Dec 26, 2015 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I read an interview with an author who said she didn't have time to read. I haven't read another book by her since then. Stephen King says he tries to read at least 80 books a year, and my respect for my idol grew. I make a goal to read 40 books a year. I am currently at 24, so it is unlikely I will get 16 books read between now and midnight, 31 December. This year has been an odd one to be sure, but I will keep my goal at 40 for 2016 because I know it is achievable even with my full-time teaching job and emerging author life. It averages out to 3.33333 books a month, and my life is much calmer now and much more full of time for me to take care of myself and my goals. The best way I know how to be a stronger writer is to read and write every day. Reading helps you see how words play together...how dialogue sounds...how characters and setting are developed. It shows what plot paths work. (It also does the opposite -- shows you the awkwardness words can have...dialogue that sounds forced...characters that don't seem comfortable in their own skin...plot paths that have too many holes or short cuts Stephen King also earned bonus points when he said it was okay to not finish every book you start reading. I used to feel too guilty (and my OCD of liking to finish what I start would pipe in) and I would plod through every book I started. Now, I know there are too many books I want to read (and write) for me to waste my time with something that just doesn't work for me. So the writer part of me needs to read...but even more importantly, I need to read to escape, to grow, to heal, to...just for a little while...forget reality and just be entertained.