Thursday, September 16, 2010

On Reading

Before we begin today's post I just have to tell you about the contest Chuck Sambuchino is running on his blog to win not one but three, count 'em three books.

His latest

HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK

The must-have

2011 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS

and the fantastic

FORMATTING AND SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT

All you have to do is go HERE to put your name in. We all need to be prepared when gnomes attack.

Now, onto my regularly scheduled post.

I read a blog post last weekend that's been sticking in my craw.

How do you read now?

I used to read for pleasure, I'd get so engrossed I could forget about the world around me and often did. I would sit for hours, totally enthralled.

Now, when I try and read for pleasure, I find my inner editor kicking in and I keep putting the book down, something I never, ever did before. I would read straight through the day or night, sometimes both. I'd put off going to the potty, feeding the dogs, taking a shower. Now, I find I can actually do the dishes instead of finishing chapter 10.

How about you? Do any of you do that now? Edit instead of read?

21 comments:

Creepy Query Girl said...

YES! And no. lol. For me, it really depends on the book. What erks me is when I see books published that break every rule I'm trying to live by in order to get an agent. Then again, there are still authors that manage to catch me up and keep me locked in from start to finish.

Ann Best said...

I read for pleasure when I was young and still do; and if the book has a compelling story line AND is written well (that is, has a minimum of distracting adverbs and boring descriptive passages) I can barely put it down even to go to the bathroom! But I also have an inner "editor" now that I didn't have before, which in a way is unfortunate for me; if there's too much "loose" writing, I will skim very quickly through the book, or if it doesn't have a compelling story, I won't finish it.

Hope you have a good day, Anne. I thought about you when Jen and I were on our recent vacation (that I just posted something about) and saw a sign that said Piedmont.

Linda G. said...

Happens to me too--I think it's an occupational hazard. :(

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I really notice the flow of a book and the overuse of descriptions. I see what should be chopped.

Matthew Rush said...

I absolutely have this problem. Being a serious writer has ruined reading for me, at least partly, but I do find that those rare, amazing books, those that are beyond good, become that much better.

Cool contest, thanks Anne!

Bish Denham said...

I do notice some things when I'm reading, but mostly I still read for pleasure. It's what I do EVERY night before I go to sleep.

MB Dabney said...

I notice more and more things, such as run-on sentences, when I'm reading someone else. But I try not to let it bother me. Otherwise, I can't just enjoy what I'm reading.

DL Hammons said...

I definitely read differently now than I used to. Like Katie said, I notice more when the "rules" are boken/bent. But something I did for the very first time this year was quit on a book. After the author had the MC make the 3rd or 4th illogical decision, I threw in the towel. I guess I'm less forgiving now.

Clarissa Draper said...

I have problems reading now because I'm always editing. That's why I love reading really great edited work.

CD

Summer Ross said...

I think I'm half and half. sometimes I edit when I read and sometimes the books plot wraps me up....

Falen (Sarah) said...

it all depends on the book for me. Some i read purely for entertainment. Some i read to learn from

Jaydee Morgan said...

I definitely edit when I read now and I find I'm a lot less forgiving now. But, there are still books out there that draw me in and make me forget everything else but the story.

Piedmont Writer said...

So it's not just me then. I've found all the books I used to LOVE to read are just trash now, and I've discovered some amazing writers that do indeed break the rules but their words are so elegant and finely crafted I forget about the rules.

I guess that's something we all aspire to. Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Melody said...

Well, I don't edit grammar/spelling as much as I used to.

However, I find myself saying, "They could have had better dialogue here....or, that was poor plot twisting, I could see it a mile away..."

Which hasn't ruined my reading...yet.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

OMG, thank you for this post! I have a huge pile of books that I bought that I absolutely CAN NOT READ. I thought something was wrong with me, that my 'reader' was broken. And I LOVE to read. Wahhhh.

At least I'm not alone.

Thanks for the link, I read Chuck but somehow missed this one.

Great post, ~that rebel, Olivia

E. Elle said...

I definitely find myself editing as I read. It's horrible and it doesn't just happen with books: I do it when I watch movies and TV shows AND when I listen to music. I'm constantly analyzing everything I used to partake in for fun! It's incredibly irritating and I wish I could switch it off but I can't.

Plus, when I'm reading a really good book, I write a lot less. :(

That said, I still <3 reading!

roxy said...

My reading is really messed up, Anne. I edit all the time now, and I don't like it a bit. Once, I even began substituting a word in the Bible. That's when I knew I had to calm down and just allow myself to read.

Crimey said...

Some how I've managed to keep my leisurely reading separate from my inner editor. When I see a typo or two in a book I read, I usually just like "ha, I'm not the only one!" and keep reading. The problem with reading is that it consumes me. When I'm reading I can neither write nor blog much.

Piedmont Writer said...

Oh I can hear you on that. When I read I can't write, and when I write I can't read.

lotusgirl said...

I do tend to be more critical of what I'm reading, but I can still get carried away if the book is good enough.

Ted Cross said...

I've been reading a LOT lately and I still love it, but I can't turn off the writer part of me anymore. I keep seeing all the stuff that I have to edit out of my work, yet these published authors get to do it. It doesn't seem right!