I read a lot.
Last year, I kicked off in January with the Empty Shelf challenge from Jon Acuff. Every time I finished a book, I added it to a previously clear shelf and took a picture of it.
But then I got comments like, “I wish I had time to read” and “SLOW DOWN! You’re making me look BAD!” and “I’m jealous of all your free time”. Now, FYI, I was not offended by any of those comments. They didn’t annoy me or make me feel superior, either. I did, however, stop posting pictures of the books I read because I feared some would think I was bragging. Also, I didn’t want to make people feel badly about the amount of books they read.
When I started posting pics this year, I had the same reaction. Sigh.
Here’s the deal. I don’t look down on your reading. It doesn’t matter if you read 5 books last year or 105 (which is more than I read, by the way). I think it’s super that you read! Also, if you read fluff, go for it! I’m not judging you!
Oh, and another thing. I was taught that a writer needs to read a super ton. That training has helped my writing grow and mature. I was also trained (by high school teachers and college professors) that I needed to read a vast array of books. This, also, has helped to strengthen my writing.
I am a full time writer. This is my job. And although it doesn’t bring home a load of cash (seriously, writers aren’t usually able to support themselves on their royalties and advances), it’s my career. Reading is what keeps me on my game.
Accountants have to keep up with new tax laws and they have to continue practicing their math skills. Doctors and nurses are always educating themselves on new treatments and medicines. Builders need to learn new techniques with the variety of structures they work on.
It’s the same for writers.
By the way, any writer who says they don’t read is cheating themselves and their readers. (steps off soapbox and runs away from the angry mob)
As I told someone the other day, if I stop reading or decrease my literary diet, my writing brain would shrivel up into a crusty raisin. Nobody wants that to happen.