I read a variety of genres. The last 10 books I've read include:
2 Middle Grade Fantasy
2 Contemporary Middle Grade
2 YA Fantasy
1 Contemporary YA
1 Adult Memoir
1 Adult Fiction
I've read varying opinions about what we, as writers should read. Some people say you should read extensively in your genre, some say you should avoid your own genre (so it won't effect your manuscript and you can write something fresh), some suggest that you SHOULDN'T read while you're writing, and some say you should read new releases and NYT Bestsellers, so you can understand what people are reading now and write to the market.
I believe I should read what I feel like reading! Reading is something I do for fun, but it's also something I do to learn. I think I can learn more by reading a variety of great books, (and maybe a few that aren't so great), than I can by reading only one or two genres (or heaven forbid, nothing at all!).
A few lessons I've learned this month from reading that will help me with my writing:
-I like short chapters, they keep the action going.
-I'm not a fan of explaining or over-description. If a book takes 500 pages to tell a story that could be told in 250 pages, I will be annoyed.
-Non-linear story-telling is awesome if it's done well (I don't think I'll try it anytime soon though).
-Humor is a great tool for keeping the audience engaged. This is true for almost all genres.
-I love a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter.
Do you read while you write? Do you read outside of your genre? What do you learn from the books you read?