What are YOU reading?

Do you like reading?  I freely admit that I love reading, and have done so from a young age.  And I guess, if you are reading this, you probably do like reading, though I am well aware that there are many people who, though competent readers, do not read for pleasure.

So, what do you like reading? I am a generally a fiction reader.  I love to lose myself in a good story, well told.  However, I will read a weak story if it is written well and I will read a well-paced and interesting story even if it is poorly written. Actually, if I start a novel I will almost always finish it, giving it every chance to impress.

My dead-trees 'To Read' pile (with glasses always to hand!)

Recently I’ve been reading a collection of newspaper columns put together by their author as a book. This was given to me, otherwise I would probably never have chosen to read this book, however, I was pleasantly surprised. Caitlin Moran writes columns for the Times that veer between the amusing, mildly eccentric and the serious point of view.  It all depends on what she can find to write about that week (as she cheerfully admits). She even wonders if the role of the columnist is to give the letter (or email) writers something to rail against, commiserate or laugh with, or, even, for certain men of a certain age to ‘get off on’.  I found myself agreeing with some of her serious columns and going ‘oh really, tehe!’ at some of her sillier ones – but they were all entertaining ‘tooth-brushing’ reads

WHAT? Tooth-brushing reads? What are they? Well, it’s one of the ways I find time to read (as a very busy woman!) Cleaning teeth, if done properly, takes TIME, so I clean my teeth and read at the same time. A book with short chapters is ideal for this. I know, weird, but works for me 🙂

On the kindle I am reading two books at the moment. One is a writing craft book and the other is Jasper Fforde’s ‘One of Our Thursdays is Missing’ .

This is a fantasy novel set in ‘book world’ populated by characters from all the books ever written, their scenery and stories. They have to be ‘on hand’ to be read whenever a book is read in the real world. Like other Jasper Fforde books, you just have to get your head round the concept the book works under – but they are very clever with many smiles of recognition. The more you have read, the more you will find these gems in any of his novels.  And reading lots and reading widely is very important for any writer – so I can tell myself that this is ‘work’ no matter how much I am enjoying it ;).

The writing craft book needs a bit more time – as it has exercises that I (sometimes) do.  So I read this one when I can see quarter to half an hour free and am somewhere where I can jot down a few answers. Needless to say this means this book is taking longer to read than the Jasper Fforde which I use for reading at any short gap – waiting in the doctors, a quiet moment at a market, waiting for something to cook (that I daren’t go off and leave) – all sorts of odd moments. And because it’s on the kindle I have the font set larger than normal so I don’t even have to go and find my glasses before I can read!!

I am a (relatively new) member of Goodreads (book lovers group on the internet)  and occasionally get my act together to update my reviews of the books I have read. On Goodreads you form book-reading friendship groups and can follow another member who you think shares your tastes so you can pick up good recommendations from their reading list too. Like I said – I almost always finish any book I’ve started and so can usually find something to say about a novel, and then, having written the review I may slide into the Amazon page for the same book and leave a review there too.

It’s not that I’m that keen of spreading my opinions about books – it’s just that I am very aware how important reviews and ratings are to the Authors (at least to those of us who are not mega already) .  Amazon will ‘grade’ a book’s popularity by how many reviews it has got (as well as the star rating)  – so I will try to leave reviews there too – and hope that my readers will do the same for my novels.

So what are YOU reading? What was the last book you read?

Do you review?  If so, do you post on Amazon or Goodreads or somewhere else?

Do you read the reviews of a book before you buy?

How do you find time to read?

Do share your favourite reads  – we are all blog friends here – and I love to hear from you

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8 thoughts on “What are YOU reading?

  1. I’m reading:

    CountryPlot, Cynthia Harrodsburg-Eagles
    Just Sixteen, Susan Coolidge
    Vampires in the Lemon grove, Karen Russell
    Caveat Emptor, Ruth Downie (this goes very slowly. The series began so well but is petering out in utter boredom)

    • Hi Erika,
      Wow, what an eclectic mix of reading material … perhaps even more varied than mine!
      I’ve read a lot of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles in my time (mostly the Moorland Dynasty) – but none of your other authors.
      Are your reading them all as paper books or a mixture of paper and ebooks?
      Ann

      • All four are on Kindle, but this is just chance–could have been a mix of paperback and hard.

        In fact I should have added Diana aholman-Hunt’s ” My Grandmothers and I” and Molly Ivins’ “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?” both on a nearby coffee table and. Oth waiting for the right mood. “grandmothers..” is a re-read and not urgent and Molly Ivins was a caustic Texan journalist who wrote on Texas politics. She was a lovely person who died far too young from cancer. Lots of memorable comments, favorites of mine: “Calling George Bush shallow is like calling a dwarf short.” then, on learning that another politician had decided to take Spanish lessons to up his chances of election in a heavily Chicano district, “Ah, so now he will be bi-ignorant!”

  2. Well well, toothbrush reads! What a novel concept (sorry about that!) I have to say that I haven’t heard of anyone else reading a book at the same time as cleaning their teeth, you weren’t by any chance sweeping the floor too, were you?? LOL

    I think that that way of reading couldn’t be any more different to the way I read… I like to think that someone went to a great deal of trouble to get the book as far as my hands, (as you are obviously aware) or my kindle, as the case may be, and for that the book deserves my undivided attention.

    At the moment, I am reading a Tom Holt novel. Like Jasper, he also seems to write with ideas coming from well out in left field, or with a curve ball, or some other strange metaphor! I read a couple of his a good ten years ago, then almost forgot about him. But the other day I was sitting in the waiting room at the Doctor’s, and there was a bookcase full of books (!) which were being sold for charity, and there was Tom Holt written on a thick red spine, so 50p in the Macmillan pot, and I took Tom home with me. Now with my eye on the curve balls out in left field I am thoroughly enjoying the eccentricities within!

    I have reviewed a few books, and other things I have bought on amazon, mainly because I usually read reviews if I am not sure about which or what to buy, so I think it only fair to help others who might do the same. I haven’t gone as far as joining Goodreads or anything, but it sounds like a good idea.

    Mind you, my book reading habits are very erratic, I might read 3 books one straight after another, and then not read anything other than magazines for a couple of months sometimes, so perhaps not an ideal candidate for book reviewing! Still, good job we are all different, isn’t it?

    Toothbrush, hehe!

  3. Hi Christine,
    Yep, sure is good thing we are all different! For me, it’s a case of read whenever I can and multi-task, or not read as much as I like to (or as much as I ought to, as a writer).
    I suspect I became this way bringing up four boys – in fact (see response to Erika) I read the first 7 or so Moorland Dynasty books during breast-feeding sessions (enforced sitting still time – made sure he was never rushed, that I was relaxed, and I got to read! -win,win,win) – Ann

  4. Sorry but it’s me again…

    How could I have forgotten my read-every-day, every-month, every-year books? These are by my bedside; William Hone’s “Everyday Book” volumes, 1826.

    I mightn’t have back on here if it were not for February 18th’s entry telling of a well-known printer and bookseller, Mr. Samuel Buckley, who published the Spectator for a while.

    What could be more appropriate?

    I apologize for the typos in my previous contributions but I was using the I-pad and it trips me up continuously.

  5. Hi again,
    I have never got into ‘everyday’ books, and I’ve never met someone who reads them (until now). I guess I always thought them to be homilys to think about each day and so never really investigated them.
    Next time I come across one I must open it up! 🙂

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