This is happening to me right now with The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I’m not sure if the way that Harbach writes just fits too perfectly into my subconscious, or whether the existential nature of the characters’ thoughts simply suits what has been happening in my mind at the moment, but this isn’t the first time that it’s happened. In fact, I often find my writing starts to echo others’ as well, depending on how drawn I am to the book. For me, this only happens with thoughtful, musing, almost quiet authors – a style that I think suits my own, when I actually manage to write fiction. But I’m never quite sure if this only affects me, or whether it’s a wide-ranging phenomenon.
At the same time, maybe it’s because I’m reading so much. December was a relatively quiet month for my reading; I spent two full weeks immersed in video games instead. I became temporarily obsessed with Mass Effect, and then its sequel, Mass Effect 2, on the Xbox 360, and as a result read barely a word over the whole period because the games sucked up my free time. (Seriously, if you want a ridiculously epic science fiction RPG, look no further than those two). I feel as though that break was exceptionally good for my reading, though, as I’ve finished nearly five books this year so far, and it’s only been a week – and two of them have been serious, thoughtful chunksters.
All this goes to say, really, is that sometimes a break, even from a lifelong hobby, is necessary. I’m sure it helps that all five have been my own books, not inspired by any mind but my own. At some point this year, I’ll have to get back on the review book wagon and go through a few that are released in the next few weeks, but not yet. For now, I am going to enjoy the renewal of my reading mojo while it lasts.
How has the first week of 2012 been for you, reading-wise?