Monday, May 29, 2006

Writers As Readers

Not every reader is a writer, but every writer I've ever met has certainly been a reader. Maybe it's a requirement. Or maybe it just should be. I've never taken a class in creative writing, or gone to a workshop like Clarion (although I would have enjoyed such an experience). I never even picked up a book about writing until after I'd already begun to publish. Whatever I knew about writing and storytelling when I started--and probably most of what I know now--came from reading fiction for fun. And I read everything, westerns, SF, Fantasy, classics, animal stories, sports stories. I even read a few romance novels because that's what my older sister read and whenever I ran out of books myself I raided her stash. Books were not easy to come by in those days. We lived six miles out of town and the town was small, with only a tiny library. Eventually, though, my sister started working at the library, which meant that I often got to be the first to read the new stuff that came in. That was nice.

Even today I read constantly, and I see so many books that I want to read that I often can't wait to finish one book before starting another. Right now I'm reading Storyteller, which I mentioned last post. I ordered it from Amazon and popped it open as soon as it arrived. But I was already reading three other books, Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear, an SF novel about evolution, The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, a non-fiction work about science, and Legends of Kern, Volume 1, Blood of Wolves by Loren Coleman, which is a fantasy novel set in Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age. I'm enjoying all four, but I'm already eyeing a few other books in my "to-be-read" pile. Someone help me. It's an addiction.


Sidney said...

I worked at a library for a while and having ready access to interlibrary loan was the best part. I could get obscure, out-of-print titles that were otherwise impossible to find. In a case of serendipity, I was just replying to your comment on my blog and noted that I can't fit in everything I want to read - from pulp to classic and beyond.

Charles Gramlich said...

I worked at a library through most of graduate school, and now I have access to interlibrary loan at my University. As you say, it's a great system. I use it all the time.