Thursday Thirteen: Books


Well, so far it hasn’t been a great reading year for me. Between Win a Book, my own books, this place, and life in general, reading has taken a back seat. Bummer.

1. In 2005, I read 147 books. I did not finish 54 of them.

2. In 2006, I read exactly the same number of books. Holy smoke. I did not finish 48 of them.

3. No wonder my TBR mountain range numbers hover around the 550 mark (counting what’s on my nightstand and held aside for my book club to read). I brought a LOT of books into my house during those two years. I’m still trying to read most of them, too.

4. In 2007, I snapped out of my writing funk and sprang into motion. That was the year the agent offered representation on Trevor’s Song — and vanished. I read 97 books — and considered myself a slacker.

5. In 2008, with the first Demo Tapes book published in November, I read 87 books by others. A full 21 of them did not get finished.

6. Yes, it’s true. If a book doesn’t grab me, I don’t force myself to finish it. I had a writing professor in college who encouraged me to follow this practice. Reg was awesome. I listened to more than those words of wisdom.

7. This year, 2009, I have two books in print. Two books to promote. I’m getting ready to start Demo Tapes 3, and I’ve promised myself that when I finish writing the first draft of the follow-up to Trevor’s Song, I’ll make you guys happy. Plus I’m working on another manuscript, too.

8. So far in 2009, I’ve read 68 books, 18 of which I haven’t finished.

9. I see a trend here. Do you?

10. However, I continue to lust for books written by others. My wish list (which doesn’t include most of the list I kept in graduate school and for the first few years right after) has over 1900 books on it.

11. 1,921, to be precise.

12. Nope, I don’t expect to read them all. I figure at this point, it’s serendipity. The books I’m meant to read will find me.

13. I hope my books find you.



  1. Celtic Angel

    October 22, 2009 4:52 am

    I really haven’t been reading much lately. Yes. I really feel like a slacker. However, I am reading Demo Tapes 1 right now. So…that’s something at least. It’s holding its own against the Muscle Car book I’m drooling over, actually.


  2. Hootin' Anni

    October 22, 2009 7:47 am

    Oh my goodness….it took me nearly 4 months to read one book, but in my own offense, it WAS Atlas Shrugged which is over 1200 pages I believe.

    My 13 is posted, if you can stop by for a visit it’d be awesome…but if you can’t have a great Thursday anyway. Click HERE and scroll down a bit on my post.

  3. Adelle Laudan

    October 22, 2009 9:45 am

    Wow! I reward myself after every submission, reading time. I haven’t read anywhere close to the amt you have. i used to, before I got published.
    Great list. Happy T13!

  4. bunnygirl

    October 22, 2009 9:45 am

    Life is too short to read a book that’s just not doing it for you. For every book, there’s someone who will love it, so it’s best to pass it along as appropriate.

    Mostly, I’m just glad you’re writing.

  5. Tracie

    October 22, 2009 1:20 pm

    I have never kept track of how many books I have read in a year, but maybe in January I will give it a try. It would be interesting to know.

    It is really hard for me to not finish a book….even one I’m not enjoying. I usually suffer through to the end (even as I write that using the word suffer, I wonder why I don’t just stop-if I really think I am suffering) It just seems wrong somehow….I’ll think about it though.

    My want to read list is over 2,000 right now-and climbing! I need to stop looking at books until I have lowered it down, but I don’t really see that happening. Books are my best friends (or my worst enemies, but those are just the ones that I suffer through to the end!)

  6. Celticlibrarian

    October 22, 2009 2:16 pm

    Giving up on a book? Yep. I do that. Life is too short. Mind you, I’d probably read more if there were no computers, but the I wouldn’t be able to stop by and bug you. 😉

  7. Brenda ND

    October 22, 2009 3:08 pm

    I love that idea–the books that you’re meant to read find you. Cool.

  8. Alice Audrey

    October 22, 2009 6:38 pm

    I’m following the same trend for more or less the same reasons. Eight years ago I maxed out with just under 200 starts and only a dozen or so non-finishers. Last year I didn’t even break 100 and about a third were non-finishers. Eight years ago I was writing like crazy, but only rough drafts. This years my first professional publication comes out.

  9. Julia Smith

    October 22, 2009 8:47 pm

    My writing life pushes my reading life aside always. But it suits me, so c’est la vie. Your publishing future sounds golden, Susan!

  10. Janet

    October 22, 2009 10:27 pm

    1,921??! Wowsa! Life’s too short to waste it on a book you can’t get into.

  11. CalicoCrazy

    October 23, 2009 12:04 am

    I seem to go through phases, I’m either devouring books or not reading at all. I like that professor’s advice, why finish a book you don’t like, what do you really have to gain from doing so.

  12. BeadedTail

    October 23, 2009 3:41 pm

    I just started keeping track this year of the books I’m reading but I don’t think I’ve read as many as you do in a year. Between work and magazines, books tend to get pushed off but I have read Demo Tapes Year 1 and will be reading Year 2 in the near future!

  13. Shelley Munro

    October 23, 2009 8:56 pm

    I don’t read as many books as I used to either. If a book doesn’t grab me I put it aside. I used to read to the bitter end. No longer!

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