I don't read much for pleasure. That's a capitol offence pretty much for an author, and I lose a lot of sleep over it. I'm not kidding. It really bothers me. It's not that I don't adore reading, that I haven't spent my life until now as an avid reader or anything like that. I love a good book as much as the next person...more than most if you factor out my fellow bibliophiles.
Other authors will snort and shake their heads if you tell them you don't have time to read much anymore. I get it. I actually agree with them 100%. You have to read as an author. Perfectly valid. It's vitally important to expose yourself to others' words, to keep current with your genre, to stir the creative juices. I believe all of this...and yet, I don't read much for pleasure.
The problem is not and has never been that I don't want to read, its seriously just that I don't have time. Make time. I can hear them chanting it in my head at night. Maybe it's that easy, but I have little kids, I have home schooling, housecleaning, writing, editing, cover making, errands and laundry and holy moley some days I don't get to shower or even sleep. (And I get that everyone is busy and this is just me whining. I do.)
I want to comply, but most days, reading for pleasure (or anything for pleasure) is not going to happen. Despite the fact that I love nothing more than to ignore the world and spend a day embedded in a good story of someone else's making, it's just not very likely that I'll get to do that more than once or twice a year.
So usually I feel like a turd about it instead...except I got to thinking about what I do read, and it turns out that is a substantial amount of fiction. I won't even count my own books, which I read from seven to twenty times each during the editing phase. I won't count blogs or industry news'zines or anything nonfiction.
And I still read like a fiend.
Because I beta read for my friends. I critique for some authors and I review for others. I read tons of awesome books all the time, and I haven't been counting them at all. If I actually factor in the reading that I've done "for work" as pleasure reading, (and most of it HAS been a pleasure) I am like a reading machine!
And away floats my guilt...except they also say to keep current with what's popular in your genre, and I also agree with that wholeheartedly. Crap. It's back again.
I can't win for losing here.
The moral is to read, right? Or maybe, not to beat yourself up about it if you can't do what everyone says you "should."
Shoulds, don't do anyone any good.
But books do. :)
Even awesome rough ones written by your friends.