Reading as a duty and reading for pleasure… plus the oldest book on my shelf. At @jaffareadstoo

A quick interview at the online home of book blogger Jo Barton, aka Jaffareadstoo. The questions are lighthearted, but they raise interesting issues about reading.

Writers and book bloggers have something in common – a TBR pile that’s neverending. We’re reading to keep up with recent releases. We’re reading as research. We’re reading to help our friends. And we’re reading a lot – an awful lot – to do our jobs. When do we read for ourselves?

Do you have a rule that if you start a book, you finish it? I used to. It was a habit instilled at school – abandoning a book was bad manners. I almost felt the author would know I’d sneaked out before they’d said their piece. I remember there was a moment when I decided I had to let go of that rule or I’d never get everything read that I had to. And I’m a slow reader. I like to appreciate a book, not bolt it. That raises another question – if reading is our job, do we still allow ourselves to read for pleasure? I know plenty of people in publishing who have lost their joy of the written word.

Anyway, tell me your thoughts, either here or at Jo’s blog. You’ll also see Jo and I discuss this, the oldest book on my shelves.

If you’re looking for writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’d like to know more about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk (and my very exciting new novel), look here. You can subscribe to future updates here.

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  1. #1 by OIKOS™-Editorial on May 23, 2021 - 10:58 am

    Thanks for the informative and very motivating posting. I am only a reader, and I came under a bit of pressure here not to be able to fulfill my quota. Because I am also learning the language again, I still take it slower. I owe it to the authors. Best wishes for the weekend! Michael

    • #2 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on May 23, 2021 - 3:32 pm

      Enjoy learning the language again. And thanks for the interesting perspective!

      • #3 by OIKOS™-Editorial on May 23, 2021 - 6:37 pm

        Thank you, Roz! Its a great challenge. Have a nice week arriving! Michael xx

  2. #4 by acflory on May 24, 2021 - 6:49 am

    Like you, I used to feel that I had to finish every book I started, but life is short and I now allow myself to stop reading a book if it disappoints me. Not after just a page or two though. If I get 1/3 of the way in and there is no ‘spark’, I stop. For me, a spark can be anything from a vivid character to an imaginative world. Or if I’m lucky the book I read will have every spark there is. Those are the red letter days.

    I always make time for ‘reading for pleasure’. Usually it’s my reward after a long day. Curl up in bed, swipe the Kindle and get lost in another world. Cannot imagine not reading. 🙂

    • #5 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on May 24, 2021 - 9:50 pm

      Hi Andrea! You’ve identified an important concept there – a spark, something beguiling or charming about the book. Well said!

      • #6 by acflory on May 25, 2021 - 1:32 am

        Thanks. And may I say Lifeform 3 had it in spades? 😀

        • #7 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on May 25, 2021 - 6:39 am

          Oh my! I need to find the Like button! Thank you.

          • #8 by acflory on May 26, 2021 - 11:10 am

            lol lol lol – imho it’s the best thing you’ve written to date, but I am partial to intelligent scifi!

  3. #9 by Davida Chazan on May 28, 2021 - 1:16 pm

    Reading isn’t technically my job. More like a serious hobby. So if I don’t like a book, I quit it right away. (Fear not… my dear!)

    • #10 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on May 28, 2021 - 3:05 pm

      Much relieved to hear that, Davida… as my ears are burning somewhat. x

      • #11 by Davida Chazan on May 29, 2021 - 1:04 pm

        They should be on FIRE right now. I just finished writing my review. Damn you, woman!

  1. The books that are our teachers – and 5 of my favourite reads (at @muddysurrey ) | Nail Your Novel

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