Sunday, June 30, 2013

39 Question of the Week: How Many Books Do You Read Each Month?

Hey everyone! We took a break from Question of the Week to celebrate ONE MILLION VISITORS to this blog (and you’re one of them! Thank you!), and now we’re back. Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as writing is talking about writing. So each week here at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
for June 30, 2013
How Many Books Do You Read Each Month?

A quick question this week: On average, how many books do you read every month?

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My answer: Before I started seriously pursuing publication, I probably read six to eight books a month. When I got my first e-reader, the number of books I read each month multiplied—boy, did it multiply! With a simple click on that magical little device, I could download any book I wanted in seconds. The ease and convenience of my e-reader doubled the number of books I read each month.

Then I started writing. For real this time. Any spare moment I had, I wrote instead of read. While my word count increased, the number of books I read each month diminished. Which was really, really sad. And it was bad for my craft. Every writer knows that the more you read, the better you write. So, to improve my writing skills—but mostly because I just missed it so much—I started reading voraciously again. Writing (and revising) still take up much of my time, but I make sure to read every single day. I’m still not reading as much as I used to. Unless I’m deep, deep, deep in writing/revision mode, I probably average three or four books a month, about one per week. I’d like to read more—my want-to-read list is a mile long—but for now, I think it’s a good balance for me.


WHAT ABOUT YOU? How many books do you read each month? Does writing take away from your reading time? Conversely, do you wish you’d spend less time reading, and more time writing?

39 comments:

  1. I read a lot, but blog reading takes up some of the time I'd be otherwise reading books because I read blogs on average 1 and 1/2 hours a day. But that's important reading as well to connect with other writers and book review bloggers. I don't watch TV so I read about 8 books a month. I maximize my reading by listening to audio books when I walk and sometimes when I garden and do housework.

    And yes, I need to balance this out more so I write more. It's a constant struggle. Great question and I loved hearing about how much you read.

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    1. Wow, Natalie! 90 minutes a day of blog reading, plus 8 books a month! That's a LOT of reading!

      I'm trying to get into audiobooks because I have a 45 minute commute to work. I've tried several times, but on audio, my mind keeps wandering and the story never sinks in. I'm glad audiobooks work for you! You have inspired me to give audiobooks another try. Thanks!

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  2. Just discovered your blog! As an aspiring writer - it is a gold mine of information and inspiration - thank you!

    As for how much I read - right now I am writing a lot, but probably reading 6 to 8 books a month in all genres. I agree whole-heartedly - reading really does benefit my writing!

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    1. Welcome to Adventures in YA Publishing, WMM, and we're so glad you find it helpful. I'm incredibly impressed with how much writing and reading you do!

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  3. I can't imagine not reading. My number varies depending on my work schedule - but I probably average 4-8 books in a month. My balance between reading & writing fluctuates depending on how much brain power my day job demands :)

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    1. Ha, I totally understand, Jemi. Sometimes my day job sucks all the brain power from me too. Settling down with a good book revitalizes me, though, and if the book is really good, it inspires me to get back to writing my own.

      Reading 4-8 books a month is impressive, with or without a brainpower-sucking day job!!!

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  4. I started reading a lot more when I got my iPad, but this year I've really fallen behind. Maybe one to three books a month? I'm using this summer to read more though.

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    1. I know, right? iPads/e-readers/tablets make reading so much more convenient. My kids, too, read a ton more now than they ever did, now that they have their own e-readers.

      Glad you're using the summer to read more! There's nothing better than sitting outside in the shade with a glass of lemonade and a good book. Ahh. Heaven.

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  5. Lately I have been averaging maybe 8-12 a month while I was letting a first draft simmer. Now that I am in the throes of editing and revising, I expect that to go down to 4-6. I have been trying to soak in as much YA as possible since I started this book, my first in the genre.

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    1. Impressive reading rate, Melissa. Welcome to YA! It's wonderful here. Best of luck with your first YA manuscript!

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  6. Like you, my time is much more taken up by writing than it used to be. My 2-3 books per week reading pace is no longer feasible. I consider it a win if I read a book a week. Sometimes I manage 6 in a month but that usually includes reading a couple of books for my educational marketing freelance work. Congrats one the MILLION, btw. Your fantastic following is well-deserved. This is an amazing, helpful and inspiring blog!

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    1. Thanks, Stasia! I'm glad you find this blog so helpful!

      It's so easy to get caught up with writing, isn't it? A book a week is my average too, and I think it's a lot more than the general population. So we're doing just fine. :-)

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  7. I read so. much. On top of being a writer and just loving books, I'm a bookseller. That means I get books for free. Sometimes there are so many books just laying around my house that it kind of paralyzes me and I don't know what to read next! But I think I average about three or four books a week. So twelve-sixteen a month.

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    1. Oh my god, I wish I was you! Reading as much as you do, you must be a fantastic bookseller. I'll bet your patrons love asking you for recommendations!

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  8. I read lots of picture books, some mid-grade & YA. I'd say 15 PB and 3-4 novels/month. Probably need to do less reading and more writing...

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    1. Incredible, Sue! It must be so fun to read PBs. I haven't read one since I taught preschool. I read a little MG because that's what my daughter is reading now. Thanks for the comment!!!

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  10. I am wowed by the reading power in this post. I try to average one YA, one MG, and one audiobook per month. During the school year I read aloud daily to my students as well.

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    1. That's great, Leslie! Audiobooks take forever long to finish, so that's lots of reading time. Good for you!

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  11. Reading feeds my writing and I try to start with a bit of reading each morning before I begin my day's writing/revision work. It's like I need to put words into my soul/brain/heart before I can spit any out my fingers.

    I used to read 2-4 books a week, but with all the deadlines these days, it's about 4-8 books per month. I *always* have a stack of about 40 sitting around my bed . . . and they all have to be very patient with me. :-)

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    1. Heh heh, the books on your nightstand are balanced precariously like a game of Jenga, aren't they?

      I know what you mean about reading before you write. I usually read while I'm drying my hair in the morning and that seems to jump-start my writing/revising for the day.

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    2. Sounds tricky to balance the book and the hair dryer, Clara! You got your own Jenga game going there! :-)

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  12. I read 3-4 a month. I'd much rather be writing. Plus there's the blogging and e-mailing and everything else. Otherwise I'm sure I could get a lot more in. :)

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    1. I hear ya, Suzi. Blogging is fun but it takes up a lot of time! And with smartphones, our email is always THERE. We can't get away from it (I guess we could keep our phones in a different room, but come on. Let's not get crazy).

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  13. I read - on average - five a month, both print and ebook. I usually have two books on the go, and the one that grabs me gets my undivided attention.

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    1. Cool, Donna. Before I started reading on my tablet, I always had one book to read upstairs, one to read downstairs, and one in my purse to read on the go.

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  14. When I am in college, I don't have time to read more than one a month -- sometimes none a month -- for fun. If I do read more than that, my schoolwork, sleep, and writing suffer. When college let out for the summer, I went on a book binge and read 8 books in my first 2 weeks back. The frantic pace of reading has slowed, but that's because I haven't found time to go to the library.

    To make up for not really having time to read during the school year, I read things like short stories and articles online.

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    1. I hardly ever had the chance to read for fun in college, Laura. I remember reading a Stephen King book---Tommyknockers, I think--and feeling like I was cheating on my studies. It was worth it, though! Like you, I went nuts over the summers, trying to read as much as possible.

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    2. Yeah, that sounds about right! Most of my reading was taken up with assigned stuff. The only way I didn't feel guilty about reading other books was reading "The Best of HP Lovecraft" stories, which was a gift, or reading something non-fiction and related to my classes somehow. I actually found a really neat book about Macbeth that way.

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    1. LOL. No matter how many books we can read, it will NEVER feel like enough!

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  16. Pretty steady regardless of my writing load at about 6 books a month (all fiction) because I have two time-slots a day when I read — an hour at the end of the day and an hour an night. I intersperse solid literary work about every fourth book with humor novels (Barry, Haaisen—or however he spells his name)—and science fiction.

    My last book was your friend and mine, Lisa Brackmann's latest novel.

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    1. You've got quite an organized system, John! I love that you schedule two time-slots each day for reading. That's fantastic.

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  17. I've been reading less lately due to work. Somewhere around 6-10 books a week, so per month . . . 30ish?

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    1. 30ish books a month is LESS than usual? WOW. You are my new hero.

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  18. I do book reviews for two different entities and probably read a dozen picture books and the same number of novels each month, sometimes more. I need to cut back, though, because I'm not doing much writing. (sigh) I also read a lot of blogs.

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    1. Please don't cut back on your book reviews, Rosi! That sounds like so much fun. But I get it--you need time to write, too. I hope you can find a good balance!

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  19. I probably average about two books a month, and yeah writing definitely cuts into the reading time. But I love them both, so I make as much time for them as possible.

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  20. i read mor than 10 books in month

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Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)