Twenty Words to Describe My Reading
Recently I read an article that encouraged authors to list twenty words that describe their writing. This exercise is supposed to help an author pull what they do into focus. Thing is, I don’t believe an author is the best person to describe their writing. I should also mention much of my writing is a direct result of being pulled whole from my unconscious, kind of like Athena emerging full-blown from the brow of Zeus.
Describing my writing to myself would be wonderfully indulgent, and probably not even close to what I really want to know. I’m far more interested in how readers would describe it.
So I thought I would apply the exercise in a different way: I’m going to list twenty words that describe my reading.
So there are twenty words that describe my reading. Some invite explanation. Impatience is because I get really grumpy when favorite authors are slow to deliver the next book. Prurient, because, yeah, I like sexy books as much as the next gal. Old-fashioned means I like paper books, and also that I like traditional story arcs, including HEA.
I love happy endings, heroic plots, noble heroes, the occasional anti-hero, and—here’s the secretive part—unadulterated holiday fluff. Yes, I like sweet, predictable, low-angst, high happiness romances with dollops of colorful and fun.
Much of my reading is non-fiction (hence the Educational), only some of which is research for my writing. I love history, biographies, cookbooks, anthropology, travel books, mythology, and science. I read about 40 such books a year.
Wasteful? That’s because I buy too much fiction and non-fiction to comfortably fit in my house. An annual culling is necessary. I donate several boxes of books a year to my local library for its book sales. Some, mostly biographies and history, actually make it onto the shelves. So not too terribly wasteful.
Always, with every book, I read for pleasure. The pleasure of learning. The pleasure of meeting characters and being involved, however temporarily—and often for more prolonged periods—in their lives. The pleasure of entering a multitude of imagined worlds and getting to live in them for a while. I’m so involved in Game of Thrones, I want a darn dragon. They do exist, there in those books (and on TV, which is even better because I get watch clips on YouTube).
Fiction? Count me in for another 40-50 books a year. Much of it is science fiction or fantasy, my favorite genres since I was a child, and romance, both M/M and M/F. Over the course of my life so far, I figure I’ve read 15000 books. No I didn’t buy them all—but 500 reside with me right now on my bookshelves. Another 200 are on my Kindle.
Which brings things back to Wasteful… and Useful, and Expensive, and Joyful, and Personal.
Because reading is all those things. Especially Personal. Few things are as personal as how and what we read.
Is there a word you use to describe your reading? Can you come up with twenty?
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.
Tali’s books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, Adored, and Victory Portrait, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often publishes in anthologies, and puts up free stories and excerpts on her blog.