I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing some Twitter writers’ works. As I read others’ books, my ideas keep flowing as I note their writing styles, techniques and subject matter. Reading and writing truly go hand in hand and one cannot be effectively done without the other. Francis Bacon writes, “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”
Though, I basically write fiction, some of our personal selves shine through as we develop our characters. And for those non-fiction writers, they unapologetically tell their stories, accounts and experiences by taking the brave chance of baring their souls before all of their readers. That takes true courage because they do not have the fictional characters to mask their own private pains nor vulnerabilities.
I can safely attest to the fact that every book has changed me in some way. Each book alters my views and opens up new ways of looking at life. They give me insight into new locations and settings and a peek into other cultures and their mindsets. Some writers describe scenes so fully that I feel as if I was there or in some instances, I feel that I need to get there. So, I might add that locale to my ‘must see’ list.
Books enhance us in every way as they sharpen our intellect. Avid readers usually have a whole different perspective and take on things. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “If we encounter a man with rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” We should read, read, read. Reading keeps us living in a more expansive world.
With a book handy, we are less likely to get caught up in the pettiness of everyday situations. And, as writers, the more we read, the more we have to write about when it is time to pick up that trusty pen or tap out some ideas on the computer or iPad. Those higher thoughts can lift us up out of ourselves and widen our vistas. One Chinese proverb says, “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
Books can guide us and serve as lamp posts. They can act as road maps or wayshowers. They can be foreboding and foreshadowing. They can point the way. Perhaps, a character has had an experience that we are now facing. We recognize the danger and readily make wiser choices because we are more aware from that former reading. “When you read a good book, somewhere in the world, a door opens to allow in more light,” said Vera Nazarian.
Authors are always teaching and discussing universal truths. Overcoming some life challenge is usually the basis for any good story. Somewhere down the line, the main character has to work through some problem or dilemma. The readers are usually rooting for that character if the author successfully made them feel compassion for that character. Thomas Helm wrote, “My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.”
I can safely say, that every book that I have read has richly added to my wholeness and well-being. We cannot have all of life’s experiences and we certainly don’t want to, but observing, listening and reading can direct our paths. We can find a friend like no other in the pages of a book. “A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend.” Author Unknown
What book are you currently reading?
Lynn February 8, 2015