Back in April 2008, at the encouragement of Robyn Carr (oh, yeah, lookit me: she's my mentor) I started keeping track of the books I read . Between April 1 and December 28, I read 125 books.
The next year, my spreadsheet got a bit more elaborate (as do all my spreadsheets). In 2009, while working sporadically on my WIP, I read 173 books, 15,632 pages, and averaged 157.9 pages a day.
In 2010, I wrote most of my first draft--and finished it--but still read 138 books, 47,515 pages, and averaged 130.54 pages a day.
Now I'm editing my WIP and this year, so far, I've read 22 books. 7,179 pages. Averaging 85.46 pages a day. My spreadsheet now keeps track of book genres (most books are more than one genre): 12 YA, 13 Fantasy, 10 Urban, 14 Romance, 1 Dystopian (MATCHED), 1 Horror (THE MERIDIANS), 0 Non-Fiction.
I'm happy with all the other things I'm doing. I am. I'm managing a full-time career (the day-job), trying to start up another full-time career (writing), social networking, blogging, running my online crit group for David Farland's Writer's Groups, critiquing for my group (Meredith, I swear, I'll get your novel crit to you by the end of the month!), holding down two church jobs (teaching Gospel Doctrine and Cub Committee Chair) and being a wife and a mother to three young boys. I sleep 7-8 hours per night (or I get sick). It's a full, busy, and happy life.
But I sure did enjoy this week, when I got too sick to sit at the computer for long periods, and all I could do was lie in bed and read. (Sleep? Who needs sleep?) I MISS reading. I look at Jessica Day George and all she's reading (seriously, that girl is a reading fiend--check her out on Goodreads) and I'm so jealous. I mean, there are hundreds of reasons to be jealous of JDG, but mostly I want to be able to read as much as she does. I'm also jealous of my friend Susan Jensen, who has already read 39 books this year (including mine :))--and that while still writing HER WHOLE FIRST DRAFT.
So, I'm still trying to find balance. Work, writing, family, service, networking, reading, sleep. I watch almost no TV. I hardly ever go anywhere.
Everyday, excellent books are released, and I just DON'T HAVE TIME to read them all. It's tragic.
So how do you do it? How do you decide which books to read? Do you carve out specific time each day for reading, or just grab time as you can find it? How many books have YOU read this year? (Go ahead--rub it it.)
(Also, if anyone wants a great spreadsheet to keep track of their books--with genre--let me know....)