One thing that has clearly suffered in all of this recent flurry of writing is my reading. I simply haven’t had time for any. Normally, I read an issue of NEW SCIENTIST each week. I’m 4 or 5 weeks behind there. In addition, I’m almost always reading a book, be it fiction or nonfiction, but the last book that I completed was Caesar and Christ by Will Durant, and that was back in August. It is unprecedented, since I’ve been keeping track of my reading, to go nearly 3 months without having finished a book. But it is due almost entirely to the emphasis I’ve been putting on my writing. And it’s not that I don’t want to read. My days are long, and by the time I get into bed at night, my mind is not ready to focus on more reading. The fact is that I do a fair amount of reading, just not the kind that I used to do. I’m reading the stuff that I write, as well as the stuff that other people write–roughly 3 stories a week for the various groups of which I’m a member. That has been consuming all of the available time I have for reading. And the list of books that are in the queue is growing even as I grow restless:
- All Clear by Connie Willis, which I’ve started, but have yet to finish
- The Devil’s Eye by Jack McDevitt, ditto
- Echo by Jack McDevitt, which I can’t properly start until I’ve finished The Devil’s Eye
- Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
- Robert A.Heinlein: In Dialog with His Century
- Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear
There are others that I can’t think of at the moment. But the point is that the backlog is building and I can’t make forward progress. For now, I’m looking at it as one of the sacrifices I make spending what time I can working on the novel. And I hope that when we’re on vacation the last two weeks of the year, I can get caught up on a book or two.