Monday, October 28, 2013

What’s Your Reading Pleasure? by Shana Galen

The one thing all of us have in common is reading. No matter how busy I am, I try to take some time to read every day. Most of the time, I can fit about a half hour in. Sometimes I can manage an hour. Sometimes I have to wait in the doctor’s office or have my hair cut, and then I can really carve out some reading time. Yes, I am one of those people.



Since I don’t have much time to read, I don’t have a favorite place to read. I can and will read anywhere. My husband doesn’t read much and likes to watch sports, so I often read in my bedroom, just because it’s quiet and I can concentrate. The problem with reading in bed is I usually fall asleep. I probably get more reading done at my daughter’s after-school activities. I always bring a book to gymnastics and ballet and find I can keep up with both the plot and the lesson for the day.

I’m surprised I don’t see more moms reading while waiting for ballet to get out. Scrolling through one’s phone seems the most popular option. Maybe they’re reading on their phone? I have all the bookstore apps on mine and always have a digital book ready to read at a moment’s notice.

I’m often asked in interviews about what I need before I can start writing. I know some authors will say things like a vanilla scented candle, soft music, and a cup of exotic tea. If I waited for any certain element, other than my computer, to be present, I’d never write a word. I’ve been known to sit in the hallway outside my daughter’s preschool class and finish up a scene. If I was early for an appointment, I’ve sat in my car, opened my laptop, and started a new chapter. If we need to trek across town and my husband is driving, I’ll be typing. I do draw the line at writing and driving.  I also don’t write longhand. I can, but I find the time I have to take to decipher it and type it up, is a waste. Unless I have a light bulb moment, I won't write unless I have my computer. Fortunately, I have one that’s easy to throw in my bag. It fits perfectly right beside my book.

What about you? Favorite place to read or write? What’s the most unusual place we might find you reading or writing?
 

26 comments:

  1. When I was working 40+ hours a week, I wrote whenever I had a moment. I ran scenes in my head during the commute. If I arrived at work early, I'd scribble a few lines longhand until it was time to go in. I added more during my lunch break. By the time I got home that night, I had a start on my page count and didn't have to face a blank computer screen. My writing schedule then was 2 pages each weekday, 10 on Saturday, 5 on Sunday.

    Now that I write full time, I use my laptop pretty exclusively and spend my days cuddled up with my little dog Harry in the writing chair (a comfy recliner we both enjoy!). Now I run scenes while I fold laundry.

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  2. Most of the time I write at my desk, or on the couch, or in bed. A lot of times I'll have some wonderful scenes to write right before I go to sleep. But that's usually the time, if I'm not writing, that I love to read also.

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  3. I write before the day job on my lap top and on lunch hours...the weekends are my friends too. I love what you say Mia about getting words on the page before the evening...it really jumps starts the work.

    Terry, if I wrote in bed, I'd fall asleep LOL

    Shana, what a great post. Thank you for this one.

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  4. What a great post, Shana! I admire your ability to read and write anywhere and it seems you've adapted to a routine that works for you.

    I'm a librarian so I read pretty much anywhere (except in the car--the motion gets to me). As for writing, I do it before work, in the evenings, and on weekends.

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  5. Mia, this sounds really familiar to me. In fact, Mondays are half days at preschool, so I do a lot of writing on the run.

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  6. Terry, I can't write in bed if I'm tired. I find myself slumped over my keyboard. I can sleep sitting up!

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  7. Christy, I used to get up at 4:30 and write before school. I usually had to grade in the evenings. Hey, wait a minute! I still get up at 4:30 and write!

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  8. I used to work in a bookstore, Maria. If we weren't busy, I liked to go and "straighten up" the fiction section, right near the book I'd been wanting to read!

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  9. So many kindred spirits chiming in! I love it. Shana, like you, I write best directly on my computer--but I keep paper on my nightstand in case there's an idea I need to scribble down in the middle of the night. (Whether I can read my writing in the morning is another question.)

    I'll read anywhere. Now that I have a phone bright enough to run ebook apps, it's synced with my ereader. The oddest place I read recently was in line at the post office, waiting to mail out a stack of books to blog-tour winners.

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  10. Theresa, I can totally believe you had time to write in line at the post office. I could probably make my page count there if they had comfy chairs!

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  11. Thank you for your post, Shana. I'm typing this on my favorite toy, my tablet, which I named Lori (because I won it in a contest sponsored by romance author Lori Wilde). I'm at a clinic waiting for the doctor to see me (just a checkup).

    Lori is loaded with ebooks, so wherever I go I always have something to read. But just in case I run into a technical glitch or the tablet runs out of power, I keep in my tote bag an old-fashioned book, the kind made from dead trees.

    I do much of my writing on Lori. That too I do anywhere I can. What's the strangest place I've read or written anything? If I told you, I'd get in trouble!

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  12. Great post! I enjoy reading at night either on the couch or in bed but I run the risk of falling asleep. In the summer, I'm partial to reading at the beach or the pool.

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  13. I really like to sit in my comfortable office chair at my little antique desk when I write...but if necessary I could write in a bunker with a class 5 tornado rearranging things outside. I develop plots in the car, longhand because I can't get the hang of typing with a lap top in...you guessed it, my lap! LOL

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  14. Oh, I forgot...reading can be anywhere! Car, waiting at the dentist's or doctor's offices, back yard, living room, my recliner but not in bed. Pillow means it's time to think about what I'm writing the next day...my sleepy time music is the next scene playing out in my head.

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  15. My favorite place is at night in bed but I am one of those people that always has a book with them. I can't imagine just sitting there waiting when I could be reading lol.

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  16. During the commercials, while watching TV, I read. I write at my desk in the basement rec room (with a CD player/radio on).

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  17. LOL, Mary Anne! That's too funny. And I love how you have a back-up book in your bag. You have to be prepared in case of emergency.

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  18. Sara, I love reading at the beach. There's something so relaxing about the sound of the waves.

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  19. Carolyn, if I tried to plot before falling asleep, I wouldn't plot at all (not that I do much anyway!). I think about plot when I'm doing laundry or other chores.

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  20. I'm the same way, catslady. Strange to me that there are people who don't read.

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  21. Angela, I do that sometimes, but then I get annoyed that my book is interrupted and turn the TV off!

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  22. Unless I'm critiquing something, I read in bed, hoping to fall asleep. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't. ;)

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  23. I know a lot of people who read in bed, Cheryl. It becomes part of their routine to fall asleep.

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  24. I've read during class when I was in high school before. Whenever I finished my notes and class work I would sneak a few pages.

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  25. My writing schedule has changed drastically over the last few months, due to family crises. So right now I'm trying to find a routine again that will work with my new "life" schedule.

    I used to write first thing in the am...and I read every night, like you 'til I fall asleep:)

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  26. My favorite place to write is at my new desk! It's the first time I've had one. I used to have to write on a TV dinner table in the living room.

    My favorite place to read is on the couch or in bed.

    But I will read or write anywhere.

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