Once upon a time there was a book I couldn’t put down…
I have a confession to make: Last Wednesday I failed to publish a post to this site and while I’d love to tell you that my missing post was due to something romantic like writer’s block, or a spur-of-the-moment getaway or even a sick child who needed ‘round the clock care the real reason behind my negligence is that I was completely and utterly lost in a book.
Scandoulous, I know.
It gets worse.
Instead of following my confession with a heartfelt apology, after much thought, I have decided I’m not going to apologize for this one. I also refuse to feel guilty.
Don’t get me wrong. I love you, my dear and faithful readers. Your comments and responses to the words I write keep me going when I wonder if it’s worth it. When I doubt that anyone’s reading the words I work so hard to write. When I’m tempted to give up.
But I also know that a huge part of what makes me a writer…perhaps even a decent one…is my reckless abandon and love for books.
My friend Susie says that for writers reading is like flexing your muscles, and I believe she’s right. (If you’ve never stopped by Susie’s blog I highly encourage you to check out a couple of her posts on this topic of reading both here and here.)
When I read several things happen:
1) Ideas begin to turn: Whether it’s an idea for a blog post, a detail for my book, a plot twist or possible character development, reading keeps my creative juices fresh and flowing.
2) Inspiration strikes: The novel I’m currently reading, yes, the very one I can’t put down, and others like it don’t just captivate me they make me want to write. At times my fingers literally start twitching to get the keyboard. Whenever I find myself going through a dry spell in my own writing I know it’s a sign that it’s time to start reading. Bottom line, reading and writing go hand in hand and reading always makes me a better writer.
3) My skills are developed: When I read, whether it’s conscious or subconscious or a combination of both, I am always learning about the art and craft of writing. I learn new words, new techniques. I learn new ways to tell stories and create characters. The lessons I learn from books of all genres are critical and priceless.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that each of these things is vital to my health, my sanity, my existence. It’s the way I’m wired, the way I’m made. Reading helps me function, it helps me learn, grow, and relate to the world around me. For me there is nothing like it.
But there is one more reason why I read, one more thing that happens when I lose myself in a book. When I read, especially when I get sucked into a really good book like the one I’m reading now, I am reminded of the story…of God’s story. Somehow, in someway, I believe all the really good stories and/or books of our time are reflections of the story He has been writing since time began.
I love any chance I get with a book. I live for the thrill of digging through words and mining out gems that harken back to the greatest love story ever told. It’s why I write. It’s why I read. It’s why I will never apologize for getting caught with my nose stuck in a book.
So while I’m sorry I missed out on our weekly get together last Wednesday, I’m not sorry for the time I spent reading. I hope you’ll forgive me but more than that, I hope you’ll follow my lead.
I hope you’ll find a good book, throw caution to the wind, and read with reckless abandon.
Brave Prince, Lovely Princess may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in the pages of a book. May you get lost in an exquisite post, a moving article, a story that can’t be put down.
May you lose yourself in words that whisper, in pages that echo, again, and again, and again, the greatest story ever told.