Reading broadens the mind. For writers, it’s as important as breathing itself. So the question I pose to you now is: what have you read lately?
If you’re anything like me, I’m guilty of feeding my mind with nothing but junk food lately. I’ve always postponed reading great books like a truant student.
Don’t laugh now but I religiously set aside blocks of time so I can have my fill of the following -
- Facebook status updates
- Twitter updates or tweets
- FriendFeed conversations
Is this your daily reading fare, too? That’s it? Nothing more? And you perhaps think you and I can dominate the blogosphere with such paltry nourishment?
Elizabeth Hardwick says:
“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”
Good reading illuminates your writing. It enriches your work, gives it a compelling emotional and intellectual depth. That’s something you cannot pick up from reading emo blogs. See? I remember all this after all, but I pay it no heed.
It’s time you and I became good writers by making sure we read good books. Actual books - those made from the carcasses of dead trees.
Can you join me in making this commitment? Are you up for it?
Well, I’d be revisiting an old friend – Toni Morisson’s Tar Baby. But only if Joyce Carol Oates will allow it. Out of the corner of my eyes, I can already see a pout forming on Ms. Oates’ lips.
This will be a long night. Imagine – a menage a trois! Cool.
How about you? Whose great writer’s magical words will lull you to sleep? Out with it, guys.
Photo by Lauren Nelson
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