When the rain fell all last week, I holed up on the couch and read. When the sun came out, I dug the folding chair out of the garage, set it up in the sunshine and read. At the end of the day I felt a little guilty. There I was making dinner and I had limited writing or revising minutes to boast. In fact, I’d hardly done anything but read.
While I was in my MFA program, I didn’t feel guilty about reading. I was comfortable saying to my kids, “Mommy’s working.” I loved going to the library and coming home with a stack of books then reading them one after another or sometimes two at a time.
I know that reading is indeed part of my job. I need to know what books are on the market, and what books kids love. More important, I need to read critically. When I read, I’m constantly asking myself why. Why did the author make this word choice? How is the author going to weave these subplots together? When will this detail be relevant again and if it isn’t, why is it in the book at all? I question why a story doesn’t work and why it does. Good writers read.
Because I am such a critical reader, it is harder to find books that are pure escape but I love searching for them. Today, I pushed away my guilt, took my Goodreads App to the library, and took out a small pile of books.
Sure, I’m still revising but if you see me with my nose in a book, please do not disturb… I’m working.