Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

reading, reading, reading… December 22, 2012

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:25 pm
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At the moment, I’m listening to the last chapter of Diana Gabaldon’s Echo in the Bone which will wrap my eighth trip through this series (some 8000 pages) since I discovered it October of 2011.  I read constantly: novels for adults, teens, and children, magazine articles, e-books, knitting instructions, blogs, and research material.  I knew it was ‘a lot,’ but I wanted to quantify it, so this time last year I signed up on with a challenge to read 100 books in 2012.  I am at book #98, and as today is the first day of Christmas holidays, I should have no trouble surpassing my goal in the last 8 days of the year.  (I only got to count the Outlander series the first time I read each book in the calendar year, which definitely has impacted my totals).

I read somewhere on her blog that Diana Gabaldon herself reads 3 to 400 books a year.  That seems super-human!  At the Surrey International Writers’ Conference author Chris Humphreys casually remarked in a workshop that “Diana doesn’t sleep.”  I know that she works at night, but it seemed to me that she must be both a fast reader, and one who incorporates reading into most of her daily activities.  I just came across this blog post of hers that tells exactly how she does it.  Précis: books are everywhere, and her nose is always in one!

I feel like she does, that a house without books is weird.  Moreover, they feel kind of ‘wrong’ to me!  There is not a single room in my house that doesn’t have a few books in it!  Bathrooms have a book or two on the back of the toilet tank, bedrooms have them on shelves or night tables, kitchen has cookbooks, living room has my latest research material, writing books, and a stack of whatever I’ve got from the library.  The basement has travel books, craft books, and hundreds of university books. (I was an English major, so my classics library is prodigious).  I haven’t read *every* book in the house, but I’ve read most of them.  Ones I haven’t read yet, I hope to read someday soon!  (Except John’s psych text books).

DianaGabaldoncaughtreading2 (1)I had felt pretty good about accomplishing my 100 book goal this year, amid writing two novels, keeping a ‘more-or-less daily’ blog, and teaching full-time, but apparently I have a long way to go! 😉  Diana is an excellent role model, however.  She both reads daily, AND gets a thousand words written each day on whatever novel or short story project is in progress.


Here’s Diana, reading at SIWC.  This is a photo for Word on the Lake’s “Caught Reading” promotion, which you might want to be part of.  Stay tuned!  (I should have used a better camera for this!)


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