• Valerie Miller

A little bookshelf in the corner of my world



Hello, my name is Valerie and I am a book addict.


I love to read. My reading is my professional development as an emerging writer. I know and can attest to with confidence, that to be a writer you need to be a reader. Reading broadly across all genres will make you a better writer. Most published authors always offer the following two pieces of advice to new writers: read widely and write regularly.


As I commit to my reading regime, I am unearthing wonderful new stories with unique and engaging characters. As I explore new writers, my own skill as a writer is developing. I'm discovering how other writers use point of view, dialogue, description, character development and structure.


However, with my love of reading comes a dilemma. A passion for books. My bookshelf is filled with a number of titles waiting to be read. The shelves are chock a block with books already read and those waiting to be read. And I keep adding to it.


Each month I buy a book at my local independent bookshop. I believe in supporting local businesses including my neighbourhood bookshop. I'm also a committed listener to the So You Want to Be a Writer podcast where new and wonderful titles are always unearthed. Currently, I am catching up on the backlog of episodes I have missed and discovering even more titles I am interested in.


My addiction is constantly being satisfied and my book collection is growing. The books are shelved and stacked carefully so I can see the titles. How many? Hold onto your bookmarks. There are over 100 hundred. I know!!


To help me catch up and to give my budget a break. I have made a commitment to purchasing only one book per month from my local bookshop. "But what about all the titles that keep being published and books I am continually discovering," I hear you all shout.


One word. Goodreads.


Goodreads allows you to list all the books you want to read. I discover I title I am interested in and I pop it into Goodreads. Simple. It's a handy list of all the books you want to read without the fear of ever forgetting the title. I love it. My bank balance loves it. My husband loves it.



My little library of books

I have also developed a plan to help me read all my books.


I schedule in my reading. When I get home I take myself down to a bench on the Brisbane River or snuggle up in my wing chair and I read for 30 minutes. It has become a way to disconnect as a teacher after a day at school and prepare my headspace for my writing in the evening. Reading is my relaxation and downtime. I am feeling better, it rejuvenates and nourishes me and stress is non-existent. The best thing is that I am reading one book every two to four weeks depending on the length. I have started to get through the books that I am itching to devour.


Destress Monday shares that reading relaxes you by decreasing your heart rate. Reading is more effective in reducing stress than a walk or a cup of tea. When I read, I always sip a peppermint tea with a dash of honey in my Miranda Kerr 'friendship' mug. My 30 minutes is bubble of calm that wraps me up with words and warmth. I'm content and my imagination is nourished.


The following is a list of the books earmarked and waiting to be enjoyed. Maybe some of these titles can find a place on your bookshelf.


Support your local independent bookshop and purchase any of the titles below there.


I have also added the links to each writers's websites of these books below.



You can purchase any of the above titles at Booktopia.


If you want to visit these writers' websites, please click on their name. They also have details on their books and links to where you can purchase them.


Tania Blanchard (Girl from Munich): Sydney, Australia

Sandie Docker: Sydney, Australia

Kate Forsyth: Australia

Emma Gannon: United Kingdom

Hannah Kent: Adelaide, Australia

Kirsty Manning: Melbourne, Australia

Fiona McIntosh: Adelaide, Australia

Dervla McTiernan: Perth, Australia

Kali Napier: Brisbane, Australia

Charlotte Wood: Sydney, Australia


Image: Everett Collection Inc Dreamstime.com


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