I made the decision not to post book reviews here on www.anthonycardno.com anymore because I felt like it was a conflict of interest with advertising my own writing. That doesn’t mean I can’t discuss books I’m reading, though, right?
My reading tastes are all over the map. I keep it varied for a number of reasons:
1. I burn out easily. Too much of any one author or in any one genre makes me antsy and bored. If I’ve read 5 books in the same genre back to back and I’m not enjoying the last one, I start to feel guilty that I’m not giving the book a fair shake because I’m watching for the tropes (if the titles are all the same genre) or the author’s tics (if I’m reading a lot of one author).
2. I feel the need to expand outside my comfort zone. I’ve challenged myself to read more non-fiction (and to read more non-fiction than just memoirs), and to read more fiction in genres I don’t ordinarily visit. Expanding my horizons can only help my writing, right?
3. I keep meeting interesting new authors on social media like Livejournal (Jay Lake) and Twitter (Jeremy C. Shipp, Bryan Thomas Schmidt) and that extra contact increases my urge to sample their work sooner rather than later.
4. Book Clubs. I joined my office’s book club to help me read more “literary fiction,” and I joined Shara’s book club on Livejournal to read more fantasy and SF, as I’ve largely been concentrating on mysteries and urban fantasy in the past year or so. For the office book club I just finished Robert Goolrick’s A RELIABLE WIFE, and for Shara’s book club I’m in the middle of Octavia E. Butler’s FLEDGLING.
5. Being a Paid Reviewer. Last year I sold a book review to ICARUS magazine, published by Lethe Press. They’ve offered me the opportunity to do more for them. They want reviews on books in the LGBT horror/sf/fantasy realm, an area I’m not all that well-read in. Just finished my first review for them: LYNX by Joely Skye.
I tend not to read books that sound too similar to my current WIP though. So I’m avoiding college-set mystery-thrillers at the moment so they don’t influence what I do with Ambergrin Hall.
I’m wondering, fellow writers, what you read and how far-ranging your reading is and how it influences your own writing.