Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Reading Into Things
After a couple of weeks of long hours at the keyboard, I took a day off writing. So what did I do? Other than reading, I spent a few hours hanging out on Goodreads reviewing books I’d previously read.
What can I say? I love books. From the moment I learned to read I devoured every piece of text I could get my hands on. And the writer-to-be showed up because I couldn’t keep from “rewriting” in my head the things I read. I couldn’t keep from putting myself into the story. I consumed Walter Farley’s horse books and imagined thundering down the track on a fast stallion somewhere between Black and Flame. I read the dog stories of Jim Kjelgaard and Jack London and ran arid lands and ice floes with Desert Dog and White Fang and others of my own invention. I read sports stories, space stories, and westerns, and I dreamed myself into every one of them.
Even today I’m fully as much of a reader as I am a writer. I generally read at least three books at a time, and there’s no telling what genre those might be in. Right now I’m reading a poetry collection from a famous naturalist, a mystery from an old friend, a classic western, and a graphic novel about Mars and swords. I’m enjoying every one of them.
They say a writer has to write, and I agree. But I also think a writer has to read. I know I have to. If I go more than a few days without writing I start to get uneasy. But I don’t think I’ve gone more than one day without reading at least a few pages for years. I don’t even know how it would feel to go a week without reading. I don’t want to know.
I read. I write. The two feed off each other and enrich my life.
So how about you. What are you reading today that has captured your imagination? What are you reading that has enriched your life?