Tag Archives: bibliophile

Even For a Writer-Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Reading?

Let me preface this post by saying, I am a certified bibliophile-lover of books, reading, and the process of making stories. Almost every waking minute I’m thinking about the books I want to read and the ones that I want to write. In my dreams, the books I love blur together into a giant collage of characters, scenes, and magical worlds. So, when my beloved Stephen King gives the following advice, who am I to disagree?
Courtesy of http://izquotes.com/quote/102677
Certainly not one of his dedicated constant readers, who marvels in the wonderment of his writer-ly glow.  But question him, I shall. In the paraphrased words of Socrates–  “Question everything, and then once you’ve questioned everything about your life, question the reason why you read so damn much!” Okay, maybe Socrates just meant to question all aspects of my life.

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my World

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my World

Yet, I feel compelled to bring up this subject because it has been bothering me for months. I love reading so much that if I go a day without reading, I feel like I’ve missed out on a part of my life like kissing a loved one or forgetting to pick a child up from school–it’s THAT important.

As a writer, one of the most important skills I need is to read and take away different tips or style from which I can improve my own work. At the same time, reading is so much more than simply finding out how to write well or form a good story. It’s about the passion I have whenever I find a book that truly speaks to my soul, one that makes me excited to wake up and read every day.

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock My World

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock My World

So, it shouldn’t be an issue that I read in almost all of my spare time, each time I sit down to eat, I have to read. There are times where I could spend hours lost in a well-conceived fantasy world and feel accomplished at how far I’ve gone, but does reading more often than writing help or is can reading too often be used as a way to procrastinate what you’re writing. Even now, I’m thinking about the next Game of Thrones book, the third installment of a childhood book series that I purchased months ago, or quickly buying the book for my next assignment.

All of these thoughts are easier than the revisions I just received from my mentor. Therefore, I pose the question: Is there a thing as too much reading?

Most people, including my inner self would say: No, you can never read too much, especially when it benefits your writing!

While this is incredibly true, I have to draw the line somewhere because I’ll spend the rest of my life making outlines and planning my beautiful ideas as I read other great works. It is high time I set a limit on myself. Since I have ample time once the school year is over, it’s time for me to crack down and say no to my pleasure reading. It’s one thing to read to learn and another to hide behind other authors to avoid my own work.

Please feel free to share your ideas on whether you think there is a limit to reading as a writing, especially if it allows you to procrastinate your own writing.

Now that I am on the topic of reading a lot, I must confess there are some hilarious quirks that us bookworms have. At a birthday party last weekend, I was making conversation with some new acquaintances and besides sharing our recently read list, we discussed how people approach us while reading. There is a very delicate way to talk to someone who is immersed in a book. Personally, I feel it is impossible to get my attention without enacting some type of weird primal rage while I’m reading. I read during my lunch at work, which sometimes means I’m reading at my little cubicle. I’ve only had interruptions a few times, but one of co-workers apparently received a very unhappy look when asking a work-related question on my “reading time”. As unintentional as the face may have been (because I didn’t see the horrified look I gave him), it goes to show how truly absorbed I can become in a book. Here to help put this behavior into perspective is another lovely photos from the Facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock My World, who has supplied almost every photo I have used in the blog today.

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

Now if we could mass produce this lovely sketch to all of the world I’m sure many readers would be less like to be interrupted and no longer turn into feral creatures caught in a corner. I may be over-dramatizing slightly on that last bit, but the meaning is the same. Sometimes, there are books so fantastic, so mind blowing that we forget where we are and why shouldn’t we?

At times, my life is both scary and boring. Why should I be brought back into the realities of my impending revisions, assignments, and Monday mornings before I’m ready to leave the next Kevin Hearne or Neil Gaiman book? I shouldn’t! If you see a wild bookworm tucked away, leave the poor creature be. Spread the world, save the wild bookworm from extinction by letting them read. They will eventually come around.

From Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world on facebook

From Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world on facebook

Another very present issue is finding a comfortable position to read in. I have found it is much harder to find this with a physical book than using Nook on my phone. With my phone, it isn’t as heavy and even the thinnest paper backs are heavy when you’re holding them up. Here is another diagram to explain what I mean.

It’s like a stressful, non-exercise yoga. Someone (mainly engineers and physicists) need to design a chair specifically for long-term reading. So many chairs would be purchased! And they should probably have a tea/coffee dispenser, too. Just to make sure the reader is always stocked. Feel free to take my idea as long as I get a chair free of charge once it’s invented.

from the facebook group fantasy and sci-fi rock my world

from the facebook group fantasy and sci-fi rock my world

It’s both difficult and thrilling to be a reader and lover of books. People today still associate book reading with  obligatory school assignments and other non-enjoyable things like learning or singing showtunes (all of which can be incredibly fulfilling if given the chance).  However, one thing remains clear. For those of us who caught the reading bug early on, we know the best kept secret of all.

For me, it’s an escape and a lesson. I can escape to a world I’ve never experienced, people I’ve never met, but more importantly escaping into the deepest parts of me. Books help us to learn about ourselves in a world where anonymity and fake identities rule. It is a chance to be the princess or the knight without having to worry about someone telling you it’s not your place in the world. You can be whoever or whatever you want inside your favorite book.

From the facebook page Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

From the facebook page Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

All in all, readers seem more able to take on the world because we’ve been so many more places. How can you compare seeing the Empire State building when you’ve been to Mordor, King’s Landing, Idris, Tír na nÓg, and share them with people you’ve never met. Reality is such a tiny place compared to the vastness of fiction. Although this post began as a reason to reign in my reading craze, it is always important to focus on the reason why books make me crazy. They are powerful items, bound in paper and magic, with one purpose: to take you to a place where your imagination runs free.

I want to take the time to thank my wonderful friend Denise Drespling, who inspired me to write about questioning myself as she questioned hers in her first blog post. You should check her out because she is clever and talented. Check out Writer’s Block: Is it all Just Crap?

I leave you now with many thoughts and one last hilarious picture. Happy reading and writing my loves!

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

From the facebook group Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rock my world

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For the Love of Books–Why Doesn’t The World See It?

Now this may seem a little rash, especially considering everyone on the planet may not share my intense love of reading, but why do people cringe when you say you like to read? I mean, honestly, I must have slept in the day that the universe voted in reading as the most un-cool thing a person could do.

bookloveThe horror of hearing people refer to reading as: boring, useless, waste of time, stupid, nerdy (not that it’s a bad thing), and overall an obligation for school only. The ability to read is one of the most fantastic aspects of being a human being, but too many people choose to reject it in favor of being “cool.”

I recently heard a conversation between two people discussing the Harry Potter books. The guy in the conversation commented on how he couldn’t get involved in the movie because he didn’t understand the point. My inner self cringed at the statement because it was so simply incorrect. How can a book designed for 10 year old’s be too difficult to understand the simplified movie version? Ignoring the blatant silliness of him comment, the girl responds that she doesn’t get the movie either. Well, DUH! Read the book first! Alas, I feel like I am simply talking to myself in this regard because these kinds of people don’t read. They don’t have time for it or they have better things to do. What could be more entertaining and enjoyable than escaping into some other life, some other world for a few hours.

Here are a few quotes that explain exactly how I feel about books and why other people should too. It is just simply necessary, so much that once you start reading you shouldn’t want to stop. I bring a book to work every day and read during my lunch because what else do I have better to do to fill the empty moments in time than to open my mind up to the hundreds of possibilities that books have to offer.

room readings booksa

While it may sound a little extreme to call reading a drug–it is! As many book lovers know, it is so easy to get sucked into the world an author created that you almost lose your will to do anything else. You eat, drink, dream about the story. It’s as if a movie is playing continuously in your head until you are done with the book, and then you start a new one and the cycle begins again. Unlike drugs, there is no downside. I wish I could show the non-readers how truly fantastic a story can be in your life when you have become so immersed that your emotions overflow into laughter, tears, and even yelling at the book.

221872719112785668_CS3CrhHr_bNot only do books provide the best entertainment possible because of their limitless possibilities, but they provide a primal need in all of us to escape from the harsh realities of life. Books release you from the obligation of responsibilities, sometimes even providing insight into life’s problems. It provides closure to the heartbroken/grieving, provides a sense of companionship in similar situations, and lastly a sense of wonder in the human condition.

Even more importantly, books are common interest for so many different people that it could potentially be an easy way to find a significant other, but most people find reading an unattractive quality. As it has shown over time, women were not allowed to read and it was frowned upon when they did. It doesn’t make much sense to oppress people’s wish to read, but it seems like we are backtracking into older, less intelligent ways by looking down on those that choose to read in their spare time. Sad, but true.

books love

To me, one of the best dates I have been on in a long time is when my boyfriend and I went out for lunch and he suggested going to the book store afterward. I was thrilled, since he is normally a non-reader. We ended up spending an hour or two in Barnes and Noble browsing the book section and my boyfriend even picked out a book. Although he would rather have me read the book than read it himself, he is open and admires my love of books. Our date concluded with me reading two chapters of his news book on the way home from the store.

I simply have such a irrevocable love for stories and the people who write them that I feel it is my duty to show how truly astounding books can be. It is not just a hobby, part of my job, or entertainment. It is a way of life–a part of your soul, to have the many characters of books influence the way you think about your choices and emotions.

book tattoo

There is a permanent impact that books make on a person’s life similar to the adorable tattoo shown above that is undeniable to any avid bookworm. Books make life exciting, they thrill, teach, amaze, and change people with simple words on a page/screen. I only hope that this age of “reading is dumb or uncool” starts to fade with the introduction of massed produced e-books and e-readers to bring back a much needed revival of the love of book reading.

Happy reading and writing! Just a reminder, book are our friends show them some love and read them!

love books

 

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You know you’re a bibliophile/bookworm/writer when…

Today, I was at work and about to pull out the book I read during my half hour lunch. When it wasn’t in my purse where I usually keep, I had a panic attack. Yes, a panic attack over a missing book. I searched frantically through my stuff to find it. Why? Well, because books/reading are my life. Books are as vital to me as  eating (not just in the physical way, but a psychological one too).  I almost hyperventilated, afraid of a half an hour without a book to read, and finally found it in one of the drawers in my desk. I found it hilarious that I got so upset over not having a book to read for 30 minutes, and knew I had to write about it. Someone else in the world has to feel the same because some books are just too good not to freak out over.

You know you’re a bibliophile/bookworm/writer when…

You don’t just buy books because it’s something to do. You buy them because they hold the truth of life, death, and everything else as we could know it. It’s the chance to expand your mind and connect to something deep inside you.

Part of your book buying experience includes the smell of the book, old or new it gives the book character. Old for the memories and people it touched, and new for the opportunity you have to give it your memories.

Go ahead, stiff it a little.

You don’t pass it on to a friend like a movie suggestion. You pass on a connection between you and a friend that will most likely bring you together, and that was your goal.

Your book collection is something you show off to other people.

You can’t go a single day without reading a book.

It's a good thing!

You don’t just read a book, you experience it. You laugh at it (out loud), cry and talk to it as you’re reading it.

You’ve read so many books that just thinking of one subject can flood your mind with a collage of the stories you’ve read before.

You get so caught up in a book that it begins coming to life in your mind as if it were playing on a television. Then, when you think back on it, it’s like you’re watching a re-run of your favorite episode.

You can’t stop by books even if you haven’t read the ones you have yet. There are just so many being published you want to own them all.

You read a book and find that a good story can be found anywhere, and you start imagining what parts of everyday life can be turned into a book/short story.

You invest in expensive first editions (unique editions, special covers) because books are worth keeping as a reminder of history, and how far we have come.

You like buying used books because you love finding the footprints (notes/drawings) left by the person who owned it before.

I hope to add more to the list over time and I invite you to add to the list.

You know you’re a bibliophile/bookworm/writer when……………

 

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Bibliophile or Bibliomaniac?

To most people, neither of the words in the title are particularly familiar. Bookworm is the only word known by all, but even that word isn’t associated with the correct definition.  Both words in the title have the prefix biblio-, which some know to refer to books. But what do the two words mean and how are they different? The first, bibliophile can be broken into two parts, biblio and phile. Philo is the greek prefix meaning love of or to love. So, putting together biblio (books) and phile (love of) gets you a noun describing a lover of books. Most of you following my blog can appreciate a name like that. To love books for what they hold inside each different binding. Bibliophiles are simple creatures enjoying books for the fantastic innovation they have become for story telling.

While  many people think a bookworm would be a lover of books, it is defined instead a branch of the bibliophile. A bookworm is a person who loves books for their content, in other words, for reading. Two seemingly synonymous words actually have a different meaning, just a similar starting point.

Now what do you think when you hear the word bibliomaniac? Sounds like a crazy person, right? Well, you’ve got the root of the definition right there in maniac. It describes a person clinically crazy about books. Now you’re thinking, that can’t be too bad, can it? It’s a version of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that revolves around collecting and sometimes hoarding books. Again, not that bad, right? Not necessarily. For some people being obsessed with books isn’t a life goal and it’s difficult to live in the shadow of those who make books their entire life.

http://members.forbes.com/fyi/2005/1212/162.html

The above link depicts the life of a man who has oh too many bibliomaniacs in his life.  As I read through the story, I felt bad for both the son and his father. The father was addicted to books like drugs, but loved them honestly. He may have neglected his marriage, but he enriched his children and grandchildren with art and history. Unlike most bibliomaniacs, he didn’t hoard books with no point. He was also a bibliophile. He loved them so much that he bought author memorabilia, visited the sites of the famous authors, and passed on the books to his children.  The sad part of the story begins when the author’s father suffers a stroke and the vultures of the world swoop down and scarf up his amazing collection of rare books and art like he was already dead. It was a shame two generations before the author had been spent collecting this priceless library only to have it taken away in his father’s sleep.

The man had known what his collection was worth in dollars, but it was worth so much more in love and enjoyment. He was devastated to find his priceless companions kidnapped in his absence.  He could no longer pass everything down to his son. Even the settlement was not fair to this lover of books. They returned some art, only a few books, and money. Money? Money doesn’t replace the connection the man and his family had to the books. While bibliomania can be considered a curse to some, I’m sure the author respected and treasured the childhood he had because of the love his father and grandfather had for books.

The author ends the story on a positive note because the experience with his book-obsessed father has impressed an important moral in his life. That although his father’s books are now passed around throughout the world, that is the true beauty of them. To share books is to realize their importance and create a bond with other people based on those books. Collecting and reading books forms memories that surpass the ownership of those books in one’s life, but never leave the person whose read them. It is a lovely relationships between the imagination and the soul. The author ends the article with the beginning of his book collection. It seems that no matter how hard you try, bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs alike understand the value of books. Appreciating them yesterday, reading them today, and passing them on to future generations tomorrow.

 

If my library looked like this, it would be worth going crazy over books!

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