On Reading ~

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King stack of books

My name is Shelley and I’ve read 50+ books this year. I am a bibliophile.

There, I’ve said it.

Seriously, I did squirm a little when I tallied up the books I’d read in 2014. A little voice in my head asked, “Is that, maybe, just a little excessive?” Am I truly trying to hone my craft (writing) as Stephen King suggests or am I simply using reading as an escape?

We all try to find balance in our lives, making time for work, family, friends, exercise, recreation. When I look at it that way, I realize that reading is my recreation. I don’t follow any TV shows, I don’t play games on the computer, I don’t have many other hobbies. I choose to read quality books, often books selected for one of the 3 book-clubs I belong to. And, as Stephen King argues, a writer has to read. I tell creative writing students that all the time. (Throw out the TV if you want to get published.) I wish there was a measurable correlation between the number and quality of books read with the quality of your own writing. I’ll just have to trust that there is one. As for 2015, I intend to keep on reading, feeding my addiction, escaping, learning and honing my craft.

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3 thoughts on “On Reading ~

  1. I know what you mean, Shelley, about throwing out the TV and I wholeheartedly agree with the spirit in which you say it. However, some shows are excellent (I only watch PBS), and I’ve found that one can learn a lot about storytelling and even get story ideas from watching a well-crafted drama or documentary. The Agatha Christie mysteries come to mind on the drama side and I’ve gotten story ideas from watching Rick Steve’s travel show. On the cheesier side of things, while I don’t watch reality TV shows or anything like that, it’s worth noting that Suzanne Collins got her idea for The Hunger Games while watching TV.

    • Thanks for this reminder Louisa. I actually meant to make that point, that I know there are some really good programs. I just never quite get around to checking them out… especially if I’m in the middle of good book, which I usually am.

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