Sunday, 10 January 2016

Writing - How much reading should I do?

I read every day but I tend to write more. I read when I settle in bed for the night so probably manage 10 or 12 books a year.

Image result for reading

I also read 12 BBC History magazines, 6 church magazines and 6 or so coffee table books, but this pales into insignificance in comparison with some.

Agatha Christie read 200 books every year, while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gets through a book a fortnight. President Theodore Roosevelt read a book a day, and increased this to two or three when he had a quiet night.

Distracted by TV box sets, football matches and Twitter trends, we seem to find it increasingly difficult to fit reading into our lives.
John Sutherland is an author, book critic, columnist and emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London.
In 2015 he read approximately 150 books.
"Quite a lot," he suggests, "probably as many books as I had hot dinners." Using a tablet enables Sutherland to skip through pages at lightning speed. "That way you don't have to rely on a dampened forefinger - and the risk of giving the next reader tuberculosis," he laughs.
A professional reader's livelihood depends on their ability to race through words. Last year Sutherland finished a new book approximately every 2.4 days. "I turn four pages at a time if I have to," Sutherland says, "whereas most people like to enjoy their reading. Even I tend not to read more than one book a day… unless there is a gun pointed at my head."

I am not a speed reader because I prefer to get into the author's mind and enjoy where they are intending to take me but there are occasions when reading more rapidly is important - I suppose.

Literary coach and journalist Glynis Kozma advises people to carve out time in their schedules: "Rather than thinking that you need to sit down and read for an hour at a time, try to make use of small amounts of time," she suggests. "Read for 20 minutes while you are waiting for dinner to cook. Use every 15-minute gap."
Kozma aims to read one book a month, although she sometimes misses her target. "I think a lot of people feel guilty about reading," she says. "We are all so busy and have so much going on in our lives that we find it difficult to justify taking the time out."

This latter method is one I use for my coffee table books.

God Bless