I try not to get engrossed in reading a novel during the same period of time when I am writing. Reading something that someone else has written is always going to be easier than writing something yourself and I find it too much of a distraction. Also, I find myself sometimes mimicking the style of the author I have just been reading so that a short story that started out in 1st person present tense transforms suddenly into a 3rd person past tense narrative after a reading break.
Now that I am getting into unknown territory with my NaNoWriMo attempt, never having written anything of that length before, I am itching to pick up a novel to read, if only to reassure myself that I’m on the right track. To satisfy my cravings, I’ve been leafing through some books that I’ve already read and particularly enjoyed, dipping in at my favourite parts. It’s much easier to put these books down again because I already know what happens and am not tempted to keep reading till the end.
I cannot imagine a more pleasurable way of spending my breaks between writing than revisiting the humourous scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the breathtaking moments in The Time Traveller’s Wife while avoiding the heartbreaking moments that come in between.