I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I have about 25 magazine subscriptions, ranging in various topics from hockey to astronomy to running to cooking to fitness. I also have a gigantic to-be-read pile of fiction and nonfiction books that is getting more gigantic every day, because I now buy way more books than I actually have time to read.
When I am writing a new novel I can read fiction until I get about a third of the way through the book. At that point I stop reading fiction until I’m done with the first draft. I don’t like to be unconsciously influenced by other writers when I’m trying to hammer out the story. I’ll switch over to reading nonfiction – again, just about anything will do as long as it catches my eye. The next two books in the nonfiction heap are Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky and Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart.
I just recently finished writing the second book of the Madeline Black series and haven’t gotten too deeply into writing the third so I am trying to cram as much fiction into this period as possible.
Right now I am in the middle of Jim Butcher’s Side Jobs, a collection of short stories from the Dresden Files. I had read many of these stories before in other anthologies but it’s been fun to go back and revisit Harry-through-the-years. The collection also features one new story, which takes place after the most recent Dresden Files novel Changes. I’m trying to work my way slowly through the book so that I can savor the new story when I get to it. Butcher is one my favorite writers and it’s such a treat to get an extra Dresden story when he normally only releases one Dresden novel per year.