Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are You an Eclectic, Eccentric, Esoteric Reader?

If not, why not?

As writers we are all avid readers. If not a reader who reads, then not a writer (I'm paraphrasing Stephen King).

BUT are you an triple-e reader? Do you read a huge variety of different material? Or are you in a reading rut? Do you only read your favorite genres, styles, authors?

Okay, we all get in ruts. I confess to my own: mysteries, thrillers with fantasy for spice. I read my favorite authors of which there are many: Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, J. A. Konrath, Terry Pratchett, Nancy Pickard, Charlaine Harris, Joan Hess, Lee Child, John Sandford, Rhys Bowen and Carl Hiaasen, to name a very few. My list seems eclectic, doesn't it?

And yet, and yet, they all are of a certain "flavor." I don't delve into women's fiction, literary fiction, hard science fiction and men's adventure fiction. Much less the writings of other nationalities, save now Japan (explanation below).

I now believe that's a mistake. I've been reading manga and I'm surprised by how a truly different form of writing has impacted my writing. It's expansive, sometimes mind-boggling, to read "outside the box of the our usual covers."

As with my exercise classes, something new and different creates all sorts of new connections in the brain.

So: what are your favs? What ruts are you in? What would you like to read to break out?

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