6 Tips for Recording an Audiobook

Venomous is in the process of being beta-read. I’m hoping for an August release, but I don’t want to rush it. In the meanwhile, I’ve been working on the audiobook for Vessels. I’ve already recorded all of Part One, and at this pace, I should be done by the beginning of May.

Now, editing it all together is a different story. But I’ve learned some things about narrating that I’d like to share with you all.

Pictured: completely not my studio

Pictured: completely not my studio

1. Warm Up Your Voice

Your vocal cords are muscles too. Just like you wouldn’t wake up and perform a super-heavy deadlift right then and there, you shouldn’t go into a recording without warming up your voice. I take some deep breaths and then say this weird stream-of-consciousness.

Eat each green pea. Aim straight at the game. Ed said get ready.
It is in Italy. I tried my kite. Oaks grow slowly.
Father was calm as he threw the bomb on the dock.
An awed audience applauded Claude.
Go slow Joe, you're stepping on my toe.
Sauce makes the goose more succulent.
Up the bluff, Bud runs with the cup of love.
Red led men to the heifer that fell in the dell.
Maimed animals may become mean.
It's time to buy a nice limeade for a dime.
Oil soils doilies.
Flip a coin, Roy, you have a choice of oysters or poi.
Sheep shears should be sharp.
At her leisure, she used rouge to camouflage her features.
There's your cue, the curfew is due.
It was the student's duty to deliver the Tuesday newspaper.
He feels keen as he schemes and dreams.
Much of the flood comes under the hutch.
Boots and shoes lose newness soon.
Ruth was rude to the youthful recruit.
Vivid, livid, vivifying. Vivid experiences were lived vicariously.
Oddly, the ominous octopus remained calm.
The pod will rot if left on the rock.
Look, you could put your foot on the hood and push.
Nat nailed the new sign on the door of the diner.
Dale's dad died in the stampede for gold.
Thoughtful thinkers think things through.
Engineer Ethelbert wrecked the express at the end of Elm Street.

2. Do a Dry Run

I would advise reading the paragraph once before you even record. That way, sudden instances of alliteration or a weird word doesn’t trip you up. You’ll have a better understanding of what’s coming up if you just read the passage out loud without bothering to record yet.

3. Work Small

Don’t think you can do a whole chapter in one take. They’re just too long. Break up your chapter recording into paragraphs and save after each one. You can cut out any long pauses between sentences and paragraphs easily enough in any recording software (I use Audacity. It’s free!)

4. Go Slow

You can’t clearly enunciate if you’re too busy trying to be a lyrical rapper. Take your time and speak as if you’re saying a prayer or giving a speech. You want everyone to understand you. After all, they paid to hear your words!

5. Take Breaks

Audiobooks are marathons, not sprints. Yeah, I know it’s just reading out loud, but you’re putting on a performance with every word. You have to put verve and vigor into it, and that can get downright exhausting. And then you become hyper-aware of how clumsy your stupid mouth is and that’s the point where you just need to walk away.

6. Sample Your Background Noise

So you’re ready to go, but when you hit ‘Record’ your levels are spiking! And you haven’t started speaking! Sometimes the microphone can pick up unexpected and unwanted sounds. A noisy computer, a passing car with a crappy muffler, or a neighbor mowing his lawn can all mess up your recording. If you don’t have a super decked-out studio with audio foam on all the walls, there’s not a whole lot you can do but wait.

GMCFOSHO has ruined my recording and he doesn’t even live anywhere near me. #swag.

Vessels Trailer (and a YouTube Channel!)

I made a short book trailer for Vessels. Watch it here!

I decided to start a YouTube channel. I put the trailer there and it’s the only video so far, but I plan on doing a weekly post. It’ll be about my writing, books I’m into, my animals, and probably just some random stories. We’ll see where it goes.

I just put Vessels on Smashwords. What that means is that it’s finally available to most ebook distributors and it’s only 99 cents. Sure, you can still find it on Amazon, but also Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Scribd, and a mess of other places. Check it out!

And be a rad dude. Leave a review.

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Projects and Planning

Venomous is finally complete! I’ve sent it out to the beta-readers and I look forward (dread) to what they have to say. I don’t want to rush anybody, so I have to be content to wait.

In the meantime, I have plenty of things to work on. From various book fairs and festivals, to making a book trailer and putting together the new cover, I can keep plenty busy while I wait.

Also, this.

behold its shiny magnificence

behold its shiny magnificence

I got this bad boy in the mail the other day and I’m proud to finally say that production of the audiobook of Vessels is underway. I’ve worked with narration and editing audio, so this is actually possible for me. The hardest part is going to be working around my hyper-alert dogs and my incredibly noisy neighborhood. Still, I’m excited for the future.

Midwest Coast is the Best Coast

I spent three weeks away in the Arlington/DC area, tagging along with my husband while he was being trained for his new job. Arlington was nice and sightseeing in DC was fun. This is going to sound so lame, but while my husband was off at class, I just hung out in the hotel room and worked on the manuscript for Venomous.

It’ll be done before April 6th, I swear, beta-readers.

Not only did we check out a couple of the museums, but we got to eat at a lot of different restaurants and even check out an inexplicable baseball-themed dance club.

Just don’t drink the G.O.A.T.

Just don’t drink the G.O.A.T.

It was a nice break from the usual, but there’s nothing sweeter than coming home. Just seeing how overjoyed the Ladies were was great.

Not gonna lie. They get excited when I leave and come back ten minutes later.

Not gonna lie. They get excited when I leave and come back ten minutes later.

Now I’ve got to get back to work. I have to prepare for a book launch, some book festivals, and design a cover and a trailer while being constantly pestered by these animals. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now I have to go. I think one of the cats just got sick.

Gratitude

Image source:  621 2079 on Pixabay

Image source: 6212079 on Pixabay

By trying to understand Stoicism better, I’ve been reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. It was never meant for anyone else other than himself, and in it, he details what it takes to be a good man and an apt emperor. He muses on life, the nature of humanity, and existence itself.

It also reads like the freaking Bible.

In the very beginning, he writes out all the people he’s thankful for and what it is they taught him. Each sentence takes up an entire page, and by the time I get to the end of it, I forget who he’s talking about. Archaic sentence structure aside, I think it’s good to be so thankful for people and to be able to write so much about them.

Though I can’t, and won’t, write page-long sentences about those who helped and influenced me, I want to write a  post of gratitude too.

After all, Cicero said that gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Ugh. I’m going to be that person, aren’t I? Anyway, here we go.

To both my mother and father. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. They fed, clothed, housed, and educated me. Why? Because they wanted to.

To my mother who always got me books no matter how poor we were. She taught me that everyone has something to teach you, that you just need to listen. She gave me a flexible outlook on the nature of God and religion. Though indirectly, she instilled a tolerance for solitude in my early years that serves me now as I spend long hours writing.

To my father who worked an extremely dangerous job just to put food on the table. He provided a sanctuary when I needed it most. He shaped my sense of humor, though it startles other people to hear such gallows’ humor come from such an otherwise cheerful woman. He taught me the basics of strength training. He taught me how to read at an early age by setting me on his lap and reading the newspaper to me. And though he doesn’t care for the genre I write, he loved my first book and told me so. And anyone else who would listen.

To my brother, who, now that I think about it, was my first real friend. I’m glad we had so many adventures when we were little.

To my sister, who amazes me with her fearlessness every time I talk with her. Though we didn’t really know each other when we were younger, I’m thankful for the chance to know her now.

To Bob, my mother’s longtime boyfriend. He never tried to be a dad in the sense that he would tell me what to do. He was fine with leaving discipline up to my mom, but he was generous in giving me a place to stay and food to eat. He invested in my education and took care of my mom during her last years.

To my grandfather, veteran of World War II. He taught me about Jesus, but he also showed me how zeal can be dangerous and destructive. He taught me the basics of art and was the first to teach me about digital art. Most importantly, he taught me about generosity and serving others, especially the unfortunate.

To my grandmother, who taught me how to set a table, thread a needle, and how to listen. She would listen to my stories on long car rides, even if they were ‘kind of out there’.

To my aunt, who taught me what a good marriage should look like, how to be gentle, and how to take delight in helping. She also encouraged my love of reading and always had plenty of paper for me to write and draw on as a kid.

To another of my aunts,  who invested in my early education, and who taught me that nuns can be rebels. That fighting for what is right is vital. As a child, she brought me to the Field Museum and showed me a mummy exhibit which stuck with me to this day.

To my fourth-grade math teacher, who I won’t name because I don’t want to hurt her feelings on the off-chance she reads this. I hated her class and dreaded it every day. She was not kind, but after a student died of a terrible heart condition, I saw her cry. She taught me that teachers were not perfect and even the meanest person has feelings.

To my sixth-grade English teacher Mrs. Leifield. She gave me a special notebook after class and told me to keep writing. She said she knew I would write a book one day.

To my friend Niel, who taught me to be unashamed at the things you love and to keep working forward, even if what you made in the past isn’t perfect. Don’t waste time perfecting the old stuff. Work on the new. That’s what people want to see.

To Doug Fouts, creative director over at Pearl Insurance. He was the first to buy my book, sure, but he is an overwhelmingly good guy beyond that. He is a good leader and I miss his inspirational Friday emails that he absolutely did not have to write, but did.

To my mother-in-law. She taught me how to cook some great meals, but was also a mother when I needed one the most. She’s unfailingly kind, gentle, and thoughtful. She did right by raising my husband. Speaking of...

My husband, Tim. He makes me a better person through his quiet determination and courage that is so unshakable, it doesn’t even seem like courage, that it’s just how he is. Every day that he sets out on his long commute is a gift to me that says ‘I believe in your writing, keep at it’. He taught me how to drive, how to write a check, how to make good coffee, and so many other things. If I get worked up, I only need to look at him and gauge whether or not he’s worked up and adjust my mood accordingly. I could go on and on, but this post is long enough.

In closing, where I am today and even who I am today isn’t so much the result of my hard work or some inner quality I have. It is the result of the people around me, past and present, and I would do well to remember that.

Character Profile: Eshmedi

Image Source:  Simon Wijers  from Pixabay

Image Source: Simon Wijers from Pixabay

Age: Well into his seventies

Hometown: Uftem

Likes: There is only duty in attending to the Final God, although he likes a good fig from time to time.

Eshmedi knows how to take the blackness from the river and distill it into a purer, more potent form. This would be used in the embalming of the dead as well as for other important ceremonies and rituals. When he was a young man, he was working to distill a batch of khemu when it ignited in the sun and brutally burned the side of his face.

Some say he was never the same again. He says that’s mystic nonsense.

Eshmedi is the Listener of Uftem Temple. Every day, he went deep within the temple crypt and poured out a basin of khemu, that sacred viscous black substance that animates the dead. He had to drink it and wait in the darkness for the High Hierophant, Uskandr, to speak with him through the khemu and tell him what he must do.

Uftem is not an important town. It never needed orders until Ashira washed up on the banks of the Neferamtat River. Then Uskandr became very interested in the boring little town and requested frequent reports on the girl’s recovery and development.

Eshmedi was trained in how to read signs and portents in everyday goings-on. When Ashira survived being drowned, he took it as a sign that she was favored by the gods. When she healed the sick, he thought her a saint. But when she commanded the dead, he knew she was the return of the Black Pharaoh.

Some say that drinking the khemu will drive a man mad. Eshmedi is content to let the people believe what they want. They are already fearful of his scarred face. Nothing he could do or say would sway them otherwise, so why should he exert himself? Raising a pharaoh in the way she ought to go is taxing enough.

Venomous Sneak Peek

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The night's cold bite had faded away and would soon give way to the desert's dry, blistering heat, but the sun had yet to emerge from the gray horizon. No one had risen at this ungodly hour. No one had left their house to tend to their farm or animals. No one had awakened to give thanks and praise to the gods for another day.

No one except for Hadwai.

Hadwai stumbled along the rocky trail. No one would find him. No one would interrupt him. His filthy nails grated against his arm, adding to the already raw furrows in his skin. He had plenty of time to do what needed to be done. He had already set up the place and the tools he needed.

Everything was in order. He had to do it.

He dragged a scrawny girl behind him. Her hair in the early morning sunlight reminded of his purpose. His vision swam in front of him, and the little girl's form distorted and twisted into a small, squat, horrible, little monster. The tales about red-haired children and all the bad luck they brought were true. He had seen enough proof.

He shook his head, trying to clear his vision and his mind. He couldn't afford to make this a failure. He had only one chance. Hadwai tried to ignore how the girl stared at him with her wide, golden eyes. She couldn't possibly know...could she? The path grew steeper as it went up the cliffside. The girl slipped, but Hadwai yanked her to her feet, not caring if he hurt her. They had to do this quick.

"This is our last chance, you know?" Hadwai said, more to himself than to the girl. Hadwai's stained fingers fumbled in a small pouch and returned with a few red withered leaves. With a quavering hand, he put them in his mouth and began to chew. "Riverside Village isn't much without the 'River' part, huh? We've got to get out before we dry up too."

The girl said nothing as she was dragged up the trail.

"Your mother hates me, you know," he said. Though his saliva had turned into a thick red paste frothing at the corners of his mouth, he didn't notice or care. The leaves did their job to calm him, and he felt better than he had when he had first waken up. "And I can't say I blame her. I popped her a good one last night, but I just couldn't deal with any more of her complaining. I know we have to leave. I know we have no money. I know we can't afford any more red lotus."

Together, they reached the top of the cliff and could see the village laid out, calm and peaceful. Soon the inhabitants would awaken and the few people who remained would go about their lives as best they could despite the hardships. The river was dry, so there was no more fishing to be had. The cotton came up bent and sickly, with just sick black bolls if they even grew at all. The wheat didn't even bother to  sprout this year. Everyone's livestock took ill and all that remained in his family's pen was one decrepit goat. Miha, his sister-in-law, tried to do her best with him, but he still looked like he was withering away like everything else.

They walked to three long flat granite rocks, one set longways over the other two. Hadwai worried about his table. The rocks hadn't been easy to find, and the gods tended to be picky about their altars. He cursed, realizing he should have brought some incense with him, but there was no going back for it now. Hadwai was no priest, but he hoped his earnestness would lend to his offering. He had tried to leave with the last caravan, but they wouldn't allow the red-haired girl with them. She was cursed by the gods, the leader had said, and Hadwai was inclined to agree with him.

The caravan was scheduled to come by the village in a few days. He couldn't let the girl ruin their last chance of getting out of the village. If the grisly deed was going to be done, he may as well offer it to the gods.

The little girl kicked a pebble and watched it tumble down the cliff, unaware of any danger. Hadwai grimaced. May as well get it done. He couldn't call out to her; she wouldn't be able to hear it. He didn't want to talk to her or even look her in the eyes, but he had to get her on the altar. Taking her by the arm, he led her to the stones, and after a few patient gestures, he got her to lay upon it. Though she couldn't have understood anything, her eyes were wide with fear.

"Niri, I'm sorry. I hope things will be better for you in the afterlife," Hadwai said, "I never wanted it to be like this. I never figured I'd stick around in the village. Never thought I'd actually get married, especially to a woman with a child already. I guess I wasn't ready for all this. But things just happen, you know? It's too late to change anything now. At least there will be one less mouth to feed."

He pulled the knife out from under his tunic. Niri squirmed and thrashed, but it was easy to hold her down. She was so small, but she kept struggling, and he wanted to do this cleanly. He didn't want too much bloodshed. He raised the knife.

"Is this the way to Riverside?" a raspy voice from behind asked.

Hadwai whirled, dropping the knife to clatter down the cliff. The girl wriggled out of his grasp, leaped off the table, and ran to the stranger in a wordless panic. The man was abnormally tall, nearly seven feet, a pale lanky fellow with a shaven head. Black greasepaint stained the skin under his eyes. He held a long black staff that looked too thin to be a weapon. The stranger gazed at him, waiting for an answer.

Hadwai’s tension seized his voice and all he could do was stare at the stranger. His offering to the gods had run away, and he had no hope of catching her. She was too fast, and he could barely walk straight. He could only think of his hidden stash of red lotus back behind the pen. It would make him feel better, but it was too far away.

Then he saw the jar strapped to the stranger's back. It was bound shut with many lengths of rope. It was large enough to hold a sleeping lamb, and it glinted even in the dim dawn light. Hadwai fought to get enough of his head together to reply.

"Yes sir, Riverside Village is just this way," Hadwai said. "I run the inn there and I would be happy to give you a very reasonable rate! I'm Hadwai, at your service."

"My name is Desh." Mwarthes said. "Could I get a room?"

"Absolutely! Come right this way." Hadwai turned to lead, but Niri would not move from her place behind the stranger.

"Niri! Come!" He grabbed her arm and dragged her behind him.

"Wait a moment," Hadwai said. "You stopped by not too long ago! Ended up not staying with us. Had that chubby girl with you, right?"

"You have a good memory," Mwarthes said. "What were you two doing so high up on that cliff?"

"Just praying." He clawed at his arm and opened a crusty scab. Blood trailed unnoticed down his forearm.

The rest of the journey went in silence. As the sky changed from the muted pink of dawn to a hazy white-blue of day, they came upon the dry, wasted village and arrived at a large, two-story house. A sign in front declared it had been called 'The Hawk Spot' until the owner changed his mind, crossed it out and changed 'Spot' to 'Inn'. A few tables were arranged through the room but there were no paintings, no wall scrolls...not a hint at decor throughout the inn. It was as neglected as the rest of the village.

"So..." Hadwai stammered, "It'll be three denarii a night. How long are you staying?"

The stranger glanced around the room like he was looking for something in particular. Hadwai was not sure the man was listening to him.

"So, uh...how long are you staying?" Hadwai asked again.

"I just need a night."

"Yeah, good," Hadwai said. "It's been a while since we had guests. We're preparing to leave. We’re selling everything we can."

Mwarthes nodded, reached into his cloak, and pulled out a fat money pouch. He handed over three coins.

"Will there be a meal?" the stranger's question jogged Hadwai back into focus.

"Meal? Uh, yes. My wife and her sister left this morning to sell the goat, but they should be back in time to make supper. We got some soup if you're hungry right now though," Hadwai said. "It's left over from this morning so you won't get poisoned."

"Everything will poison you in the right amounts," Mwarthes said.

Hadwai laughed, in case it was a joke. "Right, yeah. I guess so. Here, I'll show you to your room."

The flight of stairs had never seemed so long to Hadwai before as they made their way to the first guest room. It was a simple arrangement, but it was kept with pride. A low bed covered in brightly colored homemade blankets lay against a wall. A tarnished lamp stood on an old wooden dresser. A stone washbasin sat in the corner and a small stack of towels was placed nearby. A new rug of woven rushes lay on the floor, and the room smelled freshly cleaned.

"You're the last guest at The Hawk Inn, did you know? I don't know how old this place is, but I guess it really doesn't matter. It's not like we were getting that much business even before the river dried up," Hadwai said. His eyes couldn't stay focused on one thing and darted around like manic flies. A fine sheen of sweat covered his face and he kept rubbing his hands together. He turned to leave but jerked with a sudden thought.

"Your key!" Hadwai handed the guest a large chunky key. "Haha, I'll forget my own head next."

"Many thanks," Mwarthes said. "Soup sounds good, but I'll be going to bed now. I've been traveling all night."

"I hear it. We got some hard traveling to do ourselves. Once the caravan comes back, we'll go with it using the money my wife gets from selling the goat," Hadwai said. "Sleep well. We'll have soup when you awaken."

He went downstairs, hoping his smile wasn't too broad. The stranger was already going to sleep! He could not believe his luck! He could probably get it done and over with before his wife returned and then it wouldn't matter if she sold the worthless goat or not!

He went outside, spat a gob of red phlegm and walked into the empty goat pen. Hadwai felt behind a post, reached inside a knothole and pulled out a small pouch. Red lotus. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he took the last pinch of the herb. Relief flooded into every facet of his being. Thank the gods he had left himself enough for today. He chewed with the rapt expression of a man enjoying a fine meal, thanking his past self for showing restraint.

Things could be worse. He could always repair the damage done to his marriage. Niri couldn't tell anyone what almost happened in the desert today. He still had a goat. He had plans to get out of this ruin of a village and, best yet, the gods had given him one last fool.

Hadwai blinked. Somehow, the sun had raced up the sky, showing him he had been sitting in the pen for hours. He cursed himself for losing track of time, but then realized it was a good thing. The stranger must be in a deep sleep now. Hearing his knees pop, he walked back inside the inn. Hadwai retrieved a plain cooking knife, but it was kept sharp and keen by his wife. It could do the job. He crept upstairs.

He stopped at the stranger's room and held his breath as he twisted the key in the lock. The noise the tumblers made as they moved seemed to be as loud as a lion's roar, but no sound of stirring came from the other side of the door. He pushed the door open and let his eyes adjust to the darkness.

The golden jar sat in the corner of the room, still bound up and undeniably full of riches. The woman's head on the lid smiled at him, as though she was happy to see him. The pouch on the bed made his heart leap into his throat. It was just lying there, unattended, full and bulging. Some golden coins had even spilled out of the cinched opening and glittered on the blanket. Unable to resist, he crept to the pouch. Why did the stranger carry around so much money? Where had he gotten it? He reached out and plucked up the bag.

Knives stabbed into his ankle and burning agony shot up his leg. He clutched his leg and fell to the floor, dropping the money bag, spilling coins on the floor. With trembling effort, he removed his hands and inspected his ankle. It was swollen to the size of a grapefruit, with two small pinpricks to reveal what had happened. A long slender shape slipped under the bed.

"A snake? In here?" His heart thrashed in his chest and he fought to pull in a breath, but his throat was too tight to permit any air. He tried to stand, but burning torment seared through his leg and he fell back to the floor.

"Please, try again."

Hadwai craned his head to look behind him. The stranger stood there as though he had been there the entire time.

"What...what is..." Hadwai said, but his words came out slurred. The left side of his face refused to move with the right.

Mwarthes gathered up his fallen money and sat on the bed.

"Help...a snake..." Hadwai said.

"I know." A thin silvery snake slithered up the bed and into Desh's cloak.

"It, oh gods, it bit me," Hadwai said.

"Did you see what kind it was?" Mwarthes asked.

"N...no."

Mwarthes leaned over Hadwai. "It was a black-tongued asp. They aren't common around here so I'll tell you all about them. They're terribly fast and are extremely aggressive. Their bite is lethal. Partial paralysis has set in, I see. Soon you won't be able to move at all. I bet you feel like your leg is burning. Well, let me tell you, that leg will turn black and begin to rot before your very eyes."

Hadwai could only let out a feeble gurgle. Panic built up in his chest like a pot threatening to boil over. He couldn't move, he couldn't stand. His skin was both on fire and covered in ice. The venom coursed through his veins on its way to his heart.

Mwarthes smiled. "You have a very short time left in this life. I know you can't do much with it, but I'll at least keep you company." He rose, stepped over Hadwai, and locked the door. "I would prefer it if Niri didn't have to see this. I wouldn't want to give her nightmares."

Hadwai was unable to  writhe in the pain that consumed his body. He would cut off his own leg if he could move, but he felt every muscle in his body contract beyond the point of pain.

Mwarthes watched every moment in fascinated silence.

"Should I go ahead cut your throat?" he asked. "This is getting tiresome."

Hadwai's vision flickered in and out of focus.

"It looks like you're having a hard time." Mwarthes squatted by him. "Tell you what, just say 'yes' if you want me to end it for you."

Hadwai could barely pull in a ragged breath.

"What's that? Can't you speak? Not even one little word?"

Hadwai struggled, but could only turn his head to the side. The glorious golden jar sat in the corner. The beautiful face on the lid smiled down at him, giving him his final judgment. The jar shook, first a little, then harder. Angrier. More insistent.

Mwarthes sighed.

"I may as well let you have him," he said, untying the ropes and lifting the lid. "Less work for me."

Swiftly, in an eager flood, the blackness came for Hadwai.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

5 Reasons to Put That Book Down (If It Really Sucks)

There is a boast among readers, a question that you must answer even if only to yourself. Even Goodreads, the Facebook of books, wants to know and can help you track the answer.

And that is: how many books did you read in a year?

My answer so far? I don’t know. Four? Five? I have a hard time keeping track because I am quick to toss a book aside if it isn’t good.

“But Mama didn’t raise no quitter!” To give up on a book, especially one that you paid money for, seems sacrilegious, but bear with me for a bit and maybe I can explain how and why you should stop reading something you aren’t actually enjoying.

#1 Life’s Too Short

Death comes for us all, karen

Death comes for us all, karen

Are you going to read all the books ever written? I know you’d like to, but literature, just like television, cinema, and social media, it is a source of content without limit. You will never get to be done reading. You only have so much time, so you may as well enjoy it.

#2 There’s Something Better

Ah, this book is devoid of angsty supernatural creatures. I think I shall continue.

Ah, this book is devoid of angsty supernatural creatures. I think I shall continue.

Like mentioned in #1, literature is a limitless well of content. Instead of trudging through a novel full of cliches, flat characters, and startled breasts, just go find something different. Maybe try something in a genre you don’t normally read. I know I should do that, myself.

#3 Give It 100 Pages

i wish i knew what this book was called so i could complain about it on goodreads

i wish i knew what this book was called so i could complain about it on goodreads

Unsure of whether or not you want to stick with a book? Keep on reading until you get to 100 pages. If you’re still not grabbed, set it aside. Go find something better. I’ve set aside a book after ten pages, which seems unfair, but then I remember #1 and move on to something that I really wanted to try. Maybe I’ll come back to that book, once all my other choices are exhausted.

#4 Maybe You’re Not Ready for It Yet

clifford the big red dog just doesn’t seem to have any character growth

clifford the big red dog just doesn’t seem to have any character growth

There are some books that I read and disliked when I was younger, then came back to a few years later with a whole different outlook. I remember reading Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death when I was young. Like, really young. What, I was a morbid kid, leave me alone. Anyway, while I liked it at the time, it took me decades and another read-through to actually grasp what Poe was trying to say. Maybe one day, I’ll be ready to read Moby Dick.

#5 There’s a Difference between Crap Reads and Hard Reads—Learn the Difference

to be read: insane mode

to be read: insane mode

You know a crap read when you come across one. Every sentence makes you cringe or roll your eyes. With every new page, you can see it’s a junk book, through and through. Hell, maybe it’s even my book Vessels. (That’s okay, I’m not mad). But then you’ve got your hard reads. With every sentence, you ask yourself what the author was trying to say. Maybe it was written a long time ago, so the syntax and vocabulary are just completely alien to you. Maybe you have to read it for a class, or maybe you wanted to better yourself. Right now, I’m trying to read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and it’s taking me a really, really long time to get through. I keep having to go back and reread a paragraph because dude’s sentences are like a page long. But I know I’m in it for the long haul. It’s not a crap read.

So there you have it. Reasons why it’s okay to put a book down and move on to something different. Just remember to take time out and think why you didn’t enjoy that book. It might make you a better reader.

Images: Pixabay.com