reprint from Chris the Story Reading Ape
(for those who missed it there)
I Have a Confession: I’m a Whale Reader
You may be familiar with the term ‘whales’. These are people who gamble a lot in casinos, with the potential to lose a lot or bring in business. Casinos fight over them. They’ll comp their stays and food and treat them like kings, all for the chance to have these super-heavy gamblers bring the casino enormous profits.
That’s me, but I’m not a whale gambler. I’m a whale reader.
What’s a Whale Reader
People who love books are called bibliophiles but those who read a ton of books–far more than the average person–are called whale readers. For example, I read 229 books last year, not the most read by anyone but more than 90% of those on the Goodreads Challenge. That’s about four a week. The year before, I read 200 and the same the year before that. In my defense, it’s as much about me reading so many books as it is about books getting shorter. They used to be about 400 pages. Now, though it’s difficult to tell on Kindle, I’ve read many under 250. And I’m surprised how many are novelettes (that’s still counted as a book).
How to Become a Whale Reader
I don’t devote myself to reading. I just choose to read when I have free time which could be during lunch, standing in line at the pharmacy, waiting for a doctor appointment, watching (boring) TV, eating dinner, eating breakfast–well, you get the idea. I work as much as the normal person but I work out of my house so all that time I used to spend commuting, chatting with colleagues, filling my car with gas, or going out for meals is now spent reading. If you add that time up in your own schedule, you’ll see it’s a lot of time and you’ll understand how my smartphone tells me I spend two-four hours a day on my Kindle app.
That’s why I am considered a Whale Reader. Series authors fight for my attention.
Honestly, feeding my reading habit is expensive. A few years ago, when I realized how gal-darn much money I was spending on books, I made a few changes. First, I entered all of Goodreads free book challenges. That didn’t work–I have yet to win one. Then I joined NetGalley. I get lots of books through them and happily many by my top authors (like Val McDermid, Ben Coes, Mark Greaney, and Nelson DeMille). But that doesn’t happen often enough so I extended my reach to the library. There, they provide even the most current best sellers if I’m willing to wait my turn.
Overall, these approaches cut down on my reading bill to the point where my current problem is finding enough books, even for free.
Whale Writers I Love
I love finding authors of really long series. Here are a few of my favorites:
Robert Thomas–writes the Jesse Williams series, one a month. He’s up to 78 now
W.L. Cox–writes at least one book a month in two series. He’s up to 42 in both series
Russell Blake–writes a variety of series; it used to be one a month but I think it’s less now
Paul Thompson–writes the Shorty Thompson series, up to 65+ books (I’m about 2/3s through it)
Why am I a Whale Reader?
The short answer is, I don’t have a choice. I love reading and it nicely-informs my other addiction: Writing. I won’t even list all the books I’ve published. Well, here’s a general list:
If you’d like to reach out to me, we can share writing ideas or simply commiserate over our whale reader status. Here’s where you can find me:
My blog, Jacqui Murray’s WordDreams
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.