Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writers Must Read

We all know writers write but writers who want to perfect their craft must also read. A lot! I sometimes find it hard to juggle reading books for my book club, books that I want to read that my book club does not, award-winning books, books for research, and books that my daughter hands me and demands "You must read this." But most important is setting aside the time to read those books that are like the ones I strive to write...great children's books!

I'm in Barnes and Noble at least once a week and I never go into a bookstore without heading straight to the children's department first. I spend at least one day a week at the library either searching for books or picking up books that I've reserved online. Thank goodness for inter-library loans so I don't have to drive all over the place to get the books I want.

Not only do I read these books but I choose the ones I really like for one reason or another and I'll type them up and save them in a folder on my computer that I call "Book Studies." I study things like the layout, the text, the openings and closings, the language...just about everything. Like writing down a list for the grocery store helps you remember the items even if you don't have the list with you, I find that typing the text from good books helps me to remember the great book qualities while I'm writing my own.

It's rare that you don't see my car with books in it. One time I was at the drive-thru at the bank and the teller asked me if I liked a particular book. I couldn't figure out why he was asking me this until he pointed to the pile of books on my backseat because the library was my next stop. We had a great conversation about the book through the speaker at the drive-up window.

And more books!
And then there's the trunk of my car. That's usually where you'll find a box that contains some of my own books. This is probably because I've been at an event and I'm too lazy to carry the box back inside the house. I opened the trunk the other day to put something in it for a friend and she was so excited to see my joke books and asked to buy a few. I've been known to donate and/or sell my books out of the trunk of my car.
I keep a special book journal where I am constantly adding books to read to my list. Once a week I check my library online to see which ones they have and place the ones on hold that will be transferred from another library within just a few days. Then once a week I take a trip to the library to return books from the previous week and gather my new books to bring home. I read at least one a day and if I choose to, I study it and type it up.
So, the fact that I'm reading so much and always writing is one of my better excuses for not having time to blog more often. I'll be blogging about some of the other reasons why it's hard to find the time to blog. But next I be blogging about...the famous Book Dress!