You would think an editor, who reads for a living and must be passionate about words, would be a voracious reader. Well, we are readers, and we have to read voraciously to survive, of course. But when it comes to reading for fun, I thought I was the only one who could never make time for a book I wasn’t editing. I love editing, and I do find something to enjoy in each project I take on, but the fact I couldn’t make time for my own reading was embarrassing. Shouldn’t I be on top of all the new releases?!
Well, after admitting this to an editor friend of mine, I learned I wasn’t the only one struggling to finish a “beach read.” And to be fair, I was being hard on myself. Working for myself, I often feel like when I am not actively working on projects, I should be doing something at least tangential to business development, and reading “for fun” seemed to be one obvious thing I should be doing when not reading for work. I was simply putting too much pressure on myself.
First, I am no longer beating myself up about this; there will always be books we want to read that we can’t get around to, and there are just going to be more as time goes on. The list never gets shorter. Second, I thought it would be worthwhile to start a reading list just to keep track of (and remind myself of) what I can get around to. Finally, what I read for fun in my own time is often an illustration of what I hope to edit one day, and I should probably send this information out into the world.
So I started my list. I started one on Goodreads, as well as on an account through my local library, but because both have their own idiosyncrasies, I decided to forgo them in place of my own list here. So far it’s books I have read, but I plan on updating it with books I want to read so those are all in one place. (I tend to record “want to reads” in notes to myself everywhere, like a squirrel that’ll only find about 30% of the nuts it’s hoarded.) So here it is!
Reading Now . . .
Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna, by Edith Sheffer (I read a lot on autism and autism therapies for work, but before reading this I didn’t know much about its history. Sheffer’s book is extremely well researched, and after I started this one, I realized it is probably going to be the first of many books on the subject for me.)
Recently finished . . .
Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran (An excellent portrayal of what it means to be an immigrant in America today. I could not put this down. I really need to read more fiction!)
The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Because I felt I should read “classics” once in a while.)
The Economics of Innocent Fraud, by John Kenneth Galbraith (I feel like Galbraith is one of the few economists who sought to marry economic theory with the real plight of the individual in America.)
The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. 2, edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil (Just to be clear, I did a lot of skimming in this, because it’s massive, although I was interested in her letters to her sister-in-law, those from around her pregnancies, and those to her doctor, which I think was a draw for a lot of people.)