Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why do we Read?

Hey everyone! I'm Charlene Lokey w/a Charlene Roberts and I'm a new member author here at SSND.

A little bit about myself - I live in Toronto, Canada. My mom's retired and lives with me, I'm currently single (and enjoying it!) And trying my best to find another job in my current admin field, or just tossing it all in and doing something completely different. Freelance writing and editing is looking better and better.

Tell me, what compels us to read?

I know that I like a fantastic story. But why read it, when I could probably find its equivalent in a movie, documentary or TV series? It's hard to explain, but I love the feel of a book in my hands. I like knowing that I can open it at any time. And there's something more complex, more layered in a book. Granted, there are shows out there that do have elements and layers of sophistication, but a book is different.

Why? I don't know.

Not the answer I even suspected! Maybe it's knowing how much work the author put into their story. Or how a story can drag me in and not let go until I read that last word. Or how the story's description is so vivid I want to live there.

I also read because I like to spend a few hours away from the the real world--curled up on the couch, a cup of tea or hot chocolate at hand, my cat at my feet and all electronics turned off. Reading allows us the opportunity to "get away from it all"--a chance to recharge and renew ourselves in comfortable silence.

What do I read, you ask? Besides romance, I love fantasy and sci-fi myself--alternate worlds, different civilizations, the perfection of elves! I'm currently reading Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara from her Chronicles in Elantra series. The description of her alternate world is so detailed, I'm surprised we don't have anything like that now! I'm on book 4 and I think there are 8 books so far in the series which I will get to at some point.

Horror stories are good too, but I tend to frighten myself to the point where I can't get to sleep! :( If a horror book can do that, then it was a darn good read!

As romance authors, what other genres do you enjoy reading? Also, has it broadened your view with regards to your writing?

I look forward to talking to all of you about writing and reading!


Tina Donahue said...

I like movies, but I've seen very few that go into the depth of character that a book does. That's what I like about the written word. The deep POV, the descriptions that allow me to see the scene in my mind rather than have the director/cameraman/etc. do it for me.

Welcome to SNSD, Char - so glad to have you as one of our newest Divas! :)

Charlene Roberts said...

Hi T!

Definitely agree; few movies can equal the depth and layers that a book contains. Also, you too can eat popcorn and have a soda while reading! lol Maybe not as exciting but still doable!

Thanks for having me T. My first time being a member author, so should be interesting! ;)

jean hart stewart said...

Welcome, Charlene! I see almost no movies, and then only if they are exceptional like The King's Speech.
I read fast though and a lot. About five books a week.

Fiona McGier said...

I read to explore another person's thoughts...which is why I often write in the margin, as if I'm having a conversation, letting the writer know what the words made me think. Lately I've been reading a lot of anthropology books, and others that explore intelligence as it relates to education. I read a lot of non-fiction.

But I write romance, and am finishing up a futuristic romance set on another planet, while "percolating" a paranormal romance involving sci-fi elements. I try not to read in the genre I write, so as not to inadvertently copy. I rely on dreams a lot for my inspiration.

Tim Smith said...

Welcome, Charlene! You've joined a fantastic fun group.

I like a good movie or absorbing TV show, but the fun of reading is casting my own characters instead of those dictated by a producer or director. Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade? Inspired choice, but perhaps when I read "The Maltese Falcon" I'm picturing someone else.

Good post!

Charlene Roberts said...

Jean, I don't watch as much tv as I used, unless it's something I really want to see. I've been reading more fantasy novels, lately and don't miss a second of television.

Charlene Roberts said...

Fiona, good for you on your futuristic novel! I agree with your idea of not reading the genre you're writing; you want to explore your idea of what you think can happen under certain circumstances. That's how I wrote (and sold; yippee!) my urban fantasy.

Interesting concept, writing in the book's margin. I don't do it, personally, but there are times when I stop reading to think about the author's point on a subject and decide whether to agree or disagree.

Thanks for posting! :)

Charlene Roberts said...

Tim it is fun, isn't it? When I read Lord of the Rings, my idea of characters were no where close to who Peter Jackson casted. But did he make good choices? Damn right, he did! lol I loved the books and to see what he was able to manage and make into a trilogy is nothing short of astounding.

It would be interesting though, if he ever made a LOTR with everything from the books. I'd go see it! And that's because his vision was s o creative and unpredictable that got my attention. I'm waiting anxiously for the Hobbitt now!

Thank you for posting and thank you for the welcome!