Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Are You a Book Lover?

Photo: Ninocare via Pixabay
Happy Book Lovers Day! Alexa (my Amazon Echo Dot) has been entertaining me with famous first lines from great books, some of which I've read and several of which I have not. It's been fun, and has inspired in me a desire to stop writing this post and go read a book -- probably exactly what Amazon had in mind.

As a writer, I'm often given the (good) advice to read, read, read! While I read a lot, much of it is functional reading -- things I need to read for some other reason, like course prep or critique group or things I stumble across on social media. Okay, maybe that last one isn't essential reading, but I do find some of my best Friday Features and supplemental articles for my classes on Twitter.

Writers are always trying to find a balance between reading and writing. With limited time to take in the words on the page and still find time to put our own words on a (different) page, one or the other invariably suffers.

Days like Book Lovers Day give me a great excuse to step away from the computer or the textbook and pick up something I want to read for fun. These days, there's a lot of crossover between what I read for work and what I read for fun, which is a good sign that I love what I do. Unfortunately, it also means I don't read many novels.

Like most book lovers, I have a large pool (it stopped being a stack years ago) of TBR (to-be-read) books, something I find both comforting (there's always something to read) and overwhelming (I'll never get through all of these!) This pool, while doing nothing to deter me from accumulating more books, whether from the library, a bookstore or online, has made me a pickier reader. I used to think I had to finish every book I started. Now, books get anywhere from ten to fifty pages to make their case. If they don't manage to do so within that time frame, I move on to a different book.

If you're a book lover, you probably don't need much of a nudge to celebrate this day with a good book. And, while I know most book lovers have their own TBR stack, on the off-chance that you're looking for your next book escape, I'll close with the opening line from Casting the First Stone.

I wouldn't want to leave you book-less on Book Lovers Day.

"Marita Mercer adjusted the icicle-thin strap of her leopard print camisole and 
then tugged once, twice, three times."

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