I am often asked why I don’t read ebooks more? Especially given my space issue with my large library. What can I say? I prefer paper. I want to hold the book in my hand and feel the pages as I turn them. I want to browse my shelves and pull books down to flip through old favorites and to search for my next adventure to read. Scanning electronic shelves is not the same. There’s no anticipation of seeing titles from across the room and remembering the moment I found it waiting in a book store for me.
Posts from the ‘Reference’ Category
Today’s blog is a bit of a rant about my library—my personal library. Now, I am the first to admit I own a lot of books. Just over 7,000 at last count. But that does not make me weird or a hoarder. I simply refuse to believe that books can be hoarded. A library is a treasure of stories, worlds and knowledge, not a pile of rotting papers moldering in the corner. There’s a difference.
I am the first to admit I am not enamored of all things electronic. I tend to be a bit old school, but I do have my favorite things, which I am going to share today.
The reason I am not fond of many gadgets and apps is that I find they confuse things and make them harder than they should be or at least more cumbersome. When it comes to research and writing, I like to keep things fairly simple, but that is not to say I don’t use technology. I do and the things I use I swear by. Don’t try to take them away from me. You will get hurt.
I run a small book club that actually reads the selected books. We are a tight group that loves books and sharing them, beyond our group reads. We have a page set up on Goodreads and talk about our lives, books and all things story in whatever form they exist. They are my tribe. The people who understand me. We may not always read the same books or genres, but we share a love of story and the feel of books in our hands. We are true readers.
It’s a new year and a new opportunity to write and read.
I have been adding to my to-read pile throughout the holidays and it is now so large I don’t know where to begin. There are more than 600 books on the so-called “short” list of what I want to read this year and that doesn’t account for new releases that will appeal to me. It is insane. There is no way I can hope to read a quarter of that, much less all of it.
It has been a busy season around here and I have been struggling to finish projects and get into the holiday spirit. Instead of baking gingerbread houses, I have been crunching deadlines and running errands like a crazy woman.
We finally got our tree up and decided that we needed to do something to find the spark that was eluding us. Hanging the stockings just wasn’t getting us there. So we did something that never fails: we turned to a book. Well, books. But not just any books--picture books.
Studying is an eternal state of being for writers. It’s our lifeblood--how we hone our craft and add depth to our work. As Gary Paulson says, “If you want to be a good writer, you’ve got to read like a wolf eats.” I believe that applies to studying too.
Luckily, there are many sources for reading and novels of all genres and types. Read the hard ones and the fun ones. Heck, even read the bad ones to learn what not to do. Then read nonfiction to inform your writing. There are tons of books on the craft of writing, and they are important. Growing as a writer means professional development, like any other field. Read those writing books, but don’t stop there. Study broadly.
Here are my top 12 to consider adding to your studies: