On Reading for Writers, and Writing for Readers

Here’s another “From the Vaults” reblog first posted in May 2014 (updated and including a few new links). I searched for this blog today specifically, because of an email conversation I had with author J.F. Kaufmann (previously featured on Reading Recommendations) about how few beginning authors “get” the fact that they should also be reading, and reading A LOT, in order to hone their craft and produce books other readers will want to read – and will enjoy reading! Plus, there’s also that sheer joy in JUST READING BOOKS … This is for you, JFK.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

I’m still amazed by the number of writers who think they do not need to read books by other authors, or who think that reading other books while writing will somehow ‘influence’ or ‘change’ their own writing voice. WRONG!! I’m also amazed by the number of readers who, not knowing the first thing about what a writer goes through to create that book, write reviews or make comments that prove their ignorance. (I just witnessed this in a long string of comments about a book I had enjoyed. Not one of those negative readers said anything about the quality of the author’s writing style, which in my opinion was high and of more importance than whether or not he had based his *novel* on his own childhood and friends … But I digress.) So I’m posting a Roundup of articles on reading that I’ve been collecting over these past months…

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8 responses

  1. […] I’m reblogging this post from Sept. 2015, because the topic has come up in discussion recently with J.F.Kaufmann (who has been promoted on Reading Recommendations). I thought it was a good time to reblog this to go along with the recent reblogging of On Reading for Writers, and Writing for Readers. […]

  2. A few words about reading recommendations from a long-time library worker and an avid reader: they are more important now than ever before! Lots of people read from their electronic devices and they don’t have hours and hours to spend on the Internet looking for their next read. They go to Amazon, or Kobo, or iTunes already knowing which book they want to buy — likely because someone recommended it to them.

    If you go to any public library, you’ll see the same picture: very few people are browsing the shelves. Again, no one has time for that. On the other hand, books are flying off the displays. Library customers love and appreciate reading recommendations. If you check the Calgary Public Library homepage http://calgarylibrary.ca/ , for example, you’ll see that the book lists dominate it. RR is a powerful promoting tool. Customers pay attention to them; they borrow recommended books, they’re willing to place holds and wait a bit to get them because someone recommended them.

  3. I absolutely think you have to study the craft. I’ve been posting a series on the crime/fiction writers that have influenced me. As we speak, I’m reading the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His work still stands up.

  4. I’ve come across ‘writers’ who just don’t read saying they have no time. I’ve often wanted to ask (but haven’t because I’m quite polite) why they think anyone should read their book if they can’t be bothered to read anyone else’s – never mind the fact they are not helping their own writing by ignoring the wide world of literature.
    And then there are the would-be poets who have not read anything written later than Wordsworth’s day.
    You pushed my rant button with this post but I’m not resisting climbing onto my soapbox.

    1. Thanks for adding to this discussion, Mary! Some day, eventually, I hope we’ll break through this barrier that writers have put up around themselves. Or, maybe we won’t. But do you think they will ever blame their lack of success on never having read anything other than their own writing? I doubt it.

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