What kinds of books do you absolutely love? What books do you read over and over again because you can’t get enough of them? And, when you’re reading, are you always critiquing what’s on the page? Or can you just sit back and enjoy the story?
Generally, I’m an analytical reader. I’ve always been that way. Before I started writing novels, the only thing my brain picked apart was plot. I’d get annoyed if the plot contradicted itself, went in convoluted directions, or if it just plain didn’t make sense. After I started writing novels, though, I automatically started to analyze other aspects of the story, like character, setting, dialog, etc. Now, it’s almost impossible for me to sit down and read a book completely for enjoyment. My brain is constantly picking apart the craft that went into the story because I want to learn from it.
It’s rare that I can sit down and completely lose myself in a story these days, where the only thing I think about is ‘what’s going to happen next?’ It recently happened with Lisa Shearin’s series about an elf named Raine Benares. I checked out the first two books from the library and enjoyed them so much that I had to go out and buy the whole series. The fourth book is coming out tomorrow, and I am beyond excited. :)
It also got me thinking...what was it about these books that shut off my inner editor? Was it how much I loved the characters? The setting? The pacing?
No, no, and no. All these things are good, but there are still plenty of things that my inner editor could point out. So, it’s none of those things. It’s the fact that these books are fantasy. And, they’re also written for adults, not teens. I don’t write adult, and I don’t write fantasy. I love to read fantasy, and that’s pretty much all I read as a kid. But I don’t write it. Why? I have no idea. But I think my inner editor knows I’ll never write this kind of story, so it went on vacation. Much to everyone’s enjoyment. :)
That got me thinking some more (no, I never stop thinking). What do other writers read? Do you read the same kind of stories that you write? Do you read outside of your own personal interest in the interest of learning? Do you read for enjoyment, or is it impossible for you to turn off your inner editor? Please share!!