It’s probably not surprising to learn that I was a reader long before I was a writer. I’ll admit that I have days when I struggle with the urge to read and the need to write. I only have so many hours in the day after all. And, unfortunately, I’m not a very fast reader.
I used to read primarily one author, but over the years I’ve worked hard at trying new reads. Now that I write, I try to extend my reading reach even more. I wrote up a post over on the group blog I’m a part of, Across the Board, about how I now love embracing an open reading lifestyle.
I never used to establish reading goals. I had my book club reads, but beyond that I’d just read what sounded interesting. However, this year I decided to establish a loose reading goal—focus on books already on my shelf and self-published books.
The number of books on my physical to-be-read book shelf is expanding rapidly. I’m running out of room, so I need to start knocking some of those off my list. My Kindle has also grown to a number that’s outside of my comfort zone. I get a lot of satisfaction from completing things (you should see how happy I get when I can throw away an empty tube of toothpaste), and my Kindle to-be-read list is starting to make me anxious.
As a self-published author, I have a huge desire to support other self-published authors. My primary indie focus started with books by my fellow blog mates and authors I’ve met at book events. As I set up my reading list for the year, I decided I wanted to also read more books by indieBRAG authors. The challenge is there are many great medallion books to choose from, so I needed a strategy that wouldn’t just add to my growing to-be-read pile.
As I was looking through my Kindle to-be-read list earlier this year, I noticed that I already owned several medallion books. I hate to admit that I’ve had a few downloaded for more than a year, but there was a time when I would download books on promotion without regard to when I could actually read them. That’s one of the reasons I’m in this too many books to read mess! Well, this is the year. And reading these books will help me make progress toward both my goals at the same time—bonus!
- Red Clover by Florence Osmund
- Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby
- Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette
- My Temporary Life by Martin Crosby
- Charlotte by Karen Aminadra
One of the Amazon Prime perks I love is the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, and I always make it a point to take advantage of my free monthly loan. Luckily, there are some medallion books I want to read that are offered on Prime. And since I always read to the end, I’m happy to be giving these authors a full payout for the lend 🙂
- The Bride Wore Dead by EM Kaplan
- Chloe’s Guardian by Cheri Gillard
- Click, Date, Repeat by K.J. Farnham
In addition to what I already own and my Prime rentals, there were a few more medallion books I just couldn’t wait to read. My reader interest won out, so they made my list for this year as well.
- Out of Nowhere by Rebecca Phillips
- The Shoes Come First by Janet Leigh
- Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott
You might be wondering how I selected the books in each category. Well, I put my reader hat on and scrolled through the list of medallion books on the indieBRAG website. As mentioned at the start of this post, I like reading across many different genres, so I didn’t apply a genre filter on my search. My first test was pretty standard—the cover. When a cover caught my attention, I clicked to check out the synopsis. If that made my second cut, then I clicked over to the book’s Amazon page. From there I did check out some of the reader reviews, but I didn’t let that sway my decision one way or another. Mostly I checked to see if it was on Prime, how long it was, and if it was part of a connected series. Remember I’m trying to reduce my to-be-read shelf this year, so I didn’t want to add books that would suck me into having to add two or three more books! If a book sounded interesting to me but didn’t pass one of my ‘tests’, I logged the title in a list I keep of books I want to read at some point.
I also want to point out that some of the books I selected were because of my participation in the indieBRAG Christmas Blog hop. I enjoyed reading the blog entries from all the authors, and in the process I learned of a few books I thought I might enjoy reading.
I wish I could say that I’ll get all these books read over the summer, but I’m not sure I can pull that off. In addition to this list and the other self-pubs I mentioned, my daughter and I plan to read a series together while she’s on break. There are also the demands of my book club. I suppose I should also count the monthly manuscript readings I do for my critique group, which takes up some of my reading time. Oh, and I have my own book to write.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do . . .
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
Follow Carrie on Twitter: @carriebeckort