I’ve always loved to read, some periods in my life more than others. I think I read most of the books in our house and a good portion of our small town public library. I knew more about the books in the library then the librarian and have never been afraid to suggest my favorites to others.
I’m still an avid reader and have never limited myself to any one genre. I don’t however read the classics or most literary masterpieces. And before any of you defenders of great literature come to argue, please don’t. I’ve heard all the arguments and still think it’s bullshit. (I understand the wording, and the phrases, and even some of the culture.)
I will say that Moby Dick is great to read to babies that won’t sleep and to sure my insomnia without sleep aids. The rhythm, like the gentle waves of the sea, put me to sleep.
Anyhoo, not my topic of discussion today.
I read an article once that said writers need to read other authors’ work with a critical eye. For those who have taken such advice, why the hell would you think this is great advice. For those who’ve never heard this advice, forget you ever heard it. This is terrible advice and I’m throwing down the bullshit flag on this.
I’m sure there are those who would disagree and you are welcome to state your opinions below. I welcome the discussion.
I’ve never been able to understand why anyone would want to read a book with a critical eye, unless it was a manuscript that you were editing or proofreading. But a published book? Why would anyone want to destroy the reading experience. the sheer joy of watching a story unfold.
All this critical reading advice accomplishes is the rise of reviews focused on the woes of bad grammar, although I would debate with some the rules of grammar. Then there is the unhappy writers and readers acting like children as they attack each other over word usage, who cares if the same word is used six times in a page. All this reading advice has created is unhappy readers as disharmony and discontent run rampant.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson