You all probably have gotten how much I love reading, maybe by the mere fact that I run a blog dedicated to it. It has consumed my life for nearly two decades, and I would be a very different person now if I had not learned how to read, or been given a love of reading by parents who constantly read to me and took me to our closest library.
However, writing also has effected my reading experience. I have been writing since I was around seven years old. It has always been part of me. And it has helped form my tastes in reading and how I read. But I have always wondered if that is truly a good thing. Recently, I saw this picture on Pinterest.
It made me wonder about something…is my experience as a reader being detrimentally effected because I judge a book more as a writer than a reader?
As a writer, you learn to pay attention to a lot of things that a reader wouldn’t have a reason to pay attention to. Let’s use characters as an example.
As a reader, you want good characters. You want to relate to a character, understand them, and be invested in their struggles and motivations. As a writer, however, you read to understand how the author failed or succeeded to create that good character. It is another layer, one might say, to being a reader.
But for me it is also a double-edged sword.
It is difficult for me now to simply enjoy a story as a good story because I know so much about the writing process that things which may not stand out to most readers seem glaringly obvious to me. It means it is difficult to suspend disbelief, because I am constantly asking why. Why does the magic work that way? Why did that character feel motivated to do that? Why did these two characters fall in love?
It is the difference, perhaps, between a reader who reads because they like reading, and a writer who reads because they like writing.
Neither is wrong, of course. It is good to enjoy books for what they are, not pick them apart with rhetorical scissors. It is also good to understand why a book is good or bad, understanding nuances of phrasing, character motivation, and plot progression.
I just sometimes wish I could go back to when I was a child, enjoying a book because it was interesting and not noticing every little issue.
For those of you who are writers or simply highly-detailed people who notice different aspects of books, do you think this lessons your enjoyment of reading? Or adds a different level to it?
This is more of a musing post, I know. I’m still recovering from a bad cold which has plagued me the last couple of weeks and I honestly couldn’t bother coming up with a different post. But it’s a query that I’m wondering if I’m alone in, or others feel similarly.
Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,