Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reading Week

Today is day one of my #ReadItWeek and I haven't read yet. But I'm going to soon. I've had a busy morning. Since I'm doing a week of writing, I am going to follow Harley's blogging method and post a few times this week on the topic of writing. Bought two more books today. Got the first book by Gail Carriger, Soulless, since I accidently bought book 2 of the series first. Then at random, I bought The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I'd heard it mentioned in blogs. Almost got I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells since I listen to a podcast he takes part in, but decided against it. One of these days I will buy the book.

#ReadItWeek books 1 and 2
Wren to the Rescue
Particle Physics

Today's Post: General Reading

Writers should read. That's a fact. However, sometimes its not easy to find the time for both, or that has been my experience. I used to read all the time. I would read while eating dinner and watching a movie. I would read while walking. (Yes, I would actually read a book and walk around the house. I was that good.) Then I went to college and the reading ended. The last couple of years, I didn't even read the books required for classes. Even in a lit class, I didn't read the books. I'm good enough at the essays and such, that I did the homework find without actually doing the reading. Not that I didn't like reading anymore, I just felt burned out. But I know how important reading is to writers.

First, reading helps develop understanding of the genres and different writing techniques. It's easier to learn about "show don't tell", flashbacks that don't jarr or confuse, or even point of view from examples instead of just being told what to do by a book on writing. It helps to see what others have done to tell stories and is a good companion to the number one writing rule... write!

Second, it helps build vocabulary. I've noticed over the years, even with competing in policy debate, I have lost some of my vocabulary that I used to have. I was more intelligent and didn't have to look up words as much when I was reading on a regular basis. Now, I struggle and need my dictionary/thesaurus. I hope to improve this by reading more.

So, those are two reasons to read. But don't just listen to me. Here are some quotations about writing and reading. Other people are saying it too!

If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write.
- Stephen King

The reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts.
- Rene Descartes 

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.
- Charles W. Eliot

When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.
- Michel de Montaigne

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
- Sir Richard Steele


Ashelynn D. Sanford said...

I agree that writers should read, especially with Stephan King's quote. Granted, if I had the choice to read or write, I'd choose to write, but I do read for fifteen minutes (try to) before bed, and it helps. You have the tools to write when you read. :)

Great post! :D

Iapetus999 said...

I so need to read more. I just need to put my foot down and do it.