I’m a Writer Who’s Struggling to be a Reader

“photo of library with turned on lights” by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
“club master eyeglasses on pile of three books” by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash
  1. I’ve forgotten how to be a reader. In trying to understand how to be a better writer I’m approaching novels as if they’re textbooks and lessons to be endured not enjoyed.
  2. I don’t make the time to read. Sometimes, I’ll start reading just before I go to sleep but it’s often without any real enthusiasm.
  3. I’m intimidated by the list of must-reads I’ve compiled in my diary and most have been picked from literary prize shortlists. They’re the should-reads rather than the books that I think I’ll enjoy.
  4. I’m out of the habit of reading. I forget that I can and that I should. I get too much short-term satisfaction from other distractions like Netflix and Twitter. The book is harder work.
“assorted-title book lot beside window” by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash
  1. I’m going to use the library again.
  2. I’m not going to take a list in with me. I’m going to browse. I’m going to see what takes my fancy on the day.
  3. I’m not going to read anything that’s been shortlisted for a literary prize unless it genuinely appeals to me. I don’t care how trashy what I’m picking out is either.
  4. I’m going to make time to read. I’m going to build-in a reading time to my schedule so that I have a reminder until it becomes a habit again.
  5. A book has 50 pages to get good and then it’s gone.
  6. I’m going to be a reader first and a student second. I’m only taking notes if the earth moves.
  7. One book (or maybe two) taken out of the library at a time.
  8. I’m going to take it page-by-page.




short fiction writer of average height.

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Susan James

Susan James

short fiction writer of average height.

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