Before I became a writer, I was a reader. In fact, if someone would pay me to do so, I would prefer to spend my days reading than just about anything else. Unless, it's sunny and then I might to a spot of gardening.
I can read just about anywhere; beach, park, train, plane, cosied up on the lounge, or elbows propped on the dinner table. Speculative fiction is my main reading material but not the only. I have a pile of non fiction books on my shelves - general interests, business, marketing, writing, research for my novels. But #specfic with a liberal dash of #magicrealism is my preferred reading material.
As a reader of many years and a writer of several years, I would like to share with you my top seven tips for reading.
1. Read whatever the hell you want. But it's great to have a
secret love to mix it up. If you read mostly crime or horror or adventure, sneak in some romance every now and again. It won't kill you and gives the little brain cells are rest.
2. Read hardcopy books whenever you can. There's something so involving about touching the pages, turning them, underlining important words with your finger, that can be so satisfying.
3. E-books are great too. E-books won't replace the feel of the real thing (see tip 2), but they're cheaper (so you can buy heaps more), they don't take up space on your groaning bookshelves, and you can bookmark, make notes, and highlight without damaging pages. Also, the light on your reader can be adjusted to suit your vision. And the readers weigh less so you can carry more books without damaging your spine.
4. Read stories that challenge you. Learn from the experience: taste words, feel passages, enjoy those "a-ha" moments, fall in love, fall in hate, be involved.
5. Experiment with new authors. Avoid reading ruts and spread your wings. The prominence of the author (or publishing house) does not equal the reading value of the story. Be daring.
6. Talk about what you've read with your family and friends. Do you have children? Definitely talk about books with them. You'll have some great conversations, find new authors, and help your kids grow their reading values as well. If you don't have kids then spark up conversations with the younger generation people in your life. Sharing stories is a wonderful way to deepen relationships.
7. Borrow books from the library. You'll find new authors and you'll be helping them out. Authors earn royalties from every book borrowed.
I'll leave you with one final tip: Read more. Read often.
Never stop reading. And if, for whatever reason, you can't read, discover the amazing world of audible books and podcasts.
Stories are the thread of life.