Posted by: Jodi | July 5, 2010

A Private “Do Nothing But Read Day”

The Official “Do Nothing But Read Day” was June 27th this year and I missed it by a month.   I wasn’t planning on participating because every time I sit on the couch with a book I get ambushed.  Something about mommy reading, or working on the computer, signals my kids to come attack.

This last weekend I picked up two new reads from the library, Fablehaven – Grip of the Shadow Plague (Mull), and Wizard’s First Rule (Goodkind).  It has been too long since I’ve picked up a serious piece of fantasy and the Goodkind series is just the ticket.   As a so-called fantasy writer,  I needed to refuel my creative engine. It has been way too long since I’ve dived into a juicy fantasy series.   It’s important to read from all genres to keep a well-balanced perspective, but there’s something therapeutic about being immersed into my own.

I’ve spent the better part of the last four days reading at every available opportunity and have let the kids watch WAY too much TV.  It’s been literally years since I’ve spent this kind of time entrenched in other people’s stories.  I realize how much I miss it.  Writers need to read.  If anything, this weekend has been a stark reminder of how important it is to get my daily dose.

I finished Fablehaven and will post a review sometime this week.  Compared to the 573 page, 10 pt font, hardback behemoth of the Goodkind; it was a lightning fast read.   I expect to finish off the Goodkind by the end of next week.

Dearest readers, what books are you reading these days?

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Responses

  1. Ah, Jodi…

    They say that when you take the first step on a journey you never know where it will lead you.

    I’ve read both Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind (occasionally compared for their prolific and imaginative work), and personally find Goodkind’s to be the more entertaining (save, perhaps, when he gets uber-philosophical toward the end of the series).

    By the way, after you finish the 139-volume “Sword of Truth” series (slight exageration), you should pick up “The Law of Nines” which takes the story unexpectedly to OUR Earth.

    But you asked what I’m reading these days. Why, YOU, my dear!

    • I sure hope you are reading something else as well! The Goodkind features more action than Jordan did but insists on explaining and dialoguing away everyone’s motives, which is getting a bit old. Even here at the beginning of the series it is leaning towards being too philosophical for my tastes. Not sure if I will finish the series.

  2. According to my four kids, I do waaayyy too many of these, “Do nothing but read days!” But, I agree, writers must read, and I read everything I can get my hands on. I’m finally reading my daughter’s favorite, “The Lightening Thief” series, and they are fabulous. Best~

    • I’ve heard that the Lightning Thief series was good. After this read I’m going to need something a bit lighter and that makes a perfect candidate.

  3. “Do nothing but read” days are invented by people who aren’t married with children. I’ve already been called away from reading this blog post twice.

    Thank the gods for bathrooms. I’d never finish a book.

    It’s funny the topic of fantasy novels came up on the the day you asked us what we are reading, because I rarely read fantasy (though I’d be thrilled to read yours when you’re done). Right now, though, I’m reading A Lee Martinez’s “Gil’s All-Fright Diner.” Granted, it’s satirical, but it’s still a fantasy.

    I also found out that I inadvertently stole an idea from him for my blog. Oops. Don’t tell anybody.

    • Agreed, oh the jealousy I have for those who can casually declare that they will spend a whole day doing nothing but indulging in a good book while noshing on favorite snacks.

      The Martinez book sounds like fun, you’ll have to share what you think about it when you finish.

      As for borrowing ideas, as long as you’re not plagiarizing go for it! There are chance few new ideas out there.

      • I didn’t even mean to borrow it. I independently came up with the same bizarre idea and then saw it in his book.

        Gil’s All-Fright Diner was hilarious by the way, and a breezy read.

  4. Be warned with Terry Goodkind, the final 5 books of the series are just utterly, utterly dreadful. Hundred page liberal-humanist rants are very common…and it’s the same rant repeated over and over in each book. I’ve never been so let down by a series.
    Everything up until ‘Faith of the Fallen’ is great though.

    Everyday is ‘do nothing but read’ day for me!

    • Warning duly taken! I’m 2/3 through book one and am finding myself growing tired of the repetition of the same themes. Can’t understand why he feels like he needs to keep reinforcing his views over and over. If anything it’s a learning experience of what to avoid in my own work.

  5. Since I have recovered some of my health, I have not gone a single day without reading…I spent far too many months being almost completely able to read, and I missed it so much – most of that time I didn’t even have the strength to listen to audio books, or anybody reading to me, so I treasure each moment I spend with a book I love, and I continue to stock up reading time, so if it should ever get that bad for me again, I’ll have good book-memories to feed on!

    I just finished “The Girls Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” the last of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy (R.I.P – so sorry he won’t be writing more!); plus I read Jonathan Kellerman’s latest Alex Delaware novel – I thoroughly enjoy getting caught up in his understanding of psychology (the author is a psychologist himself) and how he uses it to help a detective solve murders! I am currently reading “Her Fearful Symmetry,” and “The Swan Thief.” Both wonderful so far, and very absorbing.

    I must tell you that all our children are grown, and I hate housework, which leaves me a LOT of time to read books, and others’ blogs, and writing my own! But believe me, I know whereof you speak – especially about the bathroom, “oldancestor!” Perfect sanctuary, if only my legs wouldn’t fall asleep! 😀 Now, however, we do have a dog who can get rather impatient with my long absences (I think she suspects something!). At least she is one creature to whom I can say “Shut up!” Never could bring myself to say it to my boys…too afraid it would come back to haunt me!

    Perhaps getting inspiration from reading
    is worth shedding perspiration, succeeding
    at getting the time away, perchance
    to read a fantasy or a romance!

    Good luck!

    • I have heard great things about the Larsson books so I’m going to have to find a copy of the first book one of these days. Soon enough the babies will be in school and that will free up a few more hours for me.

  6. First line above…make that UNable!

    • Oh, and only ONE girl kicked the hornet’s nest!

      • Gotcha!

  7. Ever since I started writing, I have hardly been able to read anything. I find that I have become a very picky reader. However, I have taken writing breaks and read novels instead and then when I got back to writing, I found myself refreshed by having cleared my head so to speak 🙂

    • I’m worried now because I just got an editing job. I’m thrilled to be working again, but I was an editor a few years ago and recall losing my desire to read for several months. I still can’t read a book without mentally chopping superfluous words.

      • Congrats on the job but yeah, I can see why that would happen in that kind of position!

      • That’s going to be tough. I hope you can find a balance between work reading and pleasure reading. Congrats on the job!

    • I’ve done the exact same thing! When I was trying so hard to get the manuscript rough draft out I had no interest in reading. I still managed to finish a few titles but it was harder to become absorbed in the story. I found that I too had become terribly picky about others writing styles. It feels really good to take some time to recharge.

  8. It’s a case of feast or famine for me, either too much work or none at all.

  9. Hmm, I’m not married and don’t have any children so I might give this a try, I can imagine how fantastic it would be to spend whole day doing nothing but reading!
    I have two little dogs though and when I pay too much attention to a book instead of them, they kind of look like they want to eat the book! 🙂

    • Go for it! Take a few minutes each hour to play with them and snuggle and then back to reading. I’m sure for one day they’ll forgive you.

      • Ah! But for true readers, it’s never just “one day….”

  10. Authors should write what they like to read. An author of fantasy should read fantasy. You did just the right thing.


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