The Embarrassing Reason I Took a Side Gig Writing Book Reviews
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write” — Stephen King
This quote from Stephen King is one I come back too often. As a professional writer, I’m embarrassed to admit: I don’t read nearly as much as I probably should.
A few years ago, I took on a job writing book reviews — my primary motivation was that it would encourage me to pick up a book on a regular basis. It’s worked and I’m glad I took the gig — I’m definitely not in it for the money! ;-)
Since then, I always have a book I’m reading my way through — not as fast as I’d like, maybe, but it’s better than it was in the past. In the last year, I’ve read everything from YA novels (“The Inheritance Games”) to classic literature (“Pride & Prejudice”).
The thing is, once I’m into a book, I love it. I was a big reader all through childhood, high school, and college. Then the “real world” kicked my butt. Between juggling work, social obligations, and self care, my voracious reading habit fell my the wayside.
I now read one book every eight weeks. That’s only six books a year, which feels like nothing when I consider how many wonderful books are out there. It definitely feels like nothing when I see the hungry (and fast?!) readers on Booktok and Bookstagram. But I remind myself: It’s not a race. Or a competition.
At least I’m reading. And I’m thankful that the magic that captured me as a child is still there. There is nothing like getting lost in a good book, only to discover an entire afternoon has passed — to be pleasantly surprised by a clever plot twist, to laugh out loud at witty dialogue, or to marvel at an expertly built world.
And, as a writer, I also know how much work goes into every book I read. These writers spend countless hours (and, if they’re anything like me, shed a few tears!) on their work. So, to all you other writers out there: Thank you.
Do you have tricks or tips for reading more? Do you wish you read more? Are you one of those speed-readers I see on TikTok or Instagram? I’d love to hear about your reading hacks.
Thank you for reading! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.
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