I Have a Confession: I’m a Whale Reader
You may be familiar with the term ‘whales’ (not the mammal). These are people who gamble a lot with the potential thousands—millions—and/or bring in business. Casinos fight over them. They’ll comp their stays and food and treat them like royalty, all for the chance to have these super-sized 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 222 books last year, not the most read by anyone on the Goodreads Challenge but more than 90% of those who registered. That’s about four a week. The year before, I read 219 and 200 the year before that. In my defense, part of the reason I can read so many books is that books are 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 didn’t set out 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 just as much as the normal person but I do it out of my house. That’s means all that time I used to spend commuting, chatting with colleagues, gassing up my car, 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. In fact, smartphone nags tells me that 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. I’m their dream reader.
Where do I find enough books?
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 now enter all of Goodreads free book challenges. That doesn’t work–I have yet to win one. I also joined NetGalley. I get lots of books through them and happily many by top authors (like Val McDermid and Nelson DeMille). NetGalley considers me a Top Reviewer but it still doesn’t provide me with enough books so I extended my reach to the library. This venerable institution offers even the most current best sellers if I’m willing to wait my turn.
Overall, these approaches cut down on my reading bill but I still work at finding enough books that interest me, even for free.
Whale Writers I Love
I love finding authors who write 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 each 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. He’s up to 65+ books (I’m about 2/3s through it).
Why am I a Whale Reader?
The short answer to why I’m a whale reader 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:
100+ nonfiction on technology in education
Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the USNA Application
To Hunt a Sub
Born in a Treacherous Time
Survival of the Fittest
Overall, despite my whining, I can’t imagine life with books to read and write.
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: