I hope whoever was in charge of 2016 got fired. For 2017, either you’ve got expectations set really low or are hoping high, thinking nothing can be as bad as that dumpster fire. But one always measures the future by calculating the past. And I calculate mine in books.
So remember last year when I resolved not to read so many bad books? Yeah, that didn’t so much happen. Even the book I’m reading now — “Geek Love” — it’s a good book, but it’s just so long. I’m skipping it to read comic books or play games, just because I’m bored of the world. The writing is fantastic, glorious, stupiferous. The story is full of interesting characters and events and plots and WTFs that I love. But it’s just so long.
Last year I read only 34 books. Now, it’s not like I stopped reading. But I did increase my comic book content this year. She-Hulk, Powers, Deadpool, and a bunch of the classics I missed out on. Still that’s no excuse for grinding on my whetstone.
My average rating for 2016 was 2.9. That means I rated more books under 3 stars than above. That means I probably read MORE bad books this year than good ones. I think it’s because, especially for classic books, I have too high of a threshold or tolerance or attention span. Must be tempered from all those Star Trek Pocket books I read as a teenager. I read a lot of long ones too: “A Discovery of Witches”, “Leviathan Wakes”, and “Wool”.
Most of the time it’s curiosity or obligation: “A View from the Cheap Seats” by Neil Gaiman because it’s Neil Gaiman, the second book in the “Peculiar Children” series because I read the first, “A Discovery of Witches” because my wife loves it, three of those Disney Gothic YA novels (“The Beast Within”, “Poor Unfortunate Soul”, “A Frozen Heart”), “The Book of Swords” trilogy because I had started them ten years ago but never finished. “Friend” because I thought robots and resurrected girl with super powers would be awesome. Le sigh. It was not to be.
So this means two things. I’ve got to lower my threshold for quitting books. I fell bad about it because I’m an author myself. But if I keep up at this rate, I’m going to start resenting the act of reading.
And I’ve got to up my average publication date. Too many old books that should stay lost to time. Yeah, they may be classics. But they don’t help me with my writing career. They don’t help me understand what’s being written in MY time. In MY realm of publication. What editors/agents today are looking for.