How Long Is Your Wish List?

Hi, Writers,

Jessica here, filling in for Jane while she’s out of the office for a couple of weeks. When she asked me to guest blog here on There Are No Rules, my first question was about to be, “What would you like me to blog about?” Then I remembered There Are No Rules, so I knew better than to ask.

These first two weeks as editor of WD have flown by. While preparing my first issue at the helm of the magazine, I’ve also been soaking up as much industry news as I can—like all of us here do on a regular basis, but on overdrive.

Sometimes in the deluge of newsletters and blog posts about media layoffs and Google legal battles and the like, it’s nice to find someone who’s saying something totally random that’s been on your mind. That’s how I felt when I logged onto The Penguin UK Blog for the first time in a while, started scrolling through the entries and came across a refreshingly honest post titled How Does Everyone Here Read So Quickly?

I am a voracious reader. True, I feel a responsibility to stay apprised of what’s on the shelves as part of my job—but I’d read nonstop even if I didn’t.

That said, I add to my wish list infinitely faster than I can cross books off. This frustrates me for many reasons, a big one being: I’m fully aware that people expect editors to have read, well, everything. Obviously, this is not possible (though if I could pick one superpower, that might just be it … that, or invisibility, or maybe time travel … but I digress). I love an intelligent conversation about a great book—but I cringe when I’m put on the spot about one I haven’t read. Surely I cannot be alone in this, I’ve wondered. My literary counterpart across the pond made me feel like I have a little company. I love to savor the language of a beautiful book. I don’t want to rush. It’s supposed to be fun!

As writers, it’s important for all of us to be reading constantly. It’s essential. But having a read-in-progress you can’t wait to get back to at this very moment is what matters—how fast you get through it isn’t.

So. What are you reading right now? Leave a comment and let me know! There’s always room for one more book on a never-ending wish list.

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0 thoughts on “How Long Is Your Wish List?

  1. Dorraine Darden

    Jessica,

    Yes so many books, so little time.When people say they are well read, I wonder how many books one actually has to read to qualify? I’m always reading something and my taste varies. I’m currently re-reading A Map Of The World by Jane Hamilton. Before that it was Boone by Robert Morgan.

  2. Georganna Hancock

    S&S just sent me the new humongous trade edition of Colleen McCullough’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA to review. I balance off the historical heaviness with intermittent doses of silly paranormal/witchcraft chicklit that a friend gives me. (Her tastes, not mine, but I read everything!)

  3. Jessica Strawser

    Susan: Whew! 1,570 books makes for one ambitious list!

    I am reading Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney and her affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. (It’s also a debut novel, which I find inspiring.)

  4. Anne Marie

    My wish list is very long – so many books, so little time! I am re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien for my blog and just the enjoyment of it too. I am writing a book on the spirituality contained in the Red Book of Westmarch, known to this age as The Lord of the Rings, so it’s research for that also. I love research! Fun, fun! Please pray for me and it! Thanks. 🙂

    Namarie (or Farewell as the Elves say), God bless, Anne Marie

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I’m about to start the fourth Sookie Stackhouse because I promised to send them to someone via BookCrossing. But to answer your headlining question… my wishlist is currently 1,570 books (on the nose), not counting the 500+ in the house waiting for me to get to them.

    Ouch.

    This is the curse of living in an age of great opportunities for readers. I hope it continues.

  6. Mel

    I’m a slow reader also. I reread passages that I love or don’t understand. I takes breaks from my books that can last from a few mintues to a few weeks. I don’t feel that I need to read everything. I couldn’t if I wanted to anyway. So, why stress about it.

    Right now I’m reading "Nothing But The Right Thing" by Stacy Hawkins Adams. It’s the second book in the Spirit & Soul series. It’s about a young woman who struggles with her faith. She tries to give the people around her support when she needs it yourself. The author is from my area. I read good reviews everywhere. Even the lady at the bookstore liked her. So, I tried it and like the series a lot so far.

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