You Wouldnt Read About It…..


I can finally say I have read Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Having heard how great it was, I  patiently waited until all 70+ people ahead of me on the ‘holds’ list at the library read it. It was worth the wait. It’s a brilliant book reminding people who love to scribble stories down that writing is an organic process that has to be continually developed for the gift to be honed and polished.  King suggests that people who love to write should also be readers that should read – a lot.  I must confess that I have already returned the book before my three allotted weeks with it were up, sure  as I was that there was another long line waiting for it to make its way to them via the ‘holds’ list. So I can’t tell you exactly how many books Mr. King reads in a year, but if he insists that we should write and read for 4 to 6 hours a day, rest assured, it’s a lot of books!

Facebook can be a dangerous thing.  As a writer wannabe I have of course, got several publishing companies and authors on my facebook list and read their updates with varying degrees of interest. This challenge grabbed my attention.

Random House, Inc
• Our New Year resolution for 2011 is to read at least 5 books a month. How many books do you go through in an average month?

Was it even possible for a busy person to read five books a month I wondered silently to myself? I kept a record of the books I had read in 2009 and was pleasantly surprised that I had read something like 40 books. In fact, I thought that was a pretty impressive total.  Until I read the 25 comments left behind by other ‘fans’ of the page. Sixteen people claim to read anything from a book a week to a staggering four books a week.

Seriously, where do they get the time to do such heavy duty reading? Maybe these prolific readers aren’t writers I thought.  Maybe they don’t have anyone at home sucking up all their spare time with ridiculous demands such as being fed, clothed, being afforded an education,  kept healthy and safe, taken to the park to play and in general to be loved. Maybe they don’t have any pets, partners or children at all. And yet the words of Stephen King keep going through my mind. Want to be a good writer? Be a good reader.

One of the best parts of the weekly routine that Bronwen and I share is going to the library truck every Friday morning to (occasionally mournfully) return the previous week’s books and stagger back home with a new load of picture books and novels to read. I love looking along the spines of the books, reading blurbs and wishing I had more me time and less demands from the mundane so that I could read without interruption.  There are probably more books on my wish list than any normal person might expect to get through in a lifetime – and the list keeps growing with each New Year.

I have accepted the challenge from the Random House, Inc page as something to achieve this year. I am going to attempt to read five or more books each month…. 60 books in a year. As a personal challenge, I am also going to try and read some books outside of my normally favoured genres.
So here is the list I have read for January – so far.

Playing Beatie Bow – Ruth Park
On Writing – Stephen King
The Smile of a Ghost – Phil Rickman
The Three Weissmanns of Westport – Cathleen Schine

If I get really good at this reading, writing blogging gig, I might even attempt to throw in a few book reviews too.


  1. Hmm, I struggle to find time to read much at all. Jo gets through a lot more. My down time sees me doing logic puzzles and the like. If I start a book, I whip through it in no time, but I don’t start enough books. Jo’s waiting for me to read “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo”.

    You’re right about facebook – dangerous lol – that’s why you don’t see me there…

  2. I really do have to get my hands on this one. Must get over my library phobia!

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