The real importance of reading.
by Todd Foley
This pile of books sits right by my bedside. I look at them each night before going to sleep, eagerly anticipating the experience of discovering the stories and characters therein.
I got all of these books as Christmas gifts, giving me an exciting reading list for 2013. Most have been adapted into films, only two of which I have seen. “The book is always better than the movie,” most people say, so I look forward to following up with the films afterward and making my own assessment.
I put all of these books on my wish list because reading, to me as a writer, is the most effective form of creative exercise. Yes, this age-old metaphor is incredibly overused, but for a reason: it’s true. I can’t count the times I’ve finished a novel and thought, I wish I had envisioned that character and plot. Then I scratch my head as I try to imagine the grueling journey the author must have endured to accomplish the completed work. All in all, I’m often left in awe.
How does reading influence your writing? What genres are you attracted to, and why?
“The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing . . . It also offers you a constantly growing knowledge of what has been done and what hasn’t, what is trite and what is fresh, what works and what just lies there dying (or dead) on the page. The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.”
– Stephen King
I have high hopes that you’ll thoroughly appreciate the Stieg Larsson. Some people consider it dry, but I really loved the journalism feel. And, prepare yourself, the horrors of the novel are much more intense than those in the films. If that’s possible.
Let me know when you finish it!
Oh, and as for my reading: Almost always fiction, which is the opposite of what I write. I suppose I don’t want TOO much real life… ? 🙂
I’m really looking forward to experiencing that one, as I have not seen the films yet – so I’m bracing myself for what’s before me! Right now I’m tearing through the Dekker book and will tackle Larsson right after. Will be sure to let you know when I finish it!
I haven’t read the book, but man, the film was…good, but intense and graphic.
Amazing that a piece of paper with a bunch of carefully formed letters can make us feel things! Fascinating.
Beautifully said, Andrew, about the power of letters – so crazy cool. However, your above statement has me already tense about that book, and I have yet to start it! 🙂
I wholeheartedly agree with Christie! Larsson is fabulous! I read that whole trilogy last year over my Christmas break. So intense! I’m still afraid to see the movies.
I sometimes have trouble pulling myself away from reading to actually write, hence why my blog keeps suffering. I’m usually so immersed in a novel, genres always changing, that I can’t pull myself away from those characters to build my own up.
Good to see so many endorsements of that story. I think I’ll need to get the rest of the books!