Snail reading and writing

bookstackThere’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?

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