There is a saying among sales people — A.B.C. or always be closing. Survival in an MFA program equates to A.B.R or always be reading.
Currently, my survival is three books going at once. An audiobook, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater which I listen to while working out. The good news is that guarantees 5 or 6 workouts because I don’t spend that much time in the car.
Then I always have a book that I’m reading on my Kindle — these days I’m checking them out from the library which is so easy and useful. Currently it’s The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dressen — which is excellent. It’s a push, but I try to read 25% of my Kindle book per DAY. It’s the only way I can stay on track.
Finally, I’m also reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, in absolutely true, actual book form. The actual book form books I try to savor, as much as possible given the schedule — 10 books in approx. 3 weeks.
Last year I strived to read 50 books in a year. This year no strive… I will read 100 books this year. I’m already at 70. How much I have learned. Reading with a focus on how other authors get it right is just about the best thing a writer can do to improve her craft. Join me… and mention fave reads here.