You Need to do A Reading Study

Have you ever done a reading study? Recently, I listened to the Mysterious Goings On podcast that featured the Constant Reader and his journey re-reading Stephen King’s bibliography. The idea intrigued me. I’ve often re-read books I’ve enjoyed. Some of them many times. And of course, I’ve read complete series. But I don’t recall ever reading a single author’s entire catalog. The voice in my head said, you need to do a reading study. What is a Reading Study? That’s the fun part. You get to design your own. How? There are no rules. But here are some questions and suggestions to help you get started. What’s Your Purpose? For the Constant Reader, his deep love of Stephen King’s books motivated him. Which author do you read most often? Or choose an author you’ve never read before. If you’re a writer, you may want to figure out how an author created the world, or the characters, or how the writer makes us readers believe it all. Many things go into writing a powerful story. Perhaps you want to read an author with a unique writing style. Or a strong voice.  But what if you’re a reader and not a writer? […]

Read Great Books, Watch Great Films

Read great books, watch great films. If the book has been made into a film, which do you do first? Do you read a book first or watch the movie? It’s an old question that pops up on the internet over and over. Does it matter? I believe it does, but my answer isn’t one or the other. Do both. Read first or watch first is purely an individual choice. My choice depends on the book or the movie. Read the Book We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind.. Anna Quindlen Reading a great book is an experience unlike any other. The author’s words fill your head with sounds and pictures and people. But it’s not just the author’s words that paint those things. Your experiences, your world, inform how you interpret the words. A book is usually a longer experience than a movie. You experience it in private, unless you are reading aloud to someone. Even then, it’s your life and your dreams coloring how you read the story. Which is why the movie disappoints you. I’m always frustrated when somebody makes a movie out of a […]

Are You a Thinking Reader?

I’ve been thinking about reading fiction a lot lately. Particularly about how we read fiction today. Not so much as how it relates to the fiction I write, though of course I think about that, too. We have more reading opportunities today than ever before. How has that fact affected your reading habits? Are you a thinking reader?  A Thinking Reader There is a book called, How to Read a Book: The Ultimate Guide by Mortimer Adler. Originally published in 1940, it identifies and explains ways people read. It also instructs how one should read the different genres from nonfiction to imaginative fiction. I’m not asking are you a thinking reader and expecting a reply any of the academic ways to describe reading. More accurately, I’m asking what do you think about when you are reading a story. Are you thinking or are you more viscerally or emotionally bound to the story?  How I Read When a story is engaging and well written with a compelling plot, I immerse myself in the story and read fast and straight through. I’m “feeling” the story without pausing to think. After I finish reading, I think about the story and the writing. If […]