Discussion #22: Reading Material

Took a few days off and away from the computer. But am back now.

Most, if not all writers are also people who read. But just as our writing is individual, so too are our tastes in reading material. This week, I have only one question: What do you read, when and if you do read?

I look back and realize that my reading material has taken a slightly crooked path, over the years. I actually once read romance novels, but that was long, long ago. I also had a time period when all I read was science fiction and fantasy (I really do love dragons).

When I attended college, I read textbooks and non-fiction and continued that trend for years afterward, exploring my different interests through non-fiction works and how to manuals, many of which centered around writing. Then slowly drifted back to the world of fiction, preferring mystery and suspense. And yes, I do read poetry, much of it here on-line, and do have my favorites in my little library, along with shelves of books on writing. They are wonderful sources for inspiration.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. The mic is open:

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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9 Responses to Discussion #22: Reading Material

  1. margo roby says:

    How funny. Your path is almost mine. Although, there was a point during high school when I read every biography I could lay my hands on. I came to the romances late, and the sci fi and fantasy later, and thoroughly enjoyed them both. Dragons, of course. After all, that is my birth year in the zodiac I follow.

    As I grow older I read more and more non-fiction. As my mother, who now reads no fiction, says: There is so much still to learn.

    But, my undying passion is mysteries, in particular British mysteries. I am lucky, in that I have a mind that never, ever, remembers who did it, so I can read and reread mysteries forever, and am doing so. I wonder why we love what we love.

    My only problem, to my husband’s despair, is the speed at which I read. He jokingly [sort of] tells people I had “keep me supplied with books” put in the marriage vows.

    I fell out of reading for a few years, at the same time I fell out of writing. I was too tired to do either. But, I am back at almost full steam with the two vying for my attention and time.

    margo

  2. anl4 says:

    I just finished re-reading A.S. Byatt, Still Life. I wanted to re-read it because of the wonderful still Lifes she writes about, but found a another quote, that I really like, and seems so revelant right now. I am also reading a book on color, meaning and symbolism. I never know for sure what I will be reading, it sort of depends on the mood of the day. I think I am always looking for “something.”

    • margo roby says:

      Annell – I know what you mean by always looking for something. I am dangerous around books. What is the title of the colour book you are reading? Sounds like my kind of book.

      margo

  3. Mike Patrick says:

    Books have led me down a twisted trail. My dad started reading me the comics from the funny papers when I was still a baby I guess. When I was four or so, I started receiving a quarter a week in allowance. Twenty-five cents bought two comic books—or graphic novels as they are called now. I couldn’t wait to get home and crawl up into dad’s lap so he could read them to me.

    He grew tired of that pretty quickly and told me I would have to learn to read. He started sounding out the words for me and I began reading on my own by five or six. By ten, I was burning through the Hardy Boys, and trading them with my sister for the Nancy Drew series. In school I read everything I could get—age appropriate or not.

    High school was my first school with a reasonably large library. I read a book a day in high school. To hell with homework, I read books. I’d start them in study hall (which housed the library) read on the way home, read until bedtime, then finish the book with my head under the covers to hide the flashlight. I found science fiction and read everything by Arther C.Clark, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein in the school library. Followed them with fantasy, moved on to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Conan Doyle. I still read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land about every other year. It’s my favorite book of all time because of the fantastic characters in it.

    In English I was introduced to Shakespeare, both plays and poetry—the first poetry I ever read. English also made me read some of the classics like The House of Seven Gables and Moby Dick—loved them and read more on my own.

    Edger Alan Poe showed me both prose and poetry could be a bit frightening. I was never a big fan of horror, but I’ve read several of Steven Kings books. The Shining was the only book I ever read where I had to put it down and walk away for a while before I could finish it.

    My father and I shared a love of westerns. He had an almost collection of Zane Gray books and I introduced him to Louis Lamour. We read every book they ever wrote.

    I read books on astrology, palmistry and ESP just because they were fun and a good way to meet people. Books on drawing and art were also fun, as were books on the classical poets.

    In the last few years, I’ve read everything W.E.B. Griffin has written. I believe he is the best living writer today. He has a series of books on the Army, another on the Marines, another on aviators, another on spies and another on cops (probably forty or more books altogether). I’m sincerely hoping I learned enough from him to be able to create characters the readers will care about in my novel. His characters are the best by far I’ve ever encountered.

    Good Lord! I just looked up an saw how much I’ve written. I apologize, but luckily, everyone quit reading about five paragraphs ago. I’ll shut up now.

  4. irene says:

    My current obssession is Haruki Murakami and I’ve sort of buried my nose in his novels. There’re overlapping similarities. I suppose you could call his novels surreal. There’s an everyday grittiness and then, the tunnel into the unreal.
    I’ve just finished reading A Girl in Translation, which is about a Hongkong girl who emigrated to America and her struggle to rise above sweatshop poverty through her brilliant scholarship.
    I’ve read through some of the English classics by Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, George Elliot EM Forster etc since I was an English major. Shakespeare too.
    When I first entered the equivalent of first grade school, at the age of seven, I knew not a single word of English. I had to check the dictionary in every line. I became a voracious reader pretty quickly too and by the end of the sixth year, I’m pretty ok in English.

  5. pmwanken says:

    I have definitely gone in phases with my reading. I, too, devoured Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys books as a kid. And the Little House on the Prairie books before that. Then “life happened” and rather than escaping into stories, I turned away from reading and writing. Though it wasn’t until a year ago that I started writing, I have had times in my life when I was seldom seen without a book in hand.

    Most recently I have fallen in love with Ted Dekker’s writing. He sure can tell a story of “good vs evil.”

    And…noting my comment to Mike, above…I love a good cop story. So I’m eagerly awaiting my new favorite author’s newest release. 😉 In all seriousness…I do love a crime story. Patricia Cornwell’s “Kay Scarpetta” books have also been among my favorites.

    I’m a very SLOW reader…so it takes a while for me to get through a book. Which explains many of the phases in between, when I didn’t read because I simply didn’t have the time.

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