Monday, February 20, 2012

Reading with Jim, Stephen, and Louie

I loved reading James Michener years ago and miss seeing his books in bookstores now. Okay, sometimes he was criticized for churning out books that were considered less than literary, but the man told a good story and that is the important thing, right? He wrote sweeping epics like Hawaii, Centennial, and Chesapeake along with books like Sayonara which became a popular movie in its day. This story of infidelity taught a young, sanctimonious Midwesterner that a person could be in love with two people at the same time; I never forgot the lesson nor how painful leaving a love could be.

And there was his Fires of Spring that I toted home from the public library when I was about thirteen. My mother picked it up and told me it was not a recommended read for a young girl. I noted that she read every page before she took it back to the library herself.

Michener said every writer needs one great asset which was a good wife to handle the rest of his life. I seem to be short in that department!
Louie L’Amour was a prolific writer, hammering out westerns faster than a fraternity goes through beer cans. One of the most interesting things I learned about the man was that he started keeping a reading journal when he was very young, filling page after page with a variety of subjects. I followed his lead in 1999 and started my own reading journal. I keep only the book title and author’s name while some rate their reads or note what the book is about. If you are more interested in an online type storage, go to Here you can list your reads, review them, and read suggestions and favorites of other readers. If you open your own page there, look me up!

Stephen King advises if one wants to be a writer she needs to do two things: “read a lot and write a lot”. Sounds easy, but there are so many books to get through and so little time to do it! King says he reads about 80 books a year. Wow, I average between 50 and 60 a year, and my family thinks that is too much reading time.

Stephen King also says that morning is his writing time. In the afternoon he naps or writes letters. Evenings are spent with his family, reading, and sometime a revision. Hum, I notice he has not scheduled food preparation, mopping the floor, laundry, vacuuming the rugs, mowing the grass, grocery fetching, or swishing toilets. He must have one of those wives Michener talked about!

How many books a year do you read?
What is your first choice for a reading genre?


Susan said...

Hi Claudia...

Gosh, I don't know how many books I read. I usually don't read fiction but have read Mitchner.

I'm pretty much a non-fiction person and I love all kinds of magazines, too. Right now I'm reading "Every Day a Friday" by Joel Osteen. Good read.

Thanks so much for taking time so frequently to visit my blog and comment. It means SO much to me. Susan

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,

I read about the same number of books you do a year, probably 50-60.

My tastes vary. I read thrillers, mysteries, literary fiction, YA, middle grade, and some historical fiction.


Martha said...

I read a lot -- my favorite is the "cozy" mysteries. I'm now reading At Home by Bill Bryson. It's interesting especially after watching Downton Abbey!

Linda O'Connell said...

I read a couple books at the same time, usually about forty a year. I was unable to post a comment again, but I got around it by right clicking and pressing OPEN.

Lynn said...

Boy, I'm behind on the reading per year quota... I probably read more like 30 a year. I like all kinds of genres to read, so long as they're good!