They lure me inside and force me to buy, buy, buy! Books that I should, I guess, be buying on my Nook.
Yeah, I bought one. A Nook. I failed to mention that fact about….six months ago. I broke down. Technology lulled me into its grip. Honestly, I bought one because:
1. I’m a writer and we need to stay current.
And 2. I thought for the sake of research and further education, it would serve an excellent purpose. I didn’t want to lug around a lot of books on craft and research material.
It was great at first. Then the inevitable happened. I started downloading novels. Of course I did! Do you realize the price difference? The ease of paying and BOOM, there’s your book. Waiting to be read. I love that!
But….I miss bookstores. I miss turning pages, the smell of paper, the feel of a book in my hands. I’m a reader and part of that love is meandering through bookstore isles. Browsing. Searching.
So yesterday as I continued my Christmas shopping, I found myself in Barnes and Noble. I could have only bought the two paperback books on my list, the ones for kids who don’t own ereaders. I could have gone on by only purchasing a Nook gift card for my mom, but did I?
I saw a gorgeous hardback copy of the book I intended my mom buy with that gift card on her own Nook. The soft light gleamed off the black cover, I inhaled the sweetness of paper and picked it up off the shelf. All $18.99 of it. 400 pages of…ahhhh. I had to buy it. It was calling me!
So there. My defiance toward ereaders is based on my pure love of heavily perfumed, weighted paper books. They are why I write. Why I’ve always written. Why my shelves at home are stuffed full of books I’ve read time and again. They give me a sense of pride. For myself and for every writer whose blood, sweat and tears poured into those pages.
Soon I will also join the ranks with my fellow indie, self-pubbed and trad authors with books available on every manner of ereader imaginable. But, Barnes and Noble, and all of you mom and pop bookstores and shops….you had me at hello and you’ll keep me ’til goodbye.
I tried not to squawk or burst out laughing or stare. But as I sat quietly, my head shot up and I did stare. And I’m almost sure I shook my head, rolled my eyes and in some other way, incriminated myself, as I gawked in total disbelief at two women having conversation in the local hair salon.
I fidgeted in my chair and attempted to look normal, crossing and un-crossing my legs, wanting desperately to stand up and say: “What do you mean, you don’t read? Are you INSANE?” But I didn’t do that. No, I did what any other respectable writer would do, I yanked out my iPhone and began filling my notes app with their conversation.
“Oh gosh no, I just can’t concentrate for that long. I mean some books are 500 pages! Who has time for that?” She went on. “Really though, even if I did have the time, why would I want to read a book that long? I’ve got better things to do.”
Even if I wasn’t a writer and a voracious reader, I still would have been speechless. Seriously? Reading is a waste of time??
It got me thinking.
The perception of reading is a varied one. One that is generally learned from childhood. If you are introduced to reading in a positive way as a child, you are more likely to love reading as an adult. If not..well, you’re missing out on a truly incredible part of life.
One of the main reasons, if not the main reason I read so much, is because of my mom who ALWAYS reads. She recommends books, passes them down to me and had me reading novels at a very young age. I was taught to love books by example. And what an important example it was and continues to be. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t have a genuine love for books.
So although it has been said before, I have to say it again, hats off to JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for gaining an enormous wealth of young readers. Regardless of whether you are or aren’t a Harry Potter or Twilight fan, these authors both did something very special.
They got millions of kids to read. Millions. And they changed the view of reading from something kids thought was a boring waste, to something they thought was cool and important and fun.
They changed the way generations of kids view books.
And thank goodness for that because as writers we need as many readers as we can possibly get.
You’ve established your blog, it’s purpose, your purpose…now what?
We are all in the writing game here. Pouring our hearts, souls and minds into our craft, hoping at some point that we connect with other writers and readers in some way. Some of us are happy telling our stories or poems through our blogs. Some are rants or advice and some are simply day to day rambles. All writers having something to say. All worthy of this craft.
What about those of us who are blogging with the intention of creating a platform as an up and coming author? Those who are trying to create a following. How much should we say to our readers, followers, fans, fellow bloggers/writers, etc…. about our WIP?
We want to create interest right? That’s the aim at a certain point. When the novel is complete, that’s the next step. Create the interest. But how do we do that really without giving everything away? Without allowing our ideas to be taken from us? Until our books are actually produced, (traditionally or self published) how much information can we safely feel comfortable giving?
If I gave ten writers the same idea for a story, what would be produced? Ten completely different stories, with different voices and different angles. The way I write will never be the way you write. And thank god for that or we would all sound the same.
Now I’m not saying I think it’s a good idea to post all your ideas and excerpts on your blog. But I am saying that creating interest about your book, is at least part, if not the main reason we start these blogs. Yes, we want the support of other writers (god knows I do) and yes, we need that occasional kick in the ass to stay on course. But at the end of the day, I think, at least for us novel writers out there, we are also looking for a fan base to jump from. A place where we can connect with other writers as well as readers who know the language we are speaking and hopefully want to take the journey we are telling through our books.
So in that light, we need to give tastes of what we are writing about. I’m not talking plot and the first three chapters. I’m talking basics. Interest builders. Genres, fiction or non fiction. Basics. So when all the moaning and complaining (mine) is over and we are staring at the blood, sweat and tears of our finished book, loving every second of it and being washed over with relief…someone else out there will actually want to read it:)
I’m wondering about novel content today. Novel plot really and how it correlates with content. Being a fan of YA Mythology, Fantasy and recently, Paranormal Romance, I’ve wondered about the content of Urban Fantasy and how it relates to these other YA genres. I’m curious to know if readers, generally speaking, appreciate the mix of these elements in a story. For example, a paranormal romance mixed with modern-day crime or fantasy caught up in the big city drug scene. What are your thoughts?
Do they mix or distract from one another? Should the supernatural fantasy world be woven alongside the drug scene or inner city crime of say… New York city? And if they can coexist, what creates the draw? What about these two elements entices you as a reader? Is it the idea that this fantasy world could be ‘real’, or more believable if it was just outside your front door? Or is it the idea that it simply feels more relatable? Or let’s take the opposite approach. Do you hate it when these elements are woven together?