25 March 2010

What do you read?

Not what are you reading, but what is it you read habitually? In writing, you constantly hear the phrase write what you know. I think this means more the style of things you read, not that you are knowledgeable about everything you write. By that rule, you'd have to murder someone to write a mystery - not a good plan. Research can take the place of knowing what you write.

I have always felt slightly bothered that I wrote for newspapers for years and I've never been an avid newspaper writer. Should I have been more of a news reader to be a reporter? I enjoyed my job. I rarely read my stories again after I wrote them and rarely read my coworkers articles.

I read magazines but not voraciously. I had a conversation with someone a few months ago who said they never read books but mainly magazines. I found this interesting because I like magazines but I usually would prefer to read a novel if I have one going. Often I read a magazine to sort of cleanse my reading palette between books. Magazines stack up in my house and eventually feel like work.

I've also tried reading nonfiction books after each fiction book. This has only been the last couple years. I find I'm impatient for the nonfiction books to end and if it a particularly stressful episode of life, I'm irritable if I am not getting my dose of escape from real life in my fiction.

Some people don't even read -- this amazes me. I totally don't get that. Perhaps you can explain it to me if you are one of those.  I am lost without something to read and maybe almost panicky if I don't feel I can lay my hands on some reading material.

So (other than blogs! ha) what do you read?

1 comment:

  1. I go through periods where I read and periods where I don't read. I need to every once in a while, but really that mental stimulation that I get from reading can be gotten from other places as well and that is why I don't always stick to it.

    Several years ago I would try to alternate a book that was good for me with a book that I enjoyed. I found that this caused me to avoid reading altogether, though, because I hated being forced (even by myself) to read something that I wasn't naturally drawn to. Now, when I read it is generally either for an entertaining story or to learn something that I truly am interested in knowing (thus, the self-improvement books I mentioned a while ago).

    I think that the difference between readers and non-readers is in whether they get that thing they are looking for in a book. For example, a lot of people (not all) read books as an escape. Escapes can be found elsewhere as well, though. If what you are looking for in life is largely centered around social interaction, maybe you'll think that books are just a diversion from what matters in life.