I’ve been studying fiction craft for the last six years. These days, when I read a story that isn’t engaging me, I’m more likely to know why (head-hopping and/or poor characterization for example) I experience the urge to throw the book across the room.
Life is too short to finish reading poorly-crafted novels. If I live to celebrate my eightieth birthday, and manage to read an average of two novels a week in the interim, I can reasonably expect to read another 2,600 (yes, you can do backwards math and figure out how old I am!). That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t.
I love reading and I love acquiring books. At last count, between my e-readers and my bookshelves, I already own more than 800 unread novels and short story collections.
In addition to simply reading books that appeal to me, as a writer I now have a reading list I feel I should read. And, of course, I want to read them. I dream of finding ways to stop time, so I can regularly settle into a chair and read without the pressure of a hundred other demands (including my own writing calling to me).
Now that’s an interesting premise for a speculative fiction short story.