Monday, November 09, 2009

What Are You Reading?

It’s a familiar routine. I’m on the way to another conference as I write these words on an airplane. Airports have always been a fascinating opportunity to see what people are reading. Or I observe if they are reading at all. A cross section of the population travels on a regular basis. Some people use the travel time to catch up on their sleep. Others use the time to talk with a seatmate and other people read.

The gentleman in the next seat is working his way through his second newspaper. He’s already breezed through the local Arizona Republic and now he’s studying the pages of USA Today. I’ve seen other people carry a novel to read while others are reading and marking up a nonfiction book. What is on your reading schedule and are you making consistent time in your day to read?

I’m on the way to the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference where I will be meeting one on one with writers and also teaching a couple of workshops. I’m always interested to listen to a would-be author’s pitch then to ask a few questions. Often my questions will turn toward reading.

If you want to write romance, then you should be reading in the genre. If thrillers are your forte, then you should have some favorite thriller writers that you love their prose.

Recently I’ve discovered Daniel Silva. I’m not alone since his books regularly land on the bestseller list. This former journalist turned novelist has successfully turned out some riveting general market prose. In recent months, I’ve read eight of his nine books with the lead character of Gabriel Allon, who is a trained Israeli assassin who loves art and is an art restorer of paintings from The Masters. Yet I do not exclusively read fiction. I’m reading nonfiction—Christian and general market books. I read newspapers and magazines and of course I read the materials that I’m working on each day as a book publisher at Intermedia.

Reading plays a key role in my everyday life. This reading works into my perspective of the world, my knowledge about the world and my work with authors.

(Just to add to the confusion. I'm posting this after the conference but I wrote it on the way to the conference. My schedule was too intense to even get to a computer but now I'm getting it out to you.)

Back to my original question: What are you reading and are you making devoted time in your daily life to read? It will play into your writing life. AddThis Social Bookmark Button

8 Comment:

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

Terry, I've read mostly Christian fiction, some of it suspense. My first book is memoir but I plan to write Christian fiction drawn from my life experiences.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Debbie Petras Left a note...

Terry, I'm one of those people who reads several books at once. I've been using my Kindle which helps because I can slip it into my purse and always have a few books to read if I have to wait anywhere.

I am rereading Francis Chan's "Crazy Love" book because I simply loved it. I read the Bible every day. I'm also reading Stephanie Hester's book called "Choose a Better Life: Common Sense for Uncommon Living". I met her on twitter and we found we had much in common as my blog is called Heart Choices.

I hope you're doing well.

Debbie Petras

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Betty Left a note...

I haven't read any books by Daniel Silva but will be putting him on my TBR list of authors. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm currently reading a book called "Love Tag" by author Peter Shianna. There are a lot of plots going on in this book. I'm completely engaged.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Margaret Marcuson Left a note...

I started a classics reading group last year, partly to give myself a deadline to read some more challenging books. I'm a nonfiction writer on church leadership. I find that reading great fiction enhances my writing and my life.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids Left a note...

I take the bus to work and since I hope to be a children's author I read children's book - I get some real looks from people while I'm holding up a brightly covered children's book! :) I usually read several books at a time. I'm also reading Diana Galbaldon's Echo in the Bone and Philip Yancy's Disappointment with God. Increasingly a great deal of my reading is on-line blogs.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

I just finished a darling little children's book, vintage 1910, called "Rupert, the Witch and Tabitha" by Mary Tourtel, about 100 pages with text and illustrations. It's so old, there is no publishing date inside. I found it in a second-hand shop.

This poor little bear is sent to the market in town by his Mom, but on his way home he encounters an old woman who feigns an injury and needs his help. AFter he guides her to her wood deep in the woods, she turns out to be a witch! She locks him in and uses him for a slave! Talk about cautionary tales for children!

I am a Tarot card reader in a restaurant in Greenwich Village. I had the book with me on Sunday night, which was so cold that business was non-existant. The manager, an Italian man in his 70s, plopped down at the next table and complained about being tired and achy because he was bored.

"Here," I said as I handed him "Rupert, the Witch and Tabitha." "It's an old children's book about a little kid who's kidnapped by a witch, then escapes with the help of a black cat."

I sat there giggling to myself as that gentleman read every word. He was utterly captivated. I knew he was the kind of person who didn't normally read.

None of the wait staff was allowed to speak to him until he had finished. He stuck with it for over an hour. Finally he closed the book in triumph. "Pretty good!" he said.

I thought the book was better than that, because I noticed he'd forgotten his complaints about being bored, tired and achy.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


What a terrific little story about the power of reading. Thanks for sharing it.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...


Wow! When I posted that comment, I got up thinking, 'I should have added a title! The title is "The Power of Reading." We are on the same wave length.

I'm in NYC. See you at the ASJA Conference in April. I'll introduce myself.


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