I love books.
Whats better than just a book? A book about books!
Yes I am that much of a book geek. When I go to Barnes & Noble you can most often find me installed on the floor in the Literary Essay section with precariously stacked piles of books around me as I try to narrow my selection down to one or two out of the dozens I wish to purchase. While everyone else is stampeding around the new releases, salivating over the newest James Patterson novel, I’m hassling the sales lady about the new book I saw on online about the history of western literature that they havent bothered to unpack and shelve yet cuz they know nobody gives a crap.
Except me of course.
A quick digression here: If you ever see a tv listing for a movie called Night of the Dead, avoid it like a zombie plague. It really sucks. My God, do I really pay for these channels??
I also love books written by writers about writing, how they write, why they write, what inspires them to write, what they like to read and just about their lives in general. Stephen King’s On Writing is one such book that is one of my favorites. It’s the perfect combination of autobiography and writing craft. And its by Stephen King so you can’t go wrong. He had such an interesting life that reminds me of how pointless my life is in comparison and is probly why I blow chunks as a writer.
I think writers read books in a different way then non-writers. If you don’t write, you read a book and you either like it or you don’t like it, but you may not be able to pinpoint exactly why a book was good or why it sucked. When a writer reads a book, I think we tend to pick the book apart a little as we read. Not always in a bad way, just in a technical way. We may think, look at the use of dialogue, it gets the characters’ emotions across perfectly. Or, I would have written that differently, they used way too many adjectives (yes you can over describe something, and its very annoying if done repetitively). Or, wow that character is a really predictable stereotype. I don’t think that it takes away from my enjoyment of a book, but being able to recognize poor examples of writing helps me understand why I didn’t enjoy a book and helps me try to prevent making the same mistakes in my own writing.
Of course there are books that are very well written that I just don’t like. And books that are god-aweful that I do like *cough*twilight*cough* But we can’t all have impeccable taste in literature all the time. Sometimes we just like crap. Its like knowing you have a steak in the fridge but going out to McDonald’s instead. Or having Shakespeare on your coffee table and a Playboy under your mattress. Yeah yeah, you read it for the articles. We know.