I’ve been doing some cleaning and organizing in my apartment recently. Among the many things I’ve tidied up was a stack of books needing attention. I put them away like a responsible adult and left out only the one I’m currently reading. That was a few weeks ago. Two days ago I picked up that book again and thought to myself how ridiculously long it’s taken me to finish reading it.

I consider myself a fast reader. I have, on multiple occasions, finished novels in a single sitting. I take on books of considerable size without a second thought. I was the kid in school who had finished all the assigned readings in the first week and spent the rest of the school year tucking other materials into my text book so I could read something new.

Somewhere along the line that’s mostly fallen by the wayside. I’m absolutely still capable of reading at that pace, and I sometimes do, but it’s not my norm anymore. Like most people I know, it’s fallen victim to that adult problem of having too little spare time and too little spare energy. However, I’m finding that even within that typical adult framework, I’m not reading as much as I should.

It’s hard to overstate how important books have been in my life and I’m sure that’s a thing most writers would say. My love of fantasy started as a child when the bookmobile would come to my neighbourhood and I would scour the shelves for any book with a dragon on the cover that I hadn’t already read. My childhood imaginary friends were inspired by my favourite books. That love has persisted my whole life, to the point that it’s the majority of what I write now. The way I see the world, how I relate to it and how I relate to the people around me are all shaped by the things I’ve read.

My favourite authors are the ones that I read their works and say “I want to write something that feels like this” and “I want to be able to shape words this way.” I’ve written here before about how one of the first things I wrote in my current journey was because I was inspired by reading Neil Gaiman, and how my novel is finished because I read Stephen King’s On Writing.

So with this conscious realization of how little reading I’m doing, I’m wondering if it’s related to my lack of inspiration or motivation. I know there are other, bigger factors causing the majority of the problem (I’m looking at you, full-time job), but maybe an effort to bring a little more reading back into my life would be helpful. I haven’t been to the library in a long time, picking up random things that catch my eye. I think it’s time to stop browsing the internet on my lunch breaks and start sticking my nose in a novel again. Any recommendations?

3 thoughts on “On The Importance of Reading

  1. dev

    I too seek to spend more time reading 📖🙂 About to start Nick Cutter’s “The Handyman Method” so can’t recommend, but do recommend his other big ones “The Troop” and “The Deep”. Easy spooky reads.

    1. Erin

      It’s been a while since I had a new spooky read, thanks!

  2. Ryan Woods

    “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu, “The Monk” by Matthew Lewis and “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux

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