If you are what you read, then I’d be a mishmash of different personalities: mysterious, quirky, lovestruck, creepy, and even superheroic. I’ve always enjoyed escaping into books, and I’ve done that even more during these pandemic times. My go-to genres are young adult (mainly dystopian), buzzy books on the New York Times bestseller list, and mysteries of all flavors.
I like chasing down a good clue or two. Cozy mysteries are definitely my cup of tea, but for a long time, I’d followed the advice of not reading in the same genre as whatever you’re writing. To me, that meant that when I was drafting something, I wouldn’t read in that particular genre. Unfortunately for my reading habits, I started writing a lot of cozies. This translated to a huge stack of cozy mysteries that I kept placing on the back burner.
During a virtual webinar I attended at the beginning of lockdown, one of the authors mentioned that he doesn’t mind reading in the same genre, even while he’s writing similar novels. He figured that all books are unique creations, and we wouldn’t truly be able to replicate other authors’ styles. In fact, reading fellow writers’ works might even keep our creative juices flowing.
After I received this permission to do a free-for-all style of reading, I attacked my to-read pile of cozy mysteries. I’ve devoured a lot of them on my e-reader. For some reason, though, I tend to speed read ebooks—maybe because I want to race toward the one-hundred-percent-done finish line. Besides electronic versions, I enjoy hard copies delivered from independent bookstores (support indies!) or novels borrowed through my local library branch (yay for curbside pickup!).
A silver lining for me during this pandemic has been the freedom to dive into more amazing books.
What’s your favorite way to get books, and have your reading tastes changed because of the pandemic?