.

    Some people who write say they don't read at all.



    Personally I read a few books at a time, but they have to be different genres, or at least different enough from each other so I don't get confused (I relate things far too easily). I read often, about two books a week.

    I would love to be able to read two fantasy books at the same time. Has anyone else had this problem and overcome it?
     
  2. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    ired minimum 2 books at a time because my hunger to read has become that strong manily i read scifi and fantasy genres but open to others even read biz book which normally i find boring but very funny one niche by james harkin it has a narrative now a days i read mainly ya fiction because thats area i want to go into but still reading classics too
     
  3. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    I read one book at a time, and mainly fantasy, but I do branch out. The number is hard to put a finger on because I order about 5 or 6 books at a time, and if I like them they will probably finish them in 2 weeks or less. If not, it can take awhile. I'll read a lot in a short span, then sometimes go almost a month without reading anything. I would guess around 25-30 a year, maybe a little more.
     
  4. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    It depends. Usually I try not to have more than three books going, though they do tend to be different genres. Just recently, as in I finished yesterday, I was reading Hero With a Thousand Faces and about halfway through I shortened the time I spent reading it and read the Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I mostly read fantasy, but I do read some sci-fi and mystery/thriller.

    As for how many books I read in a year... I have absolutely no clue I have never kept track before. Something I plan to change for 2012.
     
  5. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Someone once suggested to me that I should read at least four books a year. I laughed. If I read only one book every three months I'd lose what little intellect I have!

    I usually read one book at a time, but sometimes I'll read two if they are different genres. I have no idea how someone can read more than two at a time. I would guess that Starconstant is a talented reader. As for how many, I'm not sure. Thinking back on this year, I've read at least twelve novels, aside from smaller books and research material.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  6. I used to read quite a lot. Then I started writing. :) When I do read, it's almost always on my phone (Android G1, using the Kindle for Android app). I've probably read 20 or 30 books that way. I typically only read one book at a time unless there's some specific reason to do otherwise.
     
  7. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

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    For me, it's rather irregular. As I've posted in the other thread, I'm definitly not reading 60 or 80 books a year, at least not if I don't count the ones for assignments.
    I usually don't read more than one fantasy book at once, but sometimes, I have something else going on the same time. Fantasy probably makes the majority of the stuff I read, but there are books from other genres as well. Those I don't choose by genre but by subject matter, romance is one genre that's never feautered though. Two people falling in love as the only plot point just doesn't interest me at all. If the romance is mixed with something more interesting this might change though.

    I probably should read more as I used to when I was younger, and radically reduce the time spent on the internet, maybe something to try out for next year. ;) And maybe the fact that I'm most interested in fantasy but don't like most of the fantasy books out there is a problem as well, who knows? But there are some I really do like, and I'm always trying to find more.
     
  8. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    Do you read one book at a time, or many?
    It depends on the books. I'm usually reading one fiction book at a time, but I do read a lot of other stuff at the same time. I usually have a couple of non-fiction books I'm going through while I'm reading a fiction book. And I read stuff for work on electronics and nukes.

    Do you only read fantasy, or do you read many genres?
    Right now, I'm not reading a lot of fantasy at all. Fiction-wise, I'm reading "paranormal romance" genre. But I'll read anything that gets too close to my face. I am slanted toward SF more than fantasy, though I prefer to write in fantasy more than SF. But I also enjoy history and historical novels, selective horror, and a smattering of more general audience novels.

    How many books do you read in a year? Many authors say you have to read between 60-80 books a year in order to be well-read enough to write.
    I used to read that much, I think. Take the number of books I owned and divided by the number of years I've been owning, that's about 115 books a year. It can take me anything between a couple days to a week to read an average novel.

    Some people who write say they don't read at all.
    When I'm writing a lot, I tend not to read as much. I don't think anyone can write if they've never read anything at all. I've known a lot of big name authors in the SF/Fantasy genre, and they all read extensively. Not just in their own genre, but they tend to have a thirst for books of the type they write and a thirst for knowledge in general.
     
  9. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    Do you read one book at a time, or many?
    It depends on the books. I'm usually reading one fiction book at a time, but I do read a lot of other stuff at the same time. I usually have a couple of non-fiction books I'm going through while I'm reading a fiction book. And I read stuff for work on electronics and nukes.

    Do you only read fantasy, or do you read many genres?
    Right now, I'm not reading a lot of fantasy at all. Fiction-wise, I'm reading "paranormal romance" genre. But I'll read anything that gets too close to my face. I am slanted toward SF more than fantasy, though I prefer to write in fantasy more than SF. But I also enjoy history and historical novels, selective horror, and a smattering of more general audience novels.

    How many books do you read in a year? Many authors say you have to read between 60-80 books a year in order to be well-read enough to write.
    I used to read that much, I think. Take the number of books I owned and divided by the number of years I've been owning, that's about 115 books a year. It can take me anything between a couple days to a week to read an average novel.

    Some people who write say they don't read at all.
    When I'm writing a lot, I tend not to read as much. I don't think anyone can write if they've never read anything at all. I've known a lot of big name authors in the SF/Fantasy genre, and they all read extensively. Not just in their own genre, but they tend to have a thirst for books of the type they write and a thirst for knowledge in general.
     
  10. OblivionJones

    OblivionJones Dreamer

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    Do you read one book at a time, or many?
    I usually have two to three going at one time. I'll have one book of fiction, one of history and one of something I'm trying to learn about skill-wise.

    Do you only read fantasy, or do you read many genres?
    I read anything and everything. If you see me leaving a bookstore or the library on a good day you'll see the majority of my stack is fantasy or science fiction but you'll also see mystery, horror, poetry and classic literature in there as well. I did study lit in college, after all. I keep up on it. That's just in terms of fiction, of course. I like books on history, music theory, astrophysics, metaphysics and speculative history.

    How many books do you read in a year? Many authors say you have to read between 60-80 books a year in order to be well-read enough to write.
    Last year I read fifty books. I usually read between 30-50 per year. This is why the library is convenient because I really don't have space or funds enough to get that many books. For how slow I feel that I read, I manage to get through books pretty quickly.

    Some people who write say they don't read at all.
    I have a hard time buying that. It's like when I meet musicians who claim not to be very fond of music. Part of what I feel drives a person to create is having awesome taste in the medium and desiring to produce it personally.
     
  11. Erica

    Erica Minstrel

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    Well, let's see. The ratios aren't exact.

    -I read probably about 75% fantasy (mostly epic or s&s but an occasional urban or parallel world type tale).
    -10% sci fi (I'd read more but there doesn't seem to be as much of it anymore)
    -10% general fiction
    -5% non fiction (mostly stuff about dog training and biology)

    I'll sometimes have a couple going at once-usually a non fiction book that I'm 'picking at' in between novels. But if I get caught up in a novel I started before I finished another, I'll usually finish it first and maybe come back to the other.

    I used to be able to devour a novel in a couple of days to a week depending on its length, density and the amount of time I have to read. So there may have been a time when I read 60 or so books a year. I read more slowly now, largely due to my aging eyes slowing me down abut mostly to dedicating a lot more of my free time to writing. I probably only consume a novel every couple of weeks now:eek:. Lately, I'm trying to re-read some of my old favorites with an eye to seeing how authors I've enjoyed handle certain things in their work and also to read some new novels from favorite authors of mine or 'new' writers (new to me at least) who are recommended to me.

    I'm leery of people who tell you that there is any one thing that is absolutely required for success in any endeavor. Saying you have to read 60-80 novels a year (especially given the length of most modern novels in the genres I read at least) seems a bit steep, since most writers spend a lot of time, ah, writing and most also have day jobs. But I also think it is a good idea to read as much as you can manage and to read a lot of the kinds of books you hope to write (but dip outside the genre too, since there are some things with transfer between).

    I think one reason I can't write a short story to save my life is because I hardly ever read them. I'll need to remedy that at some point.
     
  12. DameiThiessen

    DameiThiessen Minstrel

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    /reads one chapter

    "That gives me ideas! I need to go work on my own story!"

    /leaves the book and doesn't pick it up for weeks
     
  13. mirrorrorrim

    mirrorrorrim Minstrel

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    I usually read two or three books at a time. One is my "hard" book–usually either non-fiction, a classic, or another book that for some reason I'm having a hard time getting through. This is my long-term reading project. My second book is whatever fun, quick read I'm currently working on. These seldom last more than a month, and, depending on the book, might only take a day or two (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter and Hunger Games). Then I also usually have a book I've read before that I'm trying to reread. I'm almost universally slower at reading something a second time. I have a pretty good long term memory, so I think sometimes I just remember too much of a book for it to be very interesting to me when I read it a second time.

    Right now, my long read is The Federalist (by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay), my short read is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (I just finished Alice's Adventures in Wonderland yesterday; free Kindle books are great!), and my re-read is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    In addition, I also read certain religious books, but this probably isn't the place to mention those.

    Definitely many different genres. In fact, I try to read a little bit of everything. I feel it makes me more well-rounded as both a person and as a writer.

    I disagree strongly with "many authors." To write, I feel the most important thing is experience–in writing, in reading, in life, in relationships, in everything. I don't think that one type is necessarily more important than another. I feel this includes writing–I've known some writers that write a lot of words, but not a lot of quality. Of course, I guess that's part of what an editor is for! :p

    But to answer the actual question, it varies a lot. Some years I've probably read 100+ books; other years, I'm lucky to finish ten.

    I hear some directors don't watch many other people's movies, either. I don't find this hard to believe, although I'd imagine most authors read a lot at some point in their life. Honestly, after having read as many fantasy books as I have (which is a lot less, I'm sure, than many here), I really don't learn much about the genre or writing in general from the newer books I read. On the other hand, some classic works I can study time and time again, learning new techniques with each revisit. So, I think it's important to also take into account the quality of what you're reading. Having read a large quantity of cheap derivations isn't necessarily something to be proud of. At least, that's my opinion. Some may disagree.

    Thanks for making this great thread!

    :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  14. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    I'm usually busy juggling about five books at any given time, which has led to accusations of literary promiscuity :p At least two of those will be fantasy, one will be a re-read (usually Terry Pratchett, so fantasy again) and the other two will be modern fiction and a classic. Although the majority of my reading has always been done in the fantasy/sci-fi/horror genre (and long may it remain so) I do enjoy branching out and exploring different genres. Most books I ever read in a year was around 75, these days it's more like 50-odd.
     
  15. Edgemaker

    Edgemaker Scribe

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    I have the misfortune of only being able to read one book at a time. I am not a book worm, I am a book TRAIN! Once i get into a book I can plow through it, to the point I will be constantly reading it often till 2 am in the morning (especially for fantasy.)

    Hard to say, how many books in a year I read, I am just constantly reading and writing. Whether its my own essays, short stories etc. Which I think is an answer to the Last question. I believe if you have the ability and the want to write then go ahead. If you really want to write then belt it out, but on the balance accept criticism, and learn how to use grammar, so that people can actually read what you write. I also think its a great idea to expand a bit and to broaden your horizons so you dont get stale. I am reading a book right now that is called Writing about Literature by B. Bernard Cohen.
     
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I'm constitutionally incapable of reading just one book at a time. I will upon occasion read a book from beginning to end without picking up anything else while I'm doing so (whenever Brust comes out with a new Dragaera novel, for instance), but there's never a time when I've actually finished all the books I've started and haven't given up on. At present, this has me in the middle of sixteen books (I had to go count…), which is probably a bit below average for me.

    I read a wide variety of material… as most of you have no doubt already guessed. :p Fantasy actually makes up a fairly small percentage of the total.

    I couldn't even guess how many books I read in a year, especially since many are re-reads, and since many of the ones I start only get worked on intermittently.

    I can't imagine anybody writing without reading. (Of course, I have difficulty imagining anybody not reading, period, regardless of what they do.) I can't imagine why anybody would write if they didn't read: what made them think of doing so in the first place? I definitely can't imagine writing well without reading… constantly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

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    I try to only read one book at a time because I like to fully focus on all the details on one book but I often will read little bits here and there of other works.

    I only read books that are interesting. I am unbaised when it comes to genre but if it dosen't appeal to me I wont read it probably. When I go to the bookstore and the descritpion on the back tells me the story is about a "middle aged woman who goes back to live with her parents in a small countrytown" and that's it? Where's the appeal? Who is going to pick up the book and say, "Oh man I gotta get this!"

    That's why I tend to read fantasy/sci fi because its going to be interesting. I am a HUGE Warhammer 40K nerd and I have the entire Horus Heresy series and a few other books aswell, my collection of books is actually rather small, maybe only twenty. I also love reading things regarding philosophy and mythology too (especially mythology because with fiction you push the boundaries of your imagination, but with mythology, it pushes those boundaries even further)
     
  18. Lepton

    Lepton Dreamer

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    I only read one or two books at a time. I have a hard time reading many due to the fact that I tend to get absorbed in a single book and all other books are ignored until I finish reading it. I am reading almost constantly, too, so I read and write, but I read more than just fantasy when I'm looking for something else to stick me nose in. I like reading a good, pure horror story that can relate to the real world, or books surrounded around apocalypses.

    I'm honestly not sure how many books I read each year. If I had to estimate a number, I would say around 40-60 a year, depending on how busy I am or how interested I am in a book/books at the time.
     
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