Philip Roth said that reading was a way to keep the circuits open and to think about the piece he’s working on while getting a little rest from the actual work in hand.

Sooooo, the question is….should I join a book club? I’ve been thinking about this for over a year now, but never actually done anything about it. “Mount Toobie” (sorry, slipping into BookCrosser mode there), my to be read pile is huge, verging on thousands, which is what has always put me off….but.

My writing style is very similar to my reading preferences. I tend to read what I call “real life stuff”. No fantasy or sci-fi. I’m not even keen on crime either. I like emotional character driven stories, about people, their lives, and how they overcome obstacles. Which, is kinda what I write about.

But does that allow me to grow as a writer? Am I missing out on the opportunity to “broaden my horizons” so to speak? Also, would joining a book club/reading group give me an insight to what readers want from their books?

Jack Heffron says “Don’t try to write a short story until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. Don’t try to write a novel until you’ve read fifty of them, preferably a hundred. The same is true for scripts, essays, poems and so on.”

I do copy writing I like into my note book. I collect pieces that I think are powerful. I did at one stage start doing book reviews, but now I just use Goodreads.

Are you a member of a reading group/book club? Do you feel your writing benefits from it?

Whilst compiling this post an update email hit my inbox from Kitty Hietala’s blog which I found very interesting.

Here’s a pic of just one of my book shelves lol.


I wasn’t really inspired by today’s prompt, the emergency exit. I ended up writing a story about 2 young girls running out of the ice rink because the boy one of them fancies comes in. Today’s prompt is eating at a diner so I’m hoping I’ll be a bit more inspired today 😉

20 thoughts on “Reading

  1. I always say I don’t have time to join one because I spend so much time writing. That said, I do think reading your genre can clarify what works and what doesn’t. Like you, I don’t like fantasy, paranormal, historical books (Although I love Ann Rice’s The Witching Hour.. go figure) Let me know if you find a book club that caters to the writing we both appear to like. I have a book they could read, lol, and soon I’ll have a second for them.


  2. I’m not apart of a book club, but I try to read a lot. I’ll venture outside of romance to other things, but not too often. I can definitely see the merits of it though. Or maybe I should make myself read different genres.


  3. I’ve often heard that reading works best when you’re at a revising stage for your drafts, but there’s no harm in reading at all times, whenever it’s possible. Compare it to being a fighter, or a football player. If you want to beat that next person, that next team, that next challenge, you need to know how you’re going to face it. What tools do I need? Am I doing enough? Where am I falling short? What are my strengths and weaknesses?

    As I’ve found over the course of the last couple months, just the simple act of working in your writing with somebody else opens your horizon to a lot of ideas you never even considered, or perhaps you decided to ignore. I even blogged about it in “Mr. Big Hair, Bo Dicks”. Why not give it a try?


  4. Hmm… Ya know, I’ve actually been searching recently for a local book club in my area, just to get out and meet more people. (Extreme introvert, here.) For the most part, though, I figure that if I really want to read something (and my wish list confirms there’s much I’d like/intend to read, lol) I’ll do it in my own time. I usually have specific reasons for picking out certain novels to read, too (fiction and non-fiction)…try to do double or triple duty, if I can, as far as learning new things and reading for enjoyment go.

    I do think that reading and writing go hand-in-hand, however, and can feed into each other…for better or for worse, heh.

    Btw, what’s your screen name on Goodreads? I’d like to add you, if that’s cool. 🙂


    • Hi Tiyana and thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Yes, that is a very good reason to join a book club!

      Lol, don’t talk to me about wish lists, my Amazon one currently stands at about 700!

      I’m Vikki Thompson on Goodreads, currently reading Revenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes if that helps. You’ll see how sad it is when you notice how many books I’ve added in a year *deep sigh* 😉



  5. Nice shelves! I spotted a few books that live on my shelves, too. 🙂

    As for a book group, I’m too random to ever join one. Sometimes I’ll read two books within a week and then turn around and read one book over the span of a month! Plus, I’m a moody reader. I don’t like being told what to read and when – my gut tells me what book to pull off the shelf. 🙂


    • Thanks hon….only 1 of many though, and we wont even talk about the ‘piles’ lol 😉

      Yeah, I’m definitely a bit like that. At the moment I have 3 books on the go, but that’s been the case for about a month lol.

      I can definitely understand where you’re coming from 🙂



  6. I wish I had time to join a book club, but I understand it varies from person to person. I do try to challenge myself to read a variety of books; more so than I once did. It takes me some time to read through them, which is okay because a writer is meant to take in the story as a reader and enjoy it. I started out the year reading four books.


  7. Pingback: Author Quote Inspires Monday’s Poem | Alaskan Dreams

  8. After having to read specified books for A levels, I couldn’t bear to have to read specific books again. It was such a chore and put me of reading for years.

    I’m still bookcrossing though. It’s nice to read a book and then know about it if someone mentions it, or to recommend it to someone else. More organic instead of forced.


Lets chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s