For a writer, I’m a very weird reader. Let me explain.

When I start reading a book, it’s really hard for me to stop reading it. A good reading day is one where I can just sit down and read a book in one sitting. The last time I was able to do that was when I got my wisdom teeth pulled (though how much I remember about those books is debatable.) But, even if I’m not really a fan of what I’m particularly reading at that moment, it’s really hard for me to stop reading it. Maybe that’s something that’s been drilled into me from all the books I’ve read (sometimes forcibly) for school. Because, you know, for class, you can’t just not read the book assigned, even if you hate its guts. I must say (and dare I say it), I did not like reading To Kill A Mockingbird. But I was compelled to finish it anyway, so I could know what was going on in class. I know some kids, even in my Advanced Placement classes, who don’t actually read the books assigned, and those students usually don’t pass the class with a good grade.

Yet, at the same time, it takes a lot out of me to start reading a book. When I have a new book to read, an anxious excitement fills my chest. And yet, for some reason, probably because of that, I’m almost reluctant to pick it up and read. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I want to be able to read it all at once, and I know that day I might not be able to do that, so I put it on my shelf where it sits for months on end, not being read.

Just recently, I did stop reading a book halfway through, which was a big deal for me. When I’m reading a book, I never want to think, “Gosh, I can write better than this.” I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. That can be a really good motivator and has been for me many times. I much rather like reading a book where I think, “Man, this author writes so good, I hope I can be as good as them one day.” Now that is probably the best motivator for me. Because as a writer, I know I need to improve, because that means I can still grow, and there are stories out there that I can fall in love with.

And I’m not saying I think I write better than Harper Lee–not in the slightest. 😉