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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Reading Challenge

Girl Reading - Maria A Smith

Do you get cross if you don't get your reading fix? I do, and until recently I used to get really
frustrated about my lack of time to settle down with a good book. I love to read, its the next best thing to writing isn't it?

You know how it is, time gets away from us and none of us have enough of it, do we? Many of us barely sit down to meals properly these days, and if you're a writer, there is always the dilemma of writing, or reading. Juggling the two is hard. So how to fix it?

I don't have a special time set aside to read, it just wouldn't fit into my erratic lifestyle, so I grab moments whenever I can, and my biggest success this year has been the audio book. Hurrah for talking books! I love them because you can iron, cook, drive the car, pull out the weeds, take a bath, or do just about any other task, or chore, and listen to your book. Some are read better than others, I particularly like it when the author reads their own work, although you get used to voice quickly, and the adventure begins.

Currently, I'm listening to  Stephen King's Mr Mercedes, a suspense thriller which I'm just beginning. I've recently finished  the The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) having enjoyed the first in the series, The Cuckoos Calling a few months earlier. I simply couldn't leave the characters without hearing more of their story. If you like crime, give them a go.

This isn't an advert honest, but for anyone wondering how I listen to audio books regularly , because they are, in my opinion VERY expensive to buy. I use Audible which is a monthly subscription service, its the price of two decent coffees, and you can get offers much cheaper than that for your first three months. The books are downloaded to your chosen devices, and its all very easy to do. You get one book a month, via a credit system, and the opportunity to change your book if its not what you expected, or you aren't enjoying it. No questions asked. Their list is extensive, and includes both fiction and non-fiction.

Apart from Audible, if I see CD's on offer, or in the charity shops I'll grab them for use when I'm stationary. Usually when I'm cooking or ironing, as I don't have a CD player in my car, instead I listen via Bluetooth on my phone.

I still read traditional books of course, usually non-fiction, and I skim read magazines, picking out articles, or stories that appeal. I tend to keep them though, which adds to the clutter lying around the house! Any tips on beating my magazine hoarding addiction are most welcome.

I do have a subscription to a newspaper which was a gift and is delivered to my Ipad daily. I like that, although, sadly I can't possibly keep up with every issue otherwise I really wouldn't get any writing done would I?

Do you love reading too? How do you fit it in? How do you do it?


15 comments:

  1. I do love reading. Of course I do - I'm a writer. I tend to read when my husband watches TV. Once I'm involved in a story the sound doesn't bother me and we're still as much together as we would be if we both had out attention on the screen.

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    1. I'm much the same Patsy, I can usually block the TV out, or the noise form a coffee shop etc

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  2. btw I think libraries stock talking books.

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    1. Yes, mine does, in a variety of formats too. They even hire you a little pre loaded MP3 player with a single book on it too. You just have to provide batteries and earplugs.

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  3. I read in bed before I go to sleep. I had completely forgotten about audio books. I used to borrow them from the library when my kids were little. Somehow I got out of the habit, but I may give it another try :-) x

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    1. Hi Teresa, I used to read in bed a lot, but these days I nod off after only a few pages! Perhaps I need to go to bed earlier...
      Do try the library, and let me know how you get on.

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  4. I have to read a few pages before I fall asleep and on holiday it is a real indulgence to relax with a good book. I find, as with films, that those with the most publicity are not always the best. Anita Shreve is my author of preference at the moment.

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    1. I haven't read anything by Anita Shreve, I must look her up.

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  5. The audiobook thing is a great idea, and if I didn't already have so many monthly subscriptions, I would definitely join Audible. I do a lot of reading before bed, and sometimes in bed, using the Kindle app on my iPad, which has the night mode so I don't disturb the better half!

    Reading is definitely essential to being a better writer - not to mention a fun way to while away a few minutes or hours. Happy reading!

    Kelly's Eye - Writing, Music, Life

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    1. Yes! I have the Kindle with the light built in too...very useful.

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  6. Lovely to see you blogging again! I have been reading a lot over the summer, I set a challenge for myself to read all the unread books on my shelves (I enjoy buying them almost as much as reading them and there were a lot that had yet to be opened up and discovered). I'm keeping it flexible, not berating or judging myself for how many I read and being relaxed, I've gotten through quite a lot of books (about 20). I'm really enjoying it and passing on books I won't re-read to friends, to charity shops or selling a few back to Amazon so they are recycled in some way and others get joy/learning from them.

    The audiobook is a great idea, my hubs does that whilst on computer or doing some other chore. It's a great way to multitask and make a mundane thing more interesting.

    Happy reading!

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    1. I really need to start going through my TBR pile. Its huge! It seemed like a good idea at the time to buy all those books.

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  7. So happy to see you in blogland again Maria. I am a routine junky, so different jobs for different days. They take up the mornings, but afternoons are for reading, writing and time at the computer. But I prefer to hand write first. Hadn't thought about audio books, but think I'll try the library as not happy buying on line. Thanks for that.

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    1. Hi Maggie, always good to see you here. Regarding the library, definitely look into it, and let me know how you get on if you do take an audio recording out.

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  8. Ooh, The Silkworm is out? How did I miss that? Loved Cuckoo's Calling and I definitely want to keep following the characters.

    I already way passed my GoodReads reading challenge :) the app even calls me an overachiever. (32 out of 25 books, or 128% - haha) I'm going to try my best to reach 40 or perhaps even 45.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!