If you follow these entries about the Writing Life, you will understand I maintain a diversified reading schedule. As a Christian, I begin my reading for the day in the Bible. For probably the last ten years, I’ve used a “through the Bible” in a year type of program. Each year I vary the books. This year I’m using the One Year Bible which includes a reading from the Old Testament, a New Testament passage, a portion of the Psalms and a few lines from Proverbs. It begins my day in the right direction from my perspective.
I read nonfiction books as well as fiction books plus I’m involved reading many unsolicited query letters and book proposals and manuscripts (my role as a fiction acquisitions editor). Beyond books, I read a newspaper and also various magazines. The bulk of my magazine reading involves consumer magazines or the type of magazines you would find at almost any bookstore. Through the American Society of Journalists and Authors, we receive a substantial discount on these various magazines (one of the many benefits from this group). I haven’t counted but I probably take 50–75 magazines each month. Yes, my mail person probably groans every day with the material for my box. You learn a great deal reading (or skimming) this type of material. It’s a breeding ground for ideas and cultural information.
Yesterday my September issue of Details arrived. I’ve not read the entire issue but I did catch article, Hollywood’s New God Squad by Ian Daly. It’s subtitled, Just when you thought Kabbalah and Scientology had taken Tinseltown, the Lord is risen. It’s always interesting to see what is stirring in the general marketplace and I encouraged people to be informed so follow the link to that article.
Also August 22nd issue of The New Yorker was in my mailbox. I enjoy following the stories in this weekly magazine. While not online at the moment, the issue includes a lengthy article from Peter J. Boyer called The Big Tent, The missions of Billy and Franklin Graham. If you get a chance, it’s an interesting snapshot from this journalist’s perspective. Another interesting observation about this particular issue is Target spent a huge volume of advertising dollars on this issue with creative ads on almost every page of the magazine. I’ve not noticed this type of focused effort in the past and I’m completely unsure what’s behind it other than the repeated exposure.
Think about what you are reading today and what is it building into your idea bank and writing life. If you are locked on a single-minded track, I’d encourage diversity.