One of the great perks of owning my own business as a translator, writer and editor, is that I sometimes get to curl up on the couch, in the sunshine, with a nice cup of coffee and a book — and chalk it up to research, professional development, a business necessity.

Reading really is all of these things to any wordsmith: we need to read to improve our own writing skills.

The problem is the accompanying guilt at being “unproductive” when clients are pinging and deadlines are approaching. So I stack these books on the edge of my desk, glance at them longingly and watch the pile grow.

Here is the stack that remains from 2012, books I’m determined (and excited) to read early this year:

* Detours, a chapbook by fellow translator and writer, Amalia Gladhart. I just know this creative non-fiction is going to resonate with me. (Amalia also has a translation coming out soon, Trafalgar, by Angela Gorodischer. I did take work hours to read an advance copy of that so I could provide a blurb for their marketing material!)

* Codex of Journeys: Bendito Camino, a book of poetry by Liliana Valenzuela. I met Liliana and heard her read at the Literary Division’s After Hours Café at the ATA Conference in San Diego. These poems are rhythmic, hypnotic, powerful.

A tradução literária, by Paulo Henriques Britto. Blog reader and fellow literary translator Michel Marques saw this book when it was just published, thought I would like it and offered to send me a copy. It was the best present I received all year! I sat down the first day and soaked up the first chapter. Paulo has so many relevant things to say about literary translation, I can’t wait to learn more and share a few nuggets with you here.

The Outcast’s Sonata, by Mikhail Levitin, translated by John Woodsworth. Some of you may remember John from his guest post here. John has a list of publishing credits a block long and I’m eager to read this collection of stories and poems.

* Translation Review. This publication is put out by the American Literary Translators and discusses translation rather than showcasing it. I have issues 83 and 84 on my desk still to be read. The articles I’m most intrigued by are an interview with Breon Mitchell and a lecture by Ilan Stavans “On Being Misunderstood.”

Do any of the above interest you, too? What’s left in your stack from 2012 that you want to read before the 2013 pile begins to grow? Do you take time out of your workday to read? Or only do it after business hours? I’ve love to know!