Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: reading

Still More Conversation about How You Choose What You Read . . .


Choosing a book to read The first post in this discussion was on August 10th, followed by the one on August 13th

And, here are the two comments from that last mentioned post that enabled this conversation to move forward.

First, from an author in Germany:

“I try to read books by my author friends, and I have followed the “also bought”-widget. I try to avoid shop assistants whatever the shop sales, so I avoid them in bookstores, too. (They are so threatening ;-) ) When I have got rid of the hovering shop assistants, I browse and look at covers, read the blurb and the first page, sometimes the last. In non-fiction books I study the table of contents.

“A few years back I discovered a YA series through my daughter. Her teacher had shown a film in the last lesson before the holidays. My daughter thought it interesting, so I gave her the book for her birthday. She allowed me to read it, too, and from then on we have read all the sequels.”

I’m wondering how many other folks avoid the shop assistants; though, I love the idea of recommendations working their way Up the generations…

Now, from an author in Australia:

“I choose a book because something about its premise piques my interest. I may read a summary of its plot in the weekend newspaper or on The Guardian book pages and then go buy it. Sometimes a friend recommends something and I will often read what they suggest. If I don’t feel involved with a book after I start reading I will sometimes abandon it. That does not mean necessarily that it is not a good book, it’s just not the book for me and life is too short to read everything :-)  “

Hmmm… Abandoning a book… Perhaps that could be a future conversation…?

In case you haven’t noticed, there are now three author-regulars in our discussions—the two above and another from the United Kingdom…

It would be edifying to have them joined by a few readers who don’t write :-)

And, thanks to the author from Australia, I can share an Almost-recommendation list (for those of you who take recommendations) from the poet, Emily DickinsonImagining Book Recommendations from a Life of Letters.

So…

Reminder… it only takes one comment to keep this conversation going………
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More Conversation about How You Choose What You Read . . .


The first post in this discussion was on August 10th… Choosing a book to read

And, here’s the single comment on that last post that lets this conversation continue:

“Unlike most people my reading is completely random. I use the local mobile library and I pick up books with an interesting cover and read the blurb. Then I look inside to see the size of the font and get an idea of the style. If I like the look of it, I take it home.

“The only books I buy are ones that I have seen recommended somewhere, or those written by fellow self published authors. However I am beginning to switch from novels to biographies so may not be looking out for King or Koontz as I have done for years.

“If I really enjoy a book I put a review on Goodreads or my wordpress blog.”

I happen to know that individual is not particularly young and is an author in the United Kingdom.

And, while I could offer a number of speculations about their reading from the comment, I’m mostly concerned with encouraging more of you to do the same as that brave woman—tell us “How You Choose What You Read“…

Also, to possibly elicit your responses, I should let you know that I don’t feel like we can have a good conversation without at least a few more comments…

So

I’ll repeat the questions I asked in the first post:

What are the ways you’ve chosen particular books…?

Amazon’s also-bought widget…?

A bookstore clerk’s tip…?

A Goodreads review…?

A book your Grandma gave you…?

A book your child loves…?

A book you found lying under a massive oak tree in the meadows of ancient England…?

It feels to me that sharing the way you choose books to read could well be the Easiest task to perform in a blog post’s comments section :-)

And, all it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Blog Conversation about How You Choose What You Read . . .


Choosing what to read Our last conversation—What Age Brings to Writing—stopped on August 8th because there were no comments…

So, I’ll start another conversation by remembering a short discussion from June 25th that had a list of 30 reasons to choose what to read…

Reasons to choose; yet, there are, just beyond the reasons, the actual books you choose…

How do you do that—choose a book to read?

Do you have a lot of reasons or ways you choose which book is next?

I used to take an intuitive stroll within range of some books; then, pick one with no clearly conscious reason—usually, I liked the book…

After I’d read a bunch of books and acquired a few favorite writers, I tended to read more of those writers…

Hardly ever have reviews led me to read a book…

Even others’ suggestions have rarely convinced me; unless it was a very good friend’s idea…

Lately, I’ve been reading only books by my favorite fiction author, C. J. Cherryh—I’m exercising my mind for a Poetic Odyssey…

The etymology of odyssey is “long, adventurous journey”; so, I’m reading my favorite fiction to prepare to write a long poem that recounts my personal adventurous journey :-)

Well…

What are the ways you’ve chosen particular books…?

Amazon’s also-bought widget…?

A bookstore clerk’s tip…?

A Goodreads review…?

A book your Grandma gave you…?

A book your child loves…?

A book you found lying under a massive oak tree in the meadows of ancient England…?

All it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Blog Conversation about Blog Conversations . . .


It was back on February 12th of this year that I raised the idea of Blog Conversations here. Blog Conversations

At first, they were only on Mondays and Wednesdays since I hadn’t yet finished the 95 Tales in my Story Bazaar—Fridays were added in June.

And, if you’re new here, the other days of the week are reserved for re-blogs from a bevy of valuable sources…

So, here we are on one of the Friday phases of conversation and I came to the conclusion that it might be a good time to consider what we can discuss in the future…

By the way, the last conversation we were having stopped today because there were no comments on its last post—that’s the way it goes—reader comments keep the conversations going—my creativity begins new conversations…

Yet, there are times in a blogging career when my creativity seems to have gone on vacation without me, this being one of those days; so, Creativity’s cousin, Cleverness, stepped up and said, “Alex, don’t strain that brain, look back at all the conversations so far, list them, and ask the kind folks out there to suggest more topics, eh?”

And, I said, “Whoa! How clever of you...”.

So, here’s the list of titles of discussions we’ve had, so far:

 

Aids for Writers

How and Why Writers Write

 Libraries

Different Types of Readers

Traditional vs Self-Published Book Promotion

Choosing What to Read

“What Should I Write?”

Word Histories

Grammar

Book Promotion

Genre

“Serious Writing”

Reading like a Writer

Truth in Fiction

Charming and Surprising Books

Traditional vs Self Publishing

Readers as Gatekeepers

Issues with Traditional Publishing

Self-Publishing

Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books

Now, I fully concede, any of those topics could be discussed again, and yet again; though, for now, I’m asking the Spirits of Blogging to come to my aid and inspire you to suggest other topics we might discuss here…

Are you game?

O.K.—remember, the general subjects that are allowable are Reading, Writing, and Publishing; but, any topic you can squeeze into those broad categories is just fine…

Will you help me…?

Can you spare a few minutes of your time dealing with a desperately complex world to offer your ideas?

I hope so…

But… If no one shares a comment with a topic idea (or, two…), I’ll shake my creativity awake and track one down……… :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Continuing the Blog Conversation About “What Should I Write?” . . .


 Prologue to this Post:

It’s Official… Our Blog Conversations are now on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! Leaving the rest of the week for valuable re-blogs from other folks and, from time to time, extra special surprise posts :-)

The Muse O.K., on with the discussion…

Last Wednesday, we began, a Blog Conversation Concerning “What Should I Write?” . . .

You may want to check that post out first to ponder what was said about having a Muse

I will, however, bring over a few questions I asked that could be easily answered in many if not most cases by integrating a Muse into the WritingLife:

Is it conceivable to you that writers “should” write certain things?

That a particular sentence “should” follow that one you just wrote?

That a precise gem of a word “must” precede a particularly important other word…?

Those questions may seem to be situations where the writer’s rational mind needs to be applied in the revision phases; yet, if the function of the Muse is active, they may be surprisingly dealt with right in the first draft…

Now…

Here’s the rather surprising comment from last Wednesday that permitted this particular conversation to continue—surprising because it comes from a consummate writer:

“Sometimes a concept can be right under your nose and yet you do not fully appreciate it until you see it explained in more eloquent detail, which this post just did for me. I know about the ‘Muse’ that many writers or painters refer to—I confess I just took her (or him) for granted—a metaphor perhaps for the writer’s inspiration but suddenly when I read this: ‘Offloading your sense of responsibility for creative work onto another self is like flipping a switch. It instantly removes that pressure and lets you breathe again…’; and, a switch flipped for me internally. Why had I not used a Muse for this? Where was my Muse and why wasn’t she doing this for me? Perhaps because I’d locked her in a cupboard a long time ago to keep the room tidy? Please forgive me Muse. I have the key and I will let you out. And I’m very much looking forward to watching Elizabeth Gilbert talking about this concept :-)

Naturally, there are other methods for deciding “What Should I Write?”, whether that question applies to a complete work or the next scene in a story or the next word in a sentence: and, I do hope a few of you will bring up some of those methods in the comments

But, before we leave this part of our discussion, I’ll share just a bit more about the Muse; and, it comes from Stephen King :-)

“There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. Do you think it’s fair? I think it’s fair. He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist, but he’s got inspiration. It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the mid-night oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.”

O.K….

The ground rules for our conversations here are that at least one reader has to leave a comment (short though it may be ) so the conversation can continue; otherwise, I get to start a whole new discussion :-) { … and, you can always leave a comment about other conversations you’d like to have … }
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message