When you were a kid -- freedom to read was a given. Your parents probably were thrilled when you flopped down on the couch with a book in one hand and an apple in the other. But did you ever consider how that simple act (reading the book, not eating the apple) affected you today?
I think maybe not only the act of reading affected me, but WHAT I read affected me as a writer.
If I recall my bookshelves of yore, there were many tomes of fantasy. J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen R. Donaldson, Terry Brooks,and the occasional Stephen King- all kept me company. Then as I aged into more variety, I collected a ton of romance. Harlequin produced romances with historical places and interesting characters that were from the real world, facing real problems.
But it wasn't until I began to delve more into adult fiction that my tastes truly matured. I branched off into mysteries, and suspenses, more horror, and thicker meatier fantasy.
I have never loved reading more than I do today, however. I mean, think about it. You can read a book from a paperback during the day when the sun is shining bright, and by an electronic device in the darkness of night. (I mention that because the other night I actually took my Kindle with me to read from as my hubby drove since it was nighttime and I couldn't see to read a paperback)-- you can even read on a PHONE. Wow. I am sure the sci-fi peeps dreamed of this day way back when! Think about what we are reading today? Wonder when those ideas will happen in the future?
There has never been a better time to read, and really? Nothing has changed about how it affects us-by enlightening us, broadening our horizons, and making us imagine. The difference now is getting people to want to read.
It is important to encourage our young ones to read, too. More youths of today DON'T read for fun than ever before. This was made evident to me when I spoke to a group a few weeks back. Most in fact, never crack open a novel. The only reading they do is what they HAVE to do for school. And, I might add, they are not really interested in that. The ones who DO read are into romances. The ones with kids like them. With issues in life like theirs.
It's a great time to be a writer. I hope you are reading as well!
Kim Smith is an avid reader, you can find her reading list on her website at: http://www.kimsmithauthor.com - and find out about her latest publications, books, and radio show there as well.