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The (Non-)Reading Habits of the Terminally Distracted

Read1

When I was a kid in Europe, I remember bookstores were almost luxury destinations. I would walk into one and feel overwhelmed and awed, and I’d touch the volumes with utmost reverence. Books were expensive. All of them, except for a handful of children’s books and pocket atlases, were hardbound with gorgeous covers that were as much works of art as the words held within. They were also a universe unto themselves. Getting an autograph, or even running into an author of any kind was almost unheard of. Seeing one made into a movie was a Very Big Deal.

My great uncle would collect books just to show them off on his shelves. His brother, my grandfather, on the other hand, would borrow them from him to read, because he loved the written word, but couldn’t afford to buy the books he wanted. My mom had entire shelves filled with series by her favorites, all black spines with white text, and a clear number on the bottom indicating its order in the series. She never touched them after they were read, except to wipe dust off the tops.

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I Read, Therefore I Am

In the last two weeks or so, I seem to have gone into one of my philosophical moods. I was reading a book in a genre I used to devour back when I read two or three books a week. I don’t do it anymore, but back then, I would dive into a specific genre and read every book an author has ever released in it. Then I’d go to related books, and repeat the process with another author in that same genre. It was total immersion in a particular subject matter, and for the longest time I lived and breathed it.

That changed when my me-time shrank considerably and I refocused my energies into writing instead. I’d still read here and there, but nowhere near as much as before, and definitely not one single genre. When my reading pattern changed, I noticed a distinct change in my general mindset as well.

Has that ever happened to you? You read a brilliant fantasy adventure and suddenly you swagger down the street like you have an elven sword strapped to your side and everyone is a potential enemy. Your back is just a little straighter, your thoughts just a little braver. For a while, as you bask in the book afterglow, you’re a total magickal badass.

I’ve realized recently that this happens to me a lot.

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The Triad of Storytelling: A Listener’s Point of View

Triad

Ask a hundred different people what makes a great story, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. That’s because no two people read alike. For that matter, no two authors write exactly alike. And many of us don’t exactly see eye to eye. But odds are, if you ask enough of the right “Why?” questions, the answer to what makes a great story boils down to the balance between three things: Plot, Characters, and Delivery. Now, I’m not saying this as a writer. I’m saying it as a reader. And as a reader, I have  a few opinions on this matter.

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On Readers, Reading, and Literary Snobbery

As you might have noticed, a lot of my recent posts revolve around books and reading. It’s not so much because I am a writer and reader myself, but because I often encounter blogs and articles online featuring subjects that prod at my “This is not okay” meter, and I feel the need to rant. Thanks to this wonderful invention of a blog, I can do that, and you all are forced to hear me out. Muahahahah!

So let’s get to it, shall we? Today’s rant is about literary snobbery and should have an alternate title (which unfortunately did not fit into the title field):

You Are NOT What You Read! (unless you want to be)

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On Readers and Reading

Read1 I had a plan today. It was to sit my behind down at a computer and get in a solid word count for Wolfen. I am so close to the finish line I can smell it. But while I was doing my daily social media rounds, I came across an article that completely derailed my train of thought. It was about reading, and the decline in male readership. If you have a few minutes to spare, I encourage you to check it out here. The statistics and survey responses are really something.

So my plan changed. Instead of writing a chapter or two, I came here to write a blog. But what’s a blog without pictures? Therefore, in a separate tab, I opened a stock image site and did a quick search for “reading.” Here’s what I found:

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