What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?
One of the greatest tools that a writer has available, always, is books written by others. The wealth of knowledge, writing styles, ideas, concepts etc is available via leatherbound, hard covered, soft covered or even electronic novels, waiting to be enjoyed and explored. I myself, have benefited greatly from reading and in fact the act of reading opened the world of writing to me. The idea that even my story could be told and others could enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it, was enough to get me to put pen to paper.
However, there was a point where the very idea of reading was such a drag that I just didn’t pick up a single book for 3-4 years. Yes I bought books with the intention of reading them and I’d edge through the first page or so and then I’d put it down and never read it again. I have no idea why, it was just not as exhilarating as I’d enjoyed them to be.
I figured that some good fiction would break the spell and so I went out and bought a book by Ted Dekker – The Circle. Its the complete collection of his series Black, Red, White and Green which a friend of mine had suggested I look in to a year or so ago.
Unfortunately that didn’t digest so well. I read a page in but just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
I started downloading eBooks after that, quick easy shorts that I could dig in to without too much commitment and not so much carrying to do and the eBook I got that really pushed me towards reading again was a book about writing by Arnold Bennett – The Authors Craft.
The English was difficult, the exhortation inspirational and the advice beneficial. I mowed through that book and was ready to apply this new found knowledge.
At the same time, plans to jettison off into a different continent where in tow and it was while I sat on the comfortable couches of a family friend’s aunt on the other side of the world that I finished The Authors Craft on my phone and settled in to another fascinating book I found at a Thrift store. The book? The Program by Gregg Hurwitz.
This book was so different to what I normally read and it was written so well that I swallowed it all up. This is a synopsis of the book,
Called back into the fold of the U.S. Marshals Service, Tim Rackley is tasked with retrieving Leah Henning, the daughter of a powerful Hollywood producer, from a mind control cult. As Tim winds his way deep undercover inside an insidious operation called The Program, he confronts a brand of mind-warping manipulation beyond his worst expectations.
Becoming enmeshed with a diverse band of characters – from the charismatic, messianic leader T.D. Betters, to a cult reject burnout, to the intelligent yet highly vulnerable Leah herself – Tim finds himself caught in a shadowy landscape of lies, manipulation, and terror. At stake, innocent minds – maybe even his own.
When I picked this book up, there was no synopsis or book cover or anything, just the name of the book. I literally turned to a random page in the book and started reading. I was hooked, so much so I decided I had to read more. Thus “The Program” broke my Readers Block.
Right now I’m delving into a series of books and short stories. I’ve hit two book stores already and have eight or so books on my list to read, some classic Stephen King, some James Herbert and some David Balducci and look forward to my growing library.
So, here’s to reading! May it live long and prosper!
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