Today I am one of the stops on the daynight blog tour, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I was intrigued that the author read over 600 books last year and still found time to write, let alone do everything else! So I asked her to write a guest post about reading
To Read or Not to Read?—Not even a question
Read for success. Read for enjoyment. Read for escape. Read to try new things. Read for great memories. But, whatever you do, read.
Recipe for success
Most people would like to be successful and have the perks that go with success, right? While we may not be able to control our circumstances—what schools we go to, family we’re born into, how smart we are—there’s one thing that we can control that will have a profound impact on our future success and that’s how much we read. I won’t bore you with a long recitation of studies on the subject (they about put me to sleep), but here’s what the studies show… If you read (and I’m not talking about reading dull text books for school here… I’m talking about reading for pleasure), you will be blessed with:
- A bigger vocabulary
- Better writing and spelling
- Improved thought processes
- Better test scores
- Better jobs (strong literacy is required for most decent jobs)
- More general knowledge, understanding of other cultures; greater insight into human nature and decision making
So, duh, take the time to read. Since you’re on a book blog, I assume you do this . If you don’t like lugging around books, download the Kindle (or Nook or iBooks) app on your phone or other portable device and read on that. Very handy while stuck waiting and perhaps more useful that reviewing the same facebook posts for the hundredth time (yeah, I’ve done that, too).
Escape 101 aka The Emotional Roller Coaster
Why else do we read?
I read for enjoyment. Sometimes I need a good laugh. Sometimes I need someone to cry with. Sometimes I need to feel like someone else’s circumstances are worse than my own. Sometimes I need to feel the spark that comes with a new relationship. Sometimes I need to believe that magic is real. Sometimes I want to escape this world and live in another.
Bottom line—reading gets your mind off your own drama and absorbed in someone else’s drama. I call it Escape 101. For me, it’s a matter of self-preservation. Life can be pretty darn crappy sometimes. I had a terrible year this past year, so I enrolled in the advanced Escapism course and read more than 600 books. This literally kept me (mostly) sane. While many may turn to a bottle, drugs, self-mutilation or suffer from depression—I combat the negative thoughts with a good story. While it didn’t change my circumstances, it helped change my attitude about my circumstances.
Picking the best books
One person’s favorite book will be another person’s least favorite. We all have unique tastes and different books will appeal to different people. The same book could be either spectacular or mediocre depending on when you read it. So, my best advice is to try it before you buy it. I’ve wasted a lot less money since Amazon posted samples of each book. I download the sample. If I like it, I buy it. If I don’t like it, I don’t buy it. It’s that simple. Taking into account ratings, reviews and recommendations is all well and good. But still, try before you buy. If your attention hasn’t been captured in that first 10% of the book, chances are that you won’t love the rest.
Variety is the spice of life
I find reading the same kinds of books over and over to be quite boring. Variety is key to maintaining my love of reading. Since I write for young adults, I try to stay primarily within the young adult/new adult genres, but mix it up. I find I can’t read twenty dystopian novels in a row, even though my novel, daynight, is dystopian. Same goes with sappy romances or fantasy or books about angels (don’t even get me started on those). If I switch back and forth between various types, I end up enjoying each novel much more than I otherwise would. Sure, we all have our favorites, but some of the best books I read in the past year were outside my ‘comfort zone.’
Time Well Spent
Unlike many things I do, it’s a rare occurrence when I’ve just read and think to myself “I want that time back”.
My favorite reads
Childhood most memorable reads: The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, Nancy Drew series, Betsy-Tacey series, Little Women, Green Eggs & Ham, all things Greek mythology
Big impact: Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice and Men, Anne of Green Gables series, Lord of the Flies, The Diary of a Young Girl, The Raven & other Poe poems, Flowers in the Attic (yes, shame on my mom for not screening my books… no wonder my mind is so warped!)
Favorite reads of 2012: I had more than 50 favorites in 2012 (of 600+ read), including Divergent/Insurgent; Thoughtless/Effortless; Daughter of Smoke and Bone; That Boy/That Wedding; Wool; Easy; The Edge of Never; The Fault in our Stars; Vampire Academy series; and Poison Study. My full list of favorites can be found here.
What will your next adventure be? Will you fight in the arena alongside Katniss Everdeen via The Hunger Games? Journey with Gandalf and take ‘my precious’ from Gollum in The Hobbit? Jump onto a moving train in Insurgent? Have your heart torn to pieces in The Fault in Our Stars? Fight the Strigoi in Vampire Academy? Solve the mystery of the cleanings in Wool?
Or perhaps you’ll accept my invitation to join Kira, Ethan and Blake on Thera as they try to thwart The Second Chance Institute in daynight. Read the sample for daynight here.
daynight by Megan Thomason
Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.
Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.
Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.
Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.
Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.
“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)
“The writing is impressive and the story is a real page-turner. So many twists and turns… I’m hooked… I can’t wait for the next installment to come out…4.5 out of 5 stars”—Self-Publishing Review
“Delicious humor, intelligence, and sparkling dialogue” —Amazon reviewer
“Strangely brilliant and imaginative”—Amazon reviewer
“Grips you from the first page and keeps you wanting more”—Amazon reviewer
“Plot twists kept me reading till late at night”—Amazon reviewer
“Every page a thrilling experience”—Amazon reviewer
“Hooked from the first chapter and could not put it down”—Amazon reviewer
“It’s like a CW fantasy TV show in a book with a really interesting environment.”—Amazon reviewer
“I’m a little tired of dystopian novels, but Daynight has a unique and fresh story line that didn’t have any trouble keeping my interest.”—Amazon reviewer
Author Megan Thomason
Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan’s first published novel, but fourth written one.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card
Signed copy of Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Signed copy of daynight
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.