Last week a reader asked me for reading suggestions because she feels guilty about not reading more, and she heard journalists are a bookish group. She said she reads the newspaper cover to cover each day to make sure she’s up on current events, but feels intimidated about trying to become a better book reader.
I do think journalists read a lot, but probably not more than other professions in which people make their living by words. Anita, my first suggestion is not to be intimidated — there are no right or wrong choices as long as you’re reading something that interests you. The worst mistake I’ve seen would-be readers make is trying to force themselves to read something they’re not interested in because they think they should. Sort of like eating peas if you don’t like peas.
You asked if we tend to read fiction or nonfiction, and…. yes and yes. If I surveyed the newsroom, I suspect reading tastes would be all over the board. I do tend to read mostly nonfiction, primarily because there are a lot of subjects I want to know more about. Then again, my favorite book is fiction (“Watership Down” by Richard Adams).
One great thing about reading is that it can be an expensive hobby (if you like to collect books) or a free one (if you go to the library). And yes, I’ll be glad to send you a list of recent books I’ve read. But my favorites probably won’t all be yours — keep trying different genres until you find those that interest you most, and don’t force yourself to read certain books because you “should.”