reading is reading

So apparently, at the start of this year, I decided that I was going to read 85 books during 2013.  Where I pulled this magical number from, I have NO IDEA.  But, I do know that Goodreads has informed me that I’ve read 44 books this year.

Just a smidge over half my goal, right?

Well, if you include the books that were rereads this year, you could probably add another three or four onto that number.  Add in the two books I’m currently reading that I’ll finish before January 1, that brings me to right around 50.

And if you add all of the books that I’ve read this year that are not published yet?  Dude, that number skyrockets.  Seriously.

Off the top of my head, I can come up with ten novels and five short stories.  That’s not including all of the chapters I’ve read for stories that are still in progress.  In fact, I have so many people that I beta read for, I had to set aside a day specifically for reading for people. (Reading Sunday, anyone?)  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  And apparently I’m really good at it.  Scroll back a few posts and you can see my thoughts on how important it is to be a good beta reader.

There was a point this year where I started feeling guilty about how little I was reading from my ever growing “to read” list on Goodreads.  Writers are supposed to read a ton, right?  I mean you’re supposed to read all sorts of things you can get your hands on.  You’re supposed to find out what works for you, what doesn’t.  You look at structures, characters, twists and turns, and all those technicalities.  You learn to read like a writer so that you can incorporate those things into your own writing, right?

Well, I wasn’t reading a ton.  I was taking weeks to finish a book when it used to take me a couple of days.  I wasn’t being a good reader.

Until I realized that I was.  Because reading is reading, yeah?  Just because the things I spend my time reading are not published does not change the basic activity.  Actually, beta reading is a super helpful form of reading because you’re looking at a piece with a critical eye you learn how to turn around and do it to your own work. [See my post on beta reading here.]

Essentially the point I’m trying to make is this: it doesn’t matter what you’re reading as long as you’re reading.  If your eyes are dancing across pages and your mind wrapping around words then you’re reading the right thing.  If you are absorbing new ideas, getting lost in a new world, and meeting new people on crisp white pages, then you’re reading the right thing.

Health, Peace, & Happiness,

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