My Reading Confession

One of the most frequent pieces of advice I came across as an aspiring writer was to “Read, read and read more!”

I agree with that wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately, what I’ve found, of course, is that I now have much less time to read. There’s irony for you. 

Befuddled face

Time constraints are mainly to blame, obviously – family commitments, work commitments, with any spare time used for writing. This got worse once I’d had my first book published, because then there was admin, marketing, promo, blogging …

I was hoping the situation might improve when I finally gave up work at Christmas, but in fact, it’s got worse. With a new contract and deadlines looming for this or that, I now have a further issue with picking up a book – it sounds ridiculous, but I’m always worried that the book will be so good that I won’t want to put it down, which will mean not getting any writing done, so I’ll only get further behind …

And to be honest, by the time I turn off the computer an hour before going to bed, I sometimes feel heartily sick of the written word and don’t even feel like picking up a book. What a terrible state of affairs!

In the meantime, my TBR pile only gets bigger. I’ve had a huge pile of books to get through up in the attic for years …

Books in attic

And no, this isn’t the only pile –   I’m ashamed to say there are many more lurking!

To make matters worse, I finally got a Kindle a couple of years ago because a lot of the books I wanted or needed to read were only available digitally – so, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s a backlog on there, too … Eight-eight? Gulp.

Books on Kindle

When I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association just over a year ago (you can read more about that here), I got to know many wonderful authors online – and of course, that meant a long list of their books that I want to read.

And since I was signed by Bookouture, I’m getting to know all their lovely authors online too … and they produce a fantastic array of books which I am also desperate to read.


And so, in a desperate attempt to make inroads, I do try to read – but mainly only first thing in the morning over a cup of tea and last thing at night, so it can sometimes take me a couple of weeks to read a book.

I’m hoping that this disgraceful state of affairs will be remedied as I settle into my new writing routine and get a few deadlines out of the way . . .

If you write, do you find you read more or less? I’d be interested to know!

18 thoughts on “My Reading Confession

  1. kathleenbee says:

    Oh my! Your reading pile looks daunting. I also have a long list of books I have to read and at times it makes me feel overwhelmed. I think that fact has made me more picky on what I read. Taking books back to the library or secondhand shop that aren’t my cup of tea has helped me to not feel so overwhelmed. And I no longer feel guilty for stopping part way through a book if it isn’t very gripping. That said, I go through stages where I read ferociously and then other times, when I just can’t get myself to focus on it. At the moment, I’m in the non-reading stage, which is a problem as I have two books I’m supposed to be reviewing. But when I do get back in the reading phase and am in the middle of a good book, I’m in heaven. There’s nothing like reading a really good book and being in total relaxation.

    I hope you get a chance to relax and read again and your to-do list becomes more manageable.

  2. carolewyer says:

    I know that feeling and my book pile is almsot as high as yours. I need more hours in the day to do everything. I was away last week and thought I’d catch up on my reading and ended up writing two articles instead. Oh for those relaxed days when I could languish on my settee with a good book 🙂

  3. JAH says:

    I’m going through the same problem right now. I’ve got so many books that I want to read but cannot for the life of me figure out how to get them all read!

  4. sharon says:

    I can’t even begin to guess how many books I have on my Kindle, not to mention sitting on my bookcases, that I just haven’t had time to read. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to stop me from buying new ones. Since starting writing, I’m afraid I have read less than I used to. I was never without a book in my hand in the good old days, but now, when I have spare time (ha!) I feel guilty and twitchy if I’m not doing something connected with the writing. I miss reading! I try to read one or two books a month, but it’s not always possible and, given that I used to read a book every couple of days, that’s quite depressing!

  5. Rebecca Stonehill says:

    Helen, this sounds VERY familiar!! Way, way, way too many books to read, and how do we get even part of the day when we have books to write as well! I always read last thing at night, even if it’s v late – the later it is the less I will read, but five minutes at least. But this means it can take a VERY long time to get through a book!

  6. jeanannwilliams says:

    Oh, dear, I so sympathize with you, Helen! I read mostly in the winter, with promised reads to review throughout the rest of the year. I only have one book out, so I can’t even imagine your strict time schedule. Thank you for liking my new Webpage!

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