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Reading

I came across this article:

“Have You Met a Writer Who Doesn’t Read”

It’s interesting, contains a valid point, but I would have to staunchly disagree.  It does not represent absolute truth.

I have a serious problem with the superior, almost arrogant tone the blogger maintains when judging who is a writer and who should be one.  Writers are not definably created out of readers.  Writers can be created from non-readers, illiterates.

Please note, this is not to say that reading isn’t important.  Reading helps.  Reading is important. For most, reading plays a vital role in writing.  But it does not define a writer.  What a writer writes, chooses to write defines a writer.

I like reading.  However, with my life as of late, I’ve little time to do so.  It’s disappointing.  I love books, but I do not have the energy to complete the second half of A Game of Thrones.  Or, I should elaborate.  I have energy, yes, that I would much prefer to utilize elsewhere.  In certain times, dependent entirely on my mood, I will choose to write over reading.  When you add it all up, I write more than I read in a week.  As a matter of fact, I have not read a book for several weeks.  But I’ve written thousands of words.  Does that mean, then, by this blogger’s standards, I am not a writer because I did not invest nonexistent time into reading? I think not.

The concept is not universally applicable.  And another thing.  I think the blogger mistakenly categorizes reading into a singular group: books.  Books are not the only methods of reading.  Goodness, no.  In a week’s time, I do read, process enormous amounts of information.  I read Internet articles, particularly about blogging, publishing, and writing CONSTANTLY.  And really, I read articles constantly.  Practically, every time I jump on the Internet, I read at least three new articles that pop up on my subscription lists.  Does that not count as reading, as well?  It may not be a book, but would not reading about writing be just as useful as reading the work of another writer?

Maybe I’m just snubbed by the whole idea expressed on the post–how dare these children who hardly read want to become writers!  What is wrong with them for not reading more!–the sentiment that seems to be shared is that it feels wrong for non-readers to pursue a possible dream in writing.  It is not the job of writers to put down aspiring writers because they do not read as many books as they do.  Encourage them to read, yes, but do not “dog” those who do not because they are part of this “younger generation” that everyone seems to feel is a generation of unintelligent, uneducated philistines who have the over-inflated ego as everyone else does.

By the way, just about every writer has a huge ego.  Some are better at masking it than others.

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Close friends, family members, and the Boyfriend–especially the Boyfriend–know that I have a problem.  I like to think myself as strong willed, determined, with a good head on my shoulders. But this good head on my shoulders has an off switch when it comes to books, particularly when a chance comes to acquire books.

I’m not sure how to explain it.  I’m a sucker for those Sale bins at stores and book stores alike that hold nothing but the books nobody liked for a few dollars.  MUST BUY TWO.  Used books at Hastings… for a dollar with the purchase of one other book? SEVEN.  My school particularly likes putting unwanted textbooks on a table with a sign reading, “Free.”  Mostly textbooks about college help for reading and writing, a few on applied calculus, and some poetry pamphlets.  I know I took at least twenty.

This. . . habit is also inclusive to the digital world.  When I received my Kindle, my first course of action was to visit Amazon’s Kindle/ebook store and download every possible book that was free and sounded remotely interesting.  It didn’t matter if I would never read a glossary on the insect world or certain fairy tales of the Sanskrit, this was a vast pool of information and fiction that I could own!

And that’s another problem I face.  There is a large percentage of books that I pinch that I do intend to read.  Books that like to stack themselves into large piles in my room and trip unsuspecting passersby.  However, I lack a certain will to read.  Starting my senior year of high school, I just haven’t read that much, which is a real shame because I enjoy reading.  The process has become similar to writing.  My exhausting life has left little to no time or energy to pursue such interests.  So often, I am forced between reading or writing.  And it’s hard to find time to do that between working, sleeping, schooling, studying, laundry, eating, driving, sleeping again, napping.  I’m forced to choose and unfortunately, the essentials of life get in the way.

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