Why do you read?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Radthorne, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. redhead

    redhead looking for coffee

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    i read primarily fiction. maybe. . . 10-15 hours per week?

    why?
    enjoyment, escapeism, entertainment. what's that quote i occasionally see as an internet signature. . something like "anyone who says they only have one life to live has never read a book". reading lets me vicariously do anything, and everything. it lets me go anywhere, go places that don't exist, see anything, see things that don't exist. reading is like dreaming.

    i'm not an overly social person, and as i start to care about characters in books, it's like having a new friend. sounds pretty sad when i look at it that way.

    sure, movies can be entertaining, as far as "story telling" is concerned, but movies are more like dreaming: more visuals, not as much depth. i'll take a good book any time.
     
  2. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    Hi, Hellcold. Yes, this is exactly what seems to end up happening to me when I'm in "full-write" mode. I guess because I've got my "self-editor" hat on front and center when I'm in the middle of writing a book, it's hard for me to just sit back and enjoy reading other people's fiction. Consequently, when I finish a manuscript, I pull out my pile of to-be-read's and really go to town! :)
     
  3. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    And hello to you, too, redhead! I agree completely. While movies can imprint some indelible images on one's brain, they infrequently do enough justice to characters to make them truly memorable. But a really good book, where you've had time to grow with the characters and make them completely real within your head, can bring a much more emotional experience!
     
  4. HellCold

    HellCold The Lost Prince

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    I just love the expression :D

    I completely agree. By reading a book, one can experiment a thousand feelings, all contradicting, but all coexistent. Not much visuals in a book, but certainly a lot of intimacy with it. In a movie, though, one's more likely to receive what the movie delivers, exactly as it is.

    An interesting thought is that, unlike movies, books have no background music. (Remember the music in the Lord of the Rings movie? Tolkien was a genius, but he couldn't "insert" music into his books. Now I'm being silly :D )

    And now this looks like a "book or movie" debate...
     
  5. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    Somewhere here on the SFFWorld board there's a thread about what writer's listen to as they're writing. I don't recall if the discussion delved into whether or not what they were listening to influenced what they wrote at that moment or not, but it's interesting to think about...

    For the record, I either don't listen to any music at all while writing (I get too distracted and start listening and not writing), or listen to a waterfall with my headphones (in the lunchroom at work, to drown everybody out so I can concentrate).
     
  6. HellCold

    HellCold The Lost Prince

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    I agree with the idea. Music is good only when you're thinking, but when you're doing anything practical, it slows you down. When I'm idle, music can help me collect my thoughts and make some decisions, but other than that - when studying, for example - it's more distracting.
     
  7. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Not me! I can't live without music. It's the first thing I turn on in my office, in the car, when I write, when I read...

    It can set a mood for me, or enhance a mood. If I need to write something sad, serious, melancholy, I can turn to certain songs and even the first note gets me where I need to be.

    For me, music heals just about anything. And it never distracts me.
     
  8. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    And you were just the guy I was thinking of when composing my earlier response! :)

    So, Gary, beyond setting your mood when you start, once you're into a passage of writing does what you're hearing influence you any more directly? If the music shifts from slow-paced to fast-paced, does your writing change as well? Or can you tell to that degree?
     
  9. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Honestly, a single note of a song that moves me can set the tone. Then I'm off and running. I may listen again to the same song. But I do that often even when I'm not writing.

    The music enhances my mood and I know what artists I crave when I'm about to write a very serious chapter. I never much liked fluff in music or in literature. So my ipod is filled with music that serves a very personal purpose for me. My playlists would be a psychoanalysts playground!


    For me, the writing I enjoy most is very lyrical, very poetic, very moving. Songs are short stories. Books are symphonies.
     
  10. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    How about during your editing stage, after the first draft? Does music assist you there, or does the process of editing spring from a different source within you? Or require a different kind of music than for the original creation?
     
  11. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Are you being your silly self, Kev?

    I listen when I edit too. I listen to music just about 24/7 since I don't sleep very much.

    Same music to edit by as to write by. I set my ipod on random, and since I know I love every song in my 2000 some odd song library, I'm content with just about any one. Once in a while, I'll skip to a different one. And once in a rarer while, I'll just listen to the entire catalogue of a particular artist (the entire catalogue that I've chosen to download, that is).
     
  12. pommerlis

    pommerlis Mind Traveler

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    Why do I read? That's like asking me why I breathe. :)

    Born and raised among books, a wall to wall from floor to ceilling bookcase filled with the written word, reading and writing is essential to me.
    I read every style, every author.
    So, in my travels through cyberspace I stumbled upon this "Kevin Radthorne" character who makes gorgeous computer art....and writes books. Well now,....now you do have my full and undivided attention.:)

    Greetz from Pommerlis.
     
  13. Fantasyeatergal

    Fantasyeatergal I didn't do it!

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    Once upon a time, in my teen years (alright, not that long ago), I was not that big a reader. Until one day I went to a book fair, and talk with to an author, Yves Meynard. He asked me about what I liked to read, and I responded I didn't read a lot (read not at all). The man talked with me for about 20 minutes, not about his books, but about fantasy and reading in general. Two days later, I bought his latest book, Le Livre des Chevaliers. The story is nothing extraordinary, a traditional initiative quest, although there are some interesting original ideas, but it sucked me in. Since then, I’m addicted. When I’m not in a rush in my study, I read about a novel a week, raise that at 2 novels a week on summer (God bless public libraries!).

    I love to read. It makes me forget about anything stressful. Some times, it makes me feel angry, sad or even frightened, but always in a good way, for every novel I read is a unique experience. Even the boring ones have a place in my pantheon, because they induce criticism. I’d add that I also love books, the objects. I know it sounds funny, but it’s still true…
     
  14. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    Hello, Pom and fantasyeatergal!

    My house too is overflowing with books - we have bookcases everywhere (makes it easy to decide on wall colors - doesn't matter, since they're all covered up by books!). And many of the table surfaces seem to sprout piles of books like weeds. But they're weeds we love, and we seem to 'water' them regularly by adding more books to them. My wife and I just got back from a quick out of town trip to Portland, Oregon where one of the largest bookstores in the country resides, Powell's. Four floors of books! Needless to say, I came back with too many. The floorboards of the house are groaning...

    Fantasyeatergal, your sentiments about the physical book itself are what leads me to believe that e-reader devices will have a tough time penetrating the market. Aside from the pleasure people have in turning an actual page, we also like to 'see' our books around us. They provide a sort of weird comfort that non-readers don't grasp. If all I had was just another little electronic device sitting with my iPod and my cell phone, the house would seem far less warm and inviting...
     
  15. Fantasyeatergal

    Fantasyeatergal I didn't do it!

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    That seems all too familiar to me! Last summer, between two semesters, I went back to my hometown. (I had found a financially worthwhile job there. God knows us students need the money!) I don’t know what happened to me then, but without me realising it I was buying/reading an average of 3 books a week! I’ll let you imagine what my luggage looked like when I came back after 3 months… Poor heartbroken me had to leave half of those beloved little things behind.