Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Pleasure of Reading

This year, 4writers has been lucky to have a stellar bunch of authors drop by and share their thoughts with us and we are so happy they came. Each author has offered something different to the readers and I have read all of them and enjoyed all of them.
In fact, the most recent book I read from our guests was Sophie Oak’s Bound. It came out last Friday, I bought it, downloaded it around 10 p.m. and didn’t put it down until the very last sentence. It was that good. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the guilt-free pleasure of being able to stay up all night to read. What a treat! I read just about every chance I get and I’m lucky enough to get sneak peeks at works in progress through my critique partners. I love a traditional print book and I’ve been reading online for years. I downloaded the Kindle and Borders apps on my phone and I’m slowly getting used to those, but I still have some glitches with them.
How I read doesn’t matter, just as long as I do. Reading makes me happy. It takes me to places I have never been to, lets me revisit others, helps me visualize the impossible and improbable as absolutely doable. Reading is one of the things that I seek solace in. Inspiration. Hope. It’s like a movie for your brain, one you hold in your hands and cast yourself.  I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of accents when I read, especially the Scottish books.  Granted, they’re bad, but I still hear them in my head. I sometimes emulate the movement of the characters as I read (uh, I did say sometimes!).
I also find my mood while reading to be affected by what’s going on in the book. Woe betide someone who interrupts me during a moment of reading something intense, whatever that may be. If a murder just happened in the book, check my eyes for rage before asking me to make you a peanut butter sandwich. Often my poor dog bears the brunt of my shivers when I’m reading anything slightly spooky. Anytime I gasp and say “Holy crap!” and bury my head in his fur, he huffs patiently and waits for me to get a mental grip and let up on the undercoat.
I love the way I feel when I read. The satisfied “ah” that comes with an ending so perfect, it brings a smile, a sob or a gasp when you read it.  Speaking of those moments, there has been more than once instance when an author has moved me to write to him or her. The latest was Heather Graham. I read her book the Death Room and I was so floored, so surprised by what happened that I just had to write her. Yeah, it was an equally good squee of fangirl-itude when she replied.
The bottom line is that reading matters. A lot. I hope you all are prolific readers. Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite genres? What moves you when you read?

Happy reading,
Jennifer August

1 comment:

  1. I love reading as well, Jen, and only wish I would force myself to take more time to do so. That is one of my new year's resolutions and I'm working on that. I used to love getting lost in a novel and still do once I give myself the premission to take the time! Nice post.