There’s been some talk on agent blogs lately about how much time writers should devote to reading. By coincidence (?) in my rereading of Stephen King’s On Writing, I had just arrived at the section where he talks about reading. He says: “I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, mostly fiction.”
I choked when I read that. Slow reader? What would he consider a fast reader? Someone who reads seventy or eighty books a month, maybe. Now, if any of you actually do read that many books a month—I’m in awe! Just please don’t tell me you also write two thousand words a day, like Mr. King does.
I do read. And I read on days that I’m writing. But I confess, by comparison to Mr. King, I really am a slow reader. So far this year I’ve read twenty-one books, fiction and non-fiction, plus a few dozen short stories. Of course, I’ve also read many trade magazines and online articles during this period, but that doesn’t count in book total.
And I have never written two thousand words in a single day. Though, maybe if I didn’t edit as I go, I could write two thousand words—on a good day. Not every day, like Mr. King does.
Is there hope for such a snailish writer like me? How do you measure up?