07 April 2008

Reading is Fundamental; Reading Good Stuff is Essential

We go to the library Saturday and I realize that I am missing well-written books.

I've read a fair number of books over the last year and they've, for the most part, had a good story line, compelling dialogue, and entertaining characters but they've lacked a richness of language--a well-turned phrase, a gift for imagery, even a decent level of vocabulary. I guess I've gotten a bit lazy in my reading, opting for bubble-gum fiction.

So, I spend a little more time perusing the shelves and pick up a book or two that have a little more going for them. I'm now reading a story that actually goes into a some detail about what the scenery looks like and what the characters are wearing and you know what? I like it. It's not Michener-esque in its descriptions; it provides just enough to give you a sense of what the main character is seeing; a little more like being there. Such a basic thing and yet so often dispensed with in this news-bite world.

This is reason number 436 that I will not be a best-selling author: there's way too much you have to do well simultaneously. I will contend myself with the knowledge that a published author and writing instructor once said I had written the first two pages of a best-seller. That's thrilling enough. And requires no discipline on my part. ;)

Now back to reading...


Bethany said...

I know just what you mean--I was a literature major in college, but I still find myself reading Stephen King and the popular, best selling fiction these days. It's definitely entertaining, but I agree with you--these type of books lack the attention to language and detail and imagery. I could hardly stand the Da Vinci Code, it was so poorly written--but I read it anyways because everyone couldn't stop talking about it. I need some Dickens or Zola as a refreshing change, I think.

lacochran said...

Yes! So true about the Da Vinci Code--it had an entertaining premise but it was very poorly written.

Thanks for your comment. :)