April is over. Which means that we’re through a third of 2015. And don’t say how fast it’s gone by because everyone says that about everything and it’s just annoying. Anyway, at this point you should have some idea as to whether or not you’re going to reach your reading goal. Unless you’re me, because I have no idea.
My goal for 2015 (as it is every year) is to read 50 books. Guess how many I’ve read so far? Just guess. I’ll give you a second. Got your guess? Okay. I’ve read four books. Ha! And none since January. Why? I don’t feel like reading. That’s all. But this happens every single year. I go through a period of not reading. It’s just how I am. Maybe it’s my way of taking a little break from words and words and words. I don’t know. But I have no issue with it. I’m not one of those super readers who reads 125 books a year without blinking an eye. That’s just insanity.
So my total for the first third of the year is four books, right? Now I’m going to predict how many I think I’ll read during the next four months. Hmm. Based on absolutely nothing, I’ll say by the time the end of August comes around I’ll have added 20 books to my current total. Let’s see how I do!
Two questions for this one. First, what’s the status of your 2015 reading goal? Second, how many books do you think you’ll read in the next four months? Most of y’all better be doing better than I am.
On this day in 2014 I published Quoting Your Favorite Authors via Their Books.
I stole this post from a blogger I follow, but yesterday was a long day. I don’t remember who it was. Whoops. I altered the topic just a bit anyway.
I know not every blogger who follows my blog is a writer. But I imagine every one of you is definitely a reader. Otherwise I have no idea why you clicked that follow button in the first place. Ha. But really, I think most of y’all read a whole lot more than I do and I think it’ll be interesting to hear how many of you are married to or in relationships with others who don’t happen to read much, if at all.
For me this question is SO easy to answer. I’d answer your question with one of my own. Girlfriend? What girlfriend? I have no one. Which is perfectly fine because I might be 23 but I can’t really imagine myself in any kind of serious relationship at the moment. (Unless Jennifer Lawrence is knocking on my door). All the girls I know now who are single are the complete opposite of readers. I’m not sure what the name for those people is. Lost, maybe? So IF I were to find myself in a relationship with someone I already know, then the answer would be no to both parts of this question. I know no writers. I know no readers.
But what about y’all? I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve had on this blog in which someone mentions their wife or boyfriend doing something, so I know y’all can actually answer this. Is your significant other a reader/writer?
On this day in 2014 I published A Novel’s Opening Line.
Every blogger on WordPress is in the business of telling everyone else on the site what they SHOULD do about something. It’s a little funny at times. Anyway, one of the things I see discussed over and over is how you’re supposed to support other writers.
Some would have you simply give encouragement. Some would have you beta read for them. Some would have you buy their books. Some would have you buy and review their books. Some would have you use your own social media accounts to drive attention toward the writer in question. Some would have you attend a book signing. Do you see what’s happening here? There are a number of ways to support other writers. You don’t have to do one thing or another just because that seems to be the consensus among random bloggers. That’s absurd. And just because someone is more forthright with their opinion doesn’t make it any more right or reasonable.
If you want to beta read for another writer, then you should. If you want to buy another writer’s book to show your support, then you should. If you want to launch a mini social media campaign for another writer, then you should. But you should never feel obligated to support any writer in any way. So what if they have a nice little blog? That alone isn’t grounds to go off and support them like they’re running for president.
Support other writers how you want to because there is no “correct” way of doing so. No matter what others would have you believe. And don’t forget that the number of writers you’re obligated to support is zero. It’s all up to you and not everyone else.
On this day in 2014 I published A Letter to my Character.
I read an interesting article earlier today written by two authors that got me thinking a little bit.
Now obviously I’m not talking about actually writing and reading at the same time. What I mean is during the days or months that you’re working on a writing project, what do you read? And my answer to this particular question is a little perplexing. I don’t. I don’t read while I’m writing. Which is completely bizarre, but I think it’s true. 2013 and 2014, the only years for which I could possibly try to answer this question, were my two worst reading years in recent memory. And those were the two years in which I was writing.
But I think I’m the odd man out here. Because I know several bloggers who manage to read 50-75 books each year while writing more than I ever have. But I also bet there are a few people in similar situations to mine. But I’ll only know if you tell me!
So, what do you read while you write?
I’d never heard of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) until I read about their annual campaign recently. But I won’t go heavily into describing them because either you know about the organization or you don’t. I don’t think it should have any effect on your opinion of their annual book drive.
The goal of the book drive is to give as many books as possible to children and families who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. This year the drive is helping three organizations build libraries in their communities. Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City. Borderline Books in Gateshead, England. And Borderline Books in Leiden, the Netherlands. The goal is to raise 60,000 books for the three organizations in the two months from April 2 -June 2.
This kind of goes back to my post from yesterday in which I described a man in Colorado who had thousands of books and got rid of them by dumping them on the side of the highway. I bet if he’d gotten in contact with HPA that they could have figured out a way for him to donate those books. The best part of this whole thing is that HPA is aware of how costly it can be to ship books, so they help you if you’re someone who has dozens or even hundreds of books you’re trying to get rid by suggesting local causes or organizations to donate to. This is a great way to get people reading who otherwise likely wouldn’t.
If you’re interested in donating books just click here to visit their website to learn more. As of the writing of this post they have raised over 10,000 books.
On this day in 2014 I published My Writing Process Blog Hop.
Yes, this is a real thing.
In Colorado over the last couple of months a strange thing has been happening. Someone has been dumping books along the side of the highway. And not just one book here and one book there, the person has dumped more than 600 of them. That can become quite the inconvenience for everyone involved, mostly drivers.
But the case has been solved. On Thursday a state trooper witnessed the Literary Litterbug in action and threw the book at him for his crimes (like my pun?). He was charged with six counts of littering and released. The book bandit acquired thousands of books when an area used bookstore went out of business a few years ago. He was able to sell them online but ultimately couldn’t compete with larger, more refined book-selling operations. So instead of donating or just hanging on to the books he decided to start dumping them on his way to work.
The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be dumping your books on the side of the highway. Send them to me and I’ll take care of them.
On this day in 2014 I published And the Most Banned Book of 2013 is….
First, this is not me being critical of Khloe Kardashian. I have nothing against her. This is me being critical of the people and publishers who make these celebrity books happen.
I don’t get it. There is not one celebrity (okay, Jennifer Lawrence is the ONLY one) who I’d want to read a book ‘written’ by. Not one. And yet we get so many of these books every year that I think there should be a new genre recognized. I’m not even joking. I’m sure y’all have heard that Pharrell is writing children’s books. You’ve probably read Lena Dunham’s book by now. I think Jimmy Fallon has a book on the way.
I have nothing against any of them, but there is nothing they could write that I’d be willing to spend money on. But that’s just me.
I’ve written about celebrity book deals before, but now I have a different question to ask. Are there any celebrities you’d like to see write books? My one and only is Jennifer Lawrence. Not because I think her book would be any more interesting or better than all the others written by celebrities, but because I’d love anything with her name attached to it. Fun fact: if she had a Twitter I think I’d only follow her and no one else. Cause what else would I need?! Sorry for the mini tangent.
PS: If I’d done enough to demand a seven figure book deal, I’d likely dip my hand into the publishing industry too.
On this day in 2014 I published Literary Characters who Should Die.
Just yesterday multiple commenters said that they’d read or understand why people read in bookstores because not everyone can afford to buy new books. Well today I discovered that there’s actually a way for people to buy books without any money.
1010 Ways to Buy Without Money is a project that started in 2011 in Spain that has now spread to most regions of the world. The basic premise is that stalls at the events will be ‘selling’ books for a variety of prices set by organizers or by the donors of the books. And none of the prices I’ve read about are outrageous or embarrassing.
For example, one might be asked to eat all your food in exchange for a children’s book. Or someone might be asked to leave positive messages inside books. Or to donate your time to a charity. See, the thing is that the system essentially operates on a promise. The buyer can’t do everything right then and there at the stall, but they know the price of the book and are asked to send photos at a later date of them fulfilling their promise. And there are so many different ‘prices’ for books at these events that it makes buying a new book all the more exciting. Organizing a picnic for at least five kids. Taking snacks to work for your colleagues. Putting flowers on your balcony. Spending a day on your own. All of these things have been the price to buy a new book without spending any money at all. And I think everything about this is great.
The only downside I’ve found when reading about these events (that are about to start happening in the coming weeks) is that they haven’t caught on as much in the United States. There are smaller events held, but I’d like to see something in Houston or New York City or LA on a grand scale that is unmatched by any other place in the world. And maybe that will happen at some point, but for now I’ll just stick to reading about these great events from afar.
What do you think? Like the idea of buying books without having to spend any money?
You can visit the initiative’s website here to see more ways people are asked to buy books without money.
On this day in 2014 I published The Lack of Diversity in my Reading.
Y’all are well aware of the fact that I don’t even step foot inside bookstores. I see no reason to. Unless some crazy person decides to buy me a gift card. Hehe. Anyway, but I can think of those long ago days in which I did buy books from my local Barnes and Noble and tell you with absolute certainty that I never read in the bookstore. I feel like that’s stealing. You could sit there and read for as long as you want and no one would even say anything.
I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but there’s nothing more annoying than knowing exactly where the book I’m looking for is located and there’s a person sitting there in the way reading. THIS ISN’T YOUR HOUSE. I mostly fault the bookstore for allowing this to happen. WiFi. Coffee. Lounge chairs. It’s too much. People are confused and think those things are there to be used. Nuh uh. Just get your books and get out of my way! (mostly kidding)
But really, don’t most books have samples on Amazon? Wouldn’t it be easier to just read those from anywhere rather than blocking me from getting my book because you have to be sitting on the floor with your nose in the book you haven’t yet bought? I think yes.
Now you know that I’ve never read in a bookstore, but have you?
On this day in 2014 I published The Faces of my Characters. If you’ve read my book, then take a look at this post! You get to see the real people I wrote about!
Over the course of human history several groups have made the choice to burn books. And I think ISIS has now done the same. I’m just wondering why this happens.
I understand that during the days before electricity burning books would have been a surefire way to stop people from gaining knowledge. Imagine a town with one central library that was burned to the ground. Would the people just stop learning? No. But not having any books would make it a bit more difficult. But now we’re living in a very different age. We have the internet. We have all kinds of books in the public domain. We can gather information from so many different sources that it really makes no sense to burn books (not that it ever did).
I guess I can see it as an intimidation tactic to demonstrate that nothing is out of your reach, but burning books doesn’t really sway any opinions. Just like burning businesses, historical landmarks, or homes does nothing to change the opinions of people. With the technology that we have today (even in lesser developed countries) books can never really be burned. Printed books can be destroyed, but the information, stories, and everything that lies within the pages of a book cannot be taken away.
On this day in 2014 I published Letter From Character to Author.