Writers are told they need to read widely to help improve their own writing, so I decided this year I needed to read a little more variety than I have been doing so far...
When I'm writing historical I will either not read at all or if I do it will be a contemporary romance or a research based topic. If contemporary then I'll indulge my love of historical romance without tainting my own writing with similar sentence construction and character traits.
As a teenager I read a lot of different authors, Wilbur Smith, Graham Greene, Winston Graham and Agatha Christie among them. I devoured their words and styles of writing without any thought of the effect, but as I've got older my choices have become more tailored and I can see the various techniques the writer has used.
Now if a book just doesn't appeal and I can't get into it, then out it goes.
I've decided that's not good, sometimes I need to persevere- it isn't the book's fault (or necessarily the writer's) it's just me.
So, knowing I'm more likely to finish the book if I put it on my e-reader- so I can read it in bite-size sections-I spent a couple of hours perusing the fiction sections of online bookshops.
The thing that became very clear-as far as fiction was concerned- was that crime, romance and erotica have realised the potential of e-books and have ensured their books are out there to be bought and downloaded.
Finally I decided on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, so I paid for and downloaded it instantly.
I've decided I will keep an open mind about it, even though the opening seems a little strange - I read half a dozen pages while waiting for an appointment this afternoon.
Of course I'll still read my favourite Romance authors as well as paperbacks, but I'm going to aim for at least four books this year that I would not have normally chosen.
Any suggestions for future reads?