I want to read all the books. I receive book recommendations every day, from publishers, from indie booksellers, from IndieBound.org, from Goodreads, from friends and colleagues. They want me to read more books, and I desperately want to comply. Reading is a joy. It is also, for me, a job. (No, I’m not a book reviewer, so please don’t start sending me your self-published tomes.)
My days are full of reading. I read poetry or the newspaper (depending on my headspace) with my coffee when I wake up. Then I read my emails, including Publishers Lunch, Content Marketing World, The Indie Next List, and Jane Friedman’s newsletters. Then I begin my work, reading for clients—whether it is research, manuscripts, website copy, newsletter content, whatever—it’s not usually the kind of reading of books I’m talking about wanting to do.
But sometimes I must, in the service of my clients, read the books I also want to read for pleasure. This is when the joy and the job dovetail and I remember why I got into this in the first place.
Last week I read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (all day Sunday!), re-read Paul Lisicky’s Lawnboy, and re-read parts of Alexander Chee’s Edinburgh* in the service of a client working on a bildungsroman for a new adult audience. How do I tell him what’s not working? I don’t, of course. I show him. These are possible comparables to his end product. I am reading these books like a writer, but nevertheless it makes my heart happy to read them.
I also listened to the audio book version of Omar Tyree’s Flyy Girl last week, and have his Capital City EPUB in my Hoopla app in preparation for an urban fiction novelist whose manuscript will come to me at the end of July. And before he sends his document to me, I will read more books in this wide-ranging genre.
Actually, this isn’t what I intended to write about in this post. I was inspired by today’s Indie Next List because I want to read every single book on there. And yesterday, I read the SPD Recommends email and there were books there I want to read. How can I read all the books?
So, today I looked it up. On YouTube, where I also went to learn how to install a Bidet not too long ago. TMI?
Sleep is good, but books are better.George RR Martin
One of my past clients, Pat Flynn, has his way to read more books, here, but that’s more for entrepreneurs who don’t love reading for the joy of language. They want to get more information, and there is nothing wrong with that. (I am a part of Pat’s SPI Pro team and their book club, which is my inspiration for reading business books. I just finished Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, which made me look at my bookkeeping a whole new way.)
But check this out! I discovered Max Joseph, who not only learns how to read more books, but does it while traveling to the most beautiful bookstores in the world! This video is amazing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
So, I guess I need to do more math. Also, I need to remember that if I’m reading for pleasure, to do just that: Read for pleasure. If it isn’t pleasurable, put it down. But otherwise, keep doing what I’ve been doing. Read widely. Read daily. Read more.
The busyness does not make our lives meaningful. It is the interior life that makes the greatest difference to us in the end.Dr. Ruth J. Simmons
* All of these are gorgeous books!
PS: I read a lot and work hard for my clients. If you require the services of a professional reader or content editor, reach out to me. The only person who will work harder for you than I will is you.