This month I’m going to be tweeting every book I read (#myoctread). It’s not a particularly meaningful exercise for anyone but me, but I thought it would be interesting to get an overview of what I read, and what other people might think of those books.
I’ve got quite a wide range of tastes when it comes to books, and tend to be quite haphazard at choosing them. I like to walk in the library on a Saturday and say ‘ooh, I’ll have that one and that one and that one.’ I usually end up with an odd collection. For example, right now, from the library I have two books on Georgian history, two Nancy Mitford books, two of Nicola Upson’s Josephine Tey mysteries and a non-fiction book about survivors of a plane crash. And Silver Linings Playbook, and a biography of Virginia Woolf. See, it’s a wide selection, and that’s not counting the books I own.
So I thought a month of tweeting what I read might be quite interesting, so when I look back in November, I can see how much I read, what I read, what reaction there was, and whether it influenced what I’m writing in any way.
See, I’m coming to believe that writing shouldn’t just be influenced by a narrow selection of books. I’m writing a Victorian crime drama, so I’ve read a lot of books about Victorian history, to the point where I’m stuffed with it, and cannot read another one. I’ve also read a lot of crime (always have, always will). But what influence can the Mitford books, or the Virginia Woolf biography have on my work? Maybe nothing. Or maybe an influence on style, or plot, or characters or the way I present my characters or reveal my plot.
I think a wide range of reading may be more useful than just reading around the subject. I think it can expand and improve my creativity. So I’ll do this little experiment, and see what happens. And if it’s enlightening, or useful or just fun, maybe I’ll do the same with movies for a month.