Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Delights of Reading

 I confess, I have no idea what my boys and my husband are talking about sometimes. They quote movie lines at me and well, I'm just not a movie person. However, if someone reads a quote from a book I've read I'm likely going to be able to say who said it lickitty split.

Right now I'm exploring the delights of Flavia De Luce in Alan Bradley's mystery series. This precocious young girl has bewitched me with some potion or other that she's concocted in her Uncle Tar's laboratory!

I love books. I devour them. A good thick novel with a great plot and it's a two night festival of tension, suspense, plot thickening ecstasy. When I meet someone who says they don't like to read, the first thing I want to do is convince them how much they're missing!

As far back as I can remember books have been a daily part of my life. From fairy tales to laying in bed with my mom reading The Bobsey Twins and then on to The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew - books have taken me on adventures I could never have dreamed. As a teenager I took a detour through Romance, and in my young adult years I sidelined into Sidney Sheldon and the such, but Lord of the Rings took me into serious fantasy and Brother Cadfael gave me a Morbid Taste for Bones.

When we moved four times in the last four years, my husband remarked that I needed to get rid of some of my books. I told him he would get rid of some of his old DVD's before any book left my possession. When I ran out of bookshelves, it wasn't time to thin my collection out - it was time to buy new bookshelves.

In 2012 I started enjoying the pleasure of rereading some older series of books. I finished Ellis Peter's Cadfael mysteries and then moved on to Anne Perry's Pitt and Monk series. It's like meeting up with old friends and reminiscing about old times. It is a treasure to own books and be able to read them again and again. I've lost count of the number of times I've read my Jane Austen collection.

All of this is to say that without books my desire to write would not have been nurtured, watered and fed. A good writer reads and reads and reads some more. I'm sure many writers reading this post will agree with me that reading was their first love. Writing flowed from that well of creativity brought about by being immersed in another land, another time and place.

I have to be careful, though. Reading can sometimes take the place of writing. I get all tangled up in the mystery and suspense I can't stop. Series are even worse because then you have to have the next one and the next...

Balance. That's the key.

Kathie is a writer who happens 

to be working as a Salvation Army
Officer right now in Richmond, BC.


Peter Black said...

I enjoyed this read, Kathie. I'm sure that my reading is not as broad or intense as yours, but reading I love to do - and have, since childhood. Reading widely is helpful for writers; some would say, necessary. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Well said, Kathie. We have been having some great chatter about books in my Angel Hope Group. Ramona Furst was raving about Flavia de Luce, too! Captivating stories, for sure!
I totally agree that reading is a great way to learn how to write. I will be talking all about that at a school visit in February.
Nice article.

Kathie Chiu said...

Thanks Peter and Glynis :)

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