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Monday, May 23, 2011

How Goodreads Gave Me Anxiety

by brettmerritt (bio)

Reading. It's this thing you're supposed to do if you're a writer or, more specifically, if you ever want to be a good writer. I know this and yet struggle to be a recreational reader let alone a voracious one.

I have great intentions. It's not that I don't have a desire to read. I do. This desire leads me to start a lot of books. I buy books at Borders and download classics from Google Books to my iPhone for free. I even joined a readers' social network called Goodreads all with the purpose of reading more and reading often.

It hasn't worked. In fact, it's given me anxiety and probably high blood pressure.

Here's why Goodreads is frustrating. I have friends who read a lot. I mean A LOT. Some of my friends finish two or three books a week. The only time I have ever done that was when I read the Hunger Games trilogy (because apparently I lead a double life as a teen-age girl). So, most of the time when I get automatic Goodreads updates telling me my friends Courtney, Amy and Josh have read six more books, I end up feeling like a uneducated, lazy, ignorant writer.

I've come to realize I'm maybe not the reader I thought I was. But I can't give up. I need a victory. Here's where I ask for your help.

Currently, I have eight books showing as "Currently Reading." These are books I've started but can't seem to finish for one reason or another. I need you to tell me which one(s) to finish first.

The books are:

1. "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen
2. "Art by Committee: A Guide to Advanced Improvisation" by Charna Halpern
3. "White Noise" by Don DeLillo
4. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink
5. "The Copy Workshop Workbook: 2002" by Bruce Bendinger
6. "The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor" by Larry Moss
7. "Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need" by Blake Snyder
8. "Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live" by James A. Miller, Tom Shales

Now, these are very different books. Some are entertainment, some will help my work, some will help my goals, etc. It's a tough favor to ask of you. I need your help because I'm going to get another Goodreads email soon telling me Josh read twelve more books and I don't know if I can take it. Then again, maybe I can just change my email settings.

P.S. If you want to look me up, see what I like or add me on Goodreads, click here.

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