The Joy of Text

For the Love of Reading

As well as writing, reading is essential for any writer. I’ve always loved reading and I’ve managed to instill that love of books into my three children. Not that I really tried, it’s more a case of when in doubt, we read a book.

If kids are tired, bored, sad, sick or over-excited, reading them a good book is the best way to get them to calm down and focus on the here and now. So mine have naturally grown to love books as much as I do. They say that you’ll never be lonely if you have a book to read and it’s true. No other device brings so much pleasure and holds the power to transport you to another world. Well, I can think of a few, but they’re probably not legal, or as good for you and easily accessible as books.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket (Chinese Proverb)

As a kid I loved Roald Dahl and I still do. Check out his short stories for adults, like Switch Bitch,a collection of his macabre tales. I think the first books I read by myself were by Enid Blyton. Say what you will about Blyton’s formulaic, and allegedly sexist and racist adventures of the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, but if they got me, and no doubt thousands of other kids immersed in a book, then you can’t complain.

I feel the same way about the Goosebumps series of books my ten year old devours today. With titles like Ghost Camp and Horror House, they might not be the highbrow stuff that I’d choose for him, but if he enjoys reading them then that’s the point. So I take my hat off to the mysteriosuly named R.L. Stine who must surely be a very rich man. If my ten year old rates his books, then so do I.

Then there’s Stephen King. Some people might look down on his writing style but I think he’s a legend. If you sell that many books and can pen so many compelling stories then you have to be.

Personally I’ll give any book a go, high brow, low brow or in between, and as long as I’m reading I’m happy. Be it a Booker prize winner or a popular best seller, a world of pleasure may await us between the covers. But writers beware not to let too much reading curtail your writing output.

I’m working on a reading list of books I love so we can tend our literary garden together and watch it bloom.

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your plans!

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  1. Andy MacGregor June 3, 2009 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I’m enjoying your musings!

    I’m thinking about my book now and i think the best bet would be to visit every nook and cranny of Morocco and write about my experiences. I would keep it light and hopefully amusing and do my homework and make it informative too. The kind of book i would like to read a couple of months before or after having visited a new country myself….

    It sounds simple….i know it won’t be!

  2. Jimney Cricket June 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more!! I’m an avid reader myself, and I’ll read nearly anything that catches my fancy, although to be honest I’m not really into the style of books that you mentioned. But hey, each to his own, right? As you said, as long as we’re reading! :)

    This reminds me of a conversation I had a little while ago with another writer I ran into- she’s a new writer and younger than most, so she’s still learning. But she said she’s not much of a reader. To be a writer, one must first be a reader. That’s what I told her.


  3. Teresa June 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I just joined the library so I can read more (for free) hoorah!

    And…dare I say it….I’m going to look up how to do a blog today….so my inspiration, my friend we could be blogging buddies hoorah x2

    AKA Scaredy Cat

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