Monday 11 March 2019

Writers and Editors as Readers

I think most writers and editors enjoy reading. The world of storytelling is, I'd assume, the thing that drew them into the business of writing in the first place. I remember my astonishment (and vague annoyance) when I heard a popular author do a talk at a conference and she claimed not to have read a book (other than her own proofs, presumably) in years. I asked her about a particular character whom I'd found of interest in one of her books and she claimed not to remember him. (He was the hero, not a walk-on role.)
I like to think she was an exception though.
I probably don't read as many books now as I used to, but that's a matter of time and logistics. I often feel vaguely guilty, if not vaguely panic-stricken, when I'm reading for pleasure because I'm aware of the clients waiting for me to read their mss. When I do read, the chances are it will be an audio book which I can read while walking, gardening, cooking, get the picture. In some ways, moving largely to audio books has broadened my experience as I've "read" books I probably wouldn't have chosen from a book shop. I've just walked through three books of a four book series and am waiting impatiently for Book #4 to be rendered into audio.
As a reader and/or editor, I think I approach reading from a slightly different angle than I did as a child. For one thing, I note the way plots and characters turn out and sometimes I find myself thinking I wouldn't have done that. Then, I find myself mentally editing the book as I listen... please, stop it with that verb. I'm noticing it and that's not good...
Nevertheless, I do enjoy a good story and books, whether paper, e- or audio, give me something other media doesn't. What's your favourite new book this year?

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