I’m a writer, which means I like to write.
Sometimes I also like to read. A lot. When I should be sleeping. When I should be doing something important.
Now, I know all the theories that writers are supposed to read, and how you will never be a great writer if you don’t read a lot etc. etc. But am I the only one who sometimes reads a book with a sense of guilty pleasure?
I could have completed editing that chapter … but spent the evening reading instead.
Or I could have cleaned the house…but I spent the afternoon reading instead.
And even when there is nothing more important to do, and you allow yourself the guilty pleasure of reading time, there are degrees of guilt. For example reading a classic or literary fiction is far more acceptable than dipping into the latest genre fiction offering in the bestseller list. And reading about writing? That’s Okay too.
But a brain-off holiday romance? When you write crime fiction? What if it infects you and your gritty thriller turns into…Oh dear!
And what about people who write literary fiction? They must be in a constant state of fear that if they dip into the latest YA sensation it may give their masterpiece a new and unwelcome twist.
There is no hope for it. I don’t know a single writer who isn’t also a reader. I love the different genres, and I love the different writing styles. I love reading—even when I know I should be doing something else!
And despite the guilty pleasure…I’m off to read some more!