I love reading, always have, and I would like to think that being an avid reader also makes one a better writer. By reading you expand your vocabulary, you learn the rules of writing and sentence building, and you can get inspiration.
A writer that doesn’t read is missing out on something very vital. You have to study your art if you want to create something. That goes for everything, not just writing.
I don’t read as much as I used to, partly for lack of time and partly for lack of energy, but I do try do read as much as I can. My favourite genre is of course the one that I write myself; Historical Romance, more specifically Regency set romance. I read a lot of other genres as well though, anything from fiction to humour, from horror to fantasy. I won’t lie though, most of what I read will be romances.
Lately I’ve tried to expand my romance reading from nearly exclusively historical romance to contemporary. I don’t like it as much, but I have found quite a few good stories.
Growing up my switch from children’s books to adult books came early. I think I was eleven or so when I could no longer find anything of interest in my bookshelf or the young adult section of the library. Looking at the large amount of books in my mom’s library I asked her for a suggestion. She gave me Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon, and I loved it. That book got me interested in the fantasy genre, as well as the horror genre as I ended up reading most of King’s books.
In the next few years I read nearly all of Stephen Kings books (that had been published up to that point), nearly all of Dean Koontz’ books of the same genre. I also got very interested in fantasy, and devoured the books of David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Tolkien and many others. For a long time, my main discourse when it came to books was horror and fantasy.
I don’t remember who introduced me to romance novels, but it wasn’t until my early to mid-twenties that I truly fell in love with the genre. It was when I found wonderful authors such as Teresa Medeiros, Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn. This was also around the time that I gave up on trying to write a fantasy novel, and instead focused on writing romance. After writing many stories through my life, I realised that no matter the story – I had characters falling in love, whether I had planned it or not. So in the end, I decided that what I should probably be writing, is romance novels!
That is my story both of me as a reader, and as a writer. I do believe that the two are connected, and I will strive to continue reading as much as I possibly can.
What kind of books got you into reading? Are you still reading the same genres? If you’re a writer, do you mainly write in the same genre that you’re reading?