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The Books that We Read

  • I've read a fair amount of books over time. Found some really great ones and also some that were pure torture to get through. Some I didn't even finish due to a total lack of connection to the characters or story.

    I recall the first time I read Edgar Allan Poe's, The Raven. It was in Middle School and we were studying poetry. I have to say that this poem really stirred an interest in poetry and started my writing journey. I loved the dark aspect of it, the mystery about it and the descriptions he used to make it real.

    It was around that same time that I decided to read Dickens. I wanted to read something other than the horror novels that I had been reading. I felt that Dickens would be more challenging due to his writing style in some of his books. I picked David Copperfield to read. It wasn't my favorite book but it was good and helped me see yet another writing style.

    My interests in books tends to lean toward horror novels and so that's what I read lately. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are the ones whose books I buy with regularity. I find the characters to be so well done and "alive" that I hate to see the book end and the "friend" to go away. They write so well that for me, the book is almost like a movie playing in my head while I read it. I find the same thing happens when I write. I don't just see the words on the computer screen, I see the movie playing out in my head while I'm writing that scene.

    To me, a good book draws me in and makes me a part of that world. Stephen King's The Stand, for example, really brings that world to life and the characters just seem so real. Perhaps this is why so many of his books get made into movies. I also think that what makes the difference between a bunch of papers between bindings and a great novel is the life that's put into it. Cardboard characters, empty prose and bland scenes will breathe no life into a novel and instead suck it into the black hole where bad novels tend to go and carry their readers with them. A novel with life, however, will create a fantasy world for the reader to be a part of, even if just for a little while and they will walk away having experienced something they never dreamed of.

    It's our job to bring dreams to life, to give readers an experience such as they have never had before. We create worlds, that's what it is to write.