I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl when I first discovered books.  Reading fueled my appetite to learn to write and the rest is history—well, almost.  For a while I was focusing so much on writing my current WIP’s that I didn’t read any new books for over a year.  Of course, that’s not beneficial to my writing and I finally realized that.  
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I recently started doing some book reviews and that has whet my appetite again to reading and why I love it so much.  It’s also reminded me how much (as a writer) I need to read other books, both fiction and non-fiction.  


Reading how other authors write is beneficial to sharpening your own writing skills.  If you’re looking closely enough, you’ll see what works for other authors and what doesn’t.  Your skills will be honed.  That’s the point, right—we should always want to do what is necessary to sharpen our skillset and write better novels.  At least that’s my goal. 


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I know with my first book, I did not know what I was doing other than basic grammar skills and that I really, really wanted to be an author.  However, wanting to be a real author and truly being one—two totally different stories.  Being a successful author takes hard work and determination and you always need to take the good with the bad.  Are you able to handle constructive criticism from editors, publishers, book reviewers and even readers…without getting offended?  It takes me time to process the criticism, but usually I can get a handle on it and use that to make my writing better. 

Now that my second novel has been published and I’m working on my third and fourth, I’m excited that I’m still learning more on how to write better and get a truly polished novel that readers are waiting with bated breath to read.  Starting to read other books again has truly assisted in that journey. 


There are different levels of writing and I want to strive to make it to the highest level that I can write.  Reading more books can open your mind to those different levels of writing skills and you can compare that to your own set of skills and figure out where you need to improve.  Obviously, your end goal is not to copy another author’s work.  That would be plagiarism and wrong!  My point is that reading good, quality work can inspire you to see where your writing skills are lacking and open up your eyes to see where you can improve.  


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I recently received a Kindle and let’s just say that I LOVE it!!  I never thought I would enjoy reading on an eReader since I was an advocate for print books, but after my mom got one (and she was more against the eReader than I was)…she convinced me that I would love it.  I’ve only had the Kindle for a week and I’ve fallen in love.

So, just curious what other people think on the subject of eBooks vs. print books.  Do you think print books will become obsolete?  If you have an eReader, which kind and what do you like about it?      


 
 
I recently came across a great online resource ~ The Reading Room (www.thereadingroom.com), which is “a community of book readers, book people, book clubs, bestsellers and online sharing of great books to read.”

It’s free to join this community and for book enthusiasts, there are several benefits:

~ Create an online profile

~ Find people with similar reading interests

~ Start or join a reading group

~ Create a bookshelf with books you’re reading or want to read

~ Recommend books

~ Read for free (part or whole) books that are out of print and publisher approved

I was invited to have my two books, Shadowed Remembrances and Mr. Shipley’s Governess, listed on this site.  Authors also join this community and utilize their membership as a way to communicate with readers and network with people.   
 
 
I remember the first time I started reading grown-up books when I was a teenager and I was so excited to read.  I’ve always had a love of reading and I can thank my mom for that.  She has been an avid reader and that love for reading got passed down to me and my brothers and sisters.  My favorite author during my teenage years was Janette Oke, one of the first inspirational romance authors in the Christian fiction market.  I read all of her books.  Since then, I’ve graduated on to other authors and more difficult reads but I still remember that Ms. Oke’s books inspired me to read and believe that someday I could write inspirational romance books. 

Currently, my two favorite contemporary authors are Karen Kingsbury and Terri Blackstock.  I love how they both write books that draw you right into the lives of their characters and you just can’t wait to finish reading the story.  Ms. Kingsbury’s books, in particular, have been another source of inspiration to me.  I’ve learned so much about writing, just by reading her books (as well as every other book I’ve read).  R.I.F. ~ Reading is Fundamental…I remember that campaign from school days, to help students understand how important reading is. 

I haven’t yet bought a kindle or other eBook reading device, but I’m sure I’ll get to that sometime in the near future.   I’m putting that on hold for right now because I just love holding a book in my hands when I read.  I know…I’m old school, but I love the smell of books and turning pages and immersing myself in the lives of the characters.  As a writer, I do like the idea of eBooks and want people to purchase my book, Mr. Shipley’s Governess when it comes on in the next few weeks.  However, I hope books never go out of style, at least not during my lifetime. 

Back to the fundamentals of reading ~ reading is a wonderful tool to learn.  We can keep our minds active and continually educate ourselves on new topics.  Sitting down to watch TV does not require a lot of cranial effort; whereas, reading a book, does.  Some people do not find reading enjoyable and it’s hard for me to understand that, only because I love to read. 

My husband and I do not have children, yet, but when we do, I am definitely going to make an effort to instill a love for reading into their lives.  My husband was not a big reader, but he has recently begun to read more and, to me, I think that’s awesome. 

Recently, I was introduced to a great resource for readers, www.thereadingroom.com.  The Reading Room is a global community for readers.  Once you sign up for a free online profile, you have access to a wonderful online source.  There are reading groups, book recommendations for you as well as access to view authors’ profiles. 

I was invited to join as an author on their site and I was excited to accept that invitation.  Many readers are members of this website and I hope to mix and mingle with people on this site as well as learn more about some great authors. 

As an author, it’s hard to find time to balance reading and writing, but it is so necessary to becoming a better writer.  Have you read any good books lately?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.  Please feel free to post a comment.  
 
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    DISCLAIMER: Book Reviews

    In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging & endorsements, I want to post this disclaimer. From time to time, I do purchase and review some novels. However, most of the novels I review are given to me as a complimentary review copy by the author or publisher. I do not receive  monetary compensation for the reviews I complete.

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