Top 5

Bookish: Top 5 Tuesday – Reasons I Love Reading

Top 5 Tuesday.jpg

Hello everyone and happy Top 5 Tuesday! Wait a sec…. happy Top 5 Tuesday?

What’s this? Not a Top 5 Wednesday?!

For 2019 I have switched to Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm’s Top 5 Tuesday. There’s nowt wrong with Top 5 Wednesday but I quite liked the topics that Shanah has suggested for January and I wanted to give them a go.

While I also like the topics at Top 5 Wednesday my schedule (and subpar brain) doesn’t allow me to have two Top 5’s of the week. So here we go, welcome to Top 5 Tuesday.

It’s a lot like Top 5 Wednesday just…. on a Tuesday.

This week was all about asking myself the question that every child under 5 asks… ‘why?’ In this case, ‘why do I love reading.’

One

 

Escapism.jpg

The world we live in can, sadly, be a cruel and horrible place. Sometimes it gets too much knowing that horrible things happen to good people or that bad people commit horrible acts and get away with no consequences.

When I’m not feeling up to facing the truths of the world or if I just want a boost from a story where I know the world will be put to rights I’ll pick up a book to escape.

But you know what? Sometimes I want to pick up dark and sinister. Why? Because it’s not even that the world can be cruel. Sometimes it’s that the world can be boring. 

I’m an adult. I’m supposed to be adulting which means being all sorts of sensible and commuting 3 hours each day to my job which allows me to pay my bills. Ugh. I don’t even eat cereal for dinner anymore.

Sometimes I just wish I was a witch or a mermaid and reading makes that happen.

Example: Anything that is sci-fi or fantasy will do this for me.

Two

 

 

Connection.jpgI’m not even talking about the connections I make with people while blogging about reading – that would be in the Top 5 Reasons I Blog list (which doesn’t actually exist, so don’t go hunting for it).

Sometimes I find a story line or a character that reaches up from the page and wallops me in the chest. It could be because their story is eerily similar to something I have personally experienced or it could be because they respond to something in a similar way that I would or have a similar life issue.

Even though these are fictional stories and pretend characters it’s strangely warming to feel that someone is going through something similar to me.

Example: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness hit me in the emotional feels because it touched a nerve.

three

Learning.jpg

Oh yes, this is the complete opposite to the one above.

I have my life experiences and I want to believe that I’m not alone in experiencing them  but sometimes I need to have my eyes opened and my experiences broadened.

Now, unless I become a wizard (still waiting on my Hogwarts letter…) I don’t think it’s likely that I’m going to body swap into someone else and experience their world. Reading not only acts as a time travel device and portal to other worlds but it also acts as a body swapper.

Through reading I could become someone else completely and gain some perspective on their life and hopefully learn some things along the way.

Example: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was very much this for me.

Four

 

 

inspiration

Ah yes. I harbour misbegotten dreams of being a writer and reading is an integral part of the tool-kit needed to build those writing skills. But why read for inspiration? Don’t I have any original ideas??

Well I hope so but there’s always a variant of a theme isn’t there? It’s said that there are only seven basic plots so how original is anyone? 

Reading gives me ideas especially if I read something and go, ‘interesting, but not how I would do it.’ Well, then I get to think about how would do it. I get to create a whole world and characters of my own and screw them up in ways that only I could imagine.

Example: I re-read fairy tales, not just because I love reading them but because I would love to write my own fairy tale retelling one day. Reading them gives me ideas to launch into my versions simply by asking, ‘what if?’

Five

 

 

improvementBack to the writing tool-kit. Reading also helps improve my writing. I get to see how professional writers construct a plot, develop characters and build a world.

I also get to see how they write in terms of style and whether or not I feel mine is/ isn’t similar and get an indication as to whether my style will work for the type of stories I tell. Reading also helps with my own grammar and punctuation, something I need lots of help with.

My brother tells me I love a comma. But they’re just so lovable, Michael.

But depending on what I’m reading I can sometimes learn what not to do. It’s not all roses out there readers.

Example: There is a series of books (which I won’t name here) that I really don’t like but they were definitely helpful in the fact that I took a lot of ‘I don’t want to do that’ or ‘that really doesn’t work’ from them. I’ve mentioned them before so if you’re a regular reader you can probably guess.

In terms of books that I feel has helped me improve – well anything I’ve read by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Stephen King (I’ve not read lots by the latter) as I consider them quality writers in their various genres.

Breaker

So there are my Top 5!

Any the same as why you love reading? Do you disagree with any? What additional ones do you have?

See you next Tuesday!

No… wait. I can’t say that.

See you next week!

Breaker

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27 thoughts on “Bookish: Top 5 Tuesday – Reasons I Love Reading

  1. Ahh, how lovely! Literally yes to every one of these points, but I think the one that many people don’t mention is the learning aspect. I feel like my own maturity and empathy comes from the fact that I was able to put myself in a character’s shoes and learn from their mistakes, so you are absolutely on point about that.

    Oh and lol, improvement in writing for me also comes from the fact that I don’t want to make the same mistakes that some professional authors make out there. Like, I’m reading a book, and it’s so badly written that I think, “Isn’t this author embarrassed to put this out on the market for everyone to see? Don’t they have any pride? Dang, if I ever was a writer, I’ll never write something as incompetent as this.” As you can see, I’m pretty judgmental, but it’s really helped improve my prose. 😂

    And lastly, I just wanna mention that A Monster Calls hit me super hard in the feels too. Uugh, I cried so hard. (Have you seen the movie btw?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      There’s a lot I’ve learnt through reading but it’s hard to quantify as it’s all stuff just picked up through the years. Even random stuff can make an impact.

      Yes absolutely, I’ve read some books that I cannot believe have been published. Sometimes I think its due to popularity of the author and/or series because if it was a debut no one would pick it up. I think (and it’s just personal opinion) that it should never matter how popular you get as a writer, you owe your readers the best quality experience for THEIR sake as well as your own. They’re spending money and time on your work.

      Also, my pride wouldn’t let me send something out I wasn’t at least a bit happy with.

      I haven’t seen the movie but I don’t think I will. I really loved the book but it was painful and I don’t think my fragile heart could take it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I absolutely agree. I cite Brandon Sanderson as an example of an author that I wasn’t keen on at first (I thought his prose straight-up sucked at the start of the Mistborn trilogy) but I came to admire and respect the guy because his writing gets SO much better as it goes on. His work ethic and pride as an author is no joke because you can tell he really puts in the effort to get better regardless of his popularity.

        And lol, I get you. It’s a really solid movie imo, but I haven’t been able to re-read the book or re-watch the movie because of how sad the story was. (Still one of my goals though!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t read any Brandon Sanderson but I think from what I’ve read its pretty much what you’ve put which is he gets better with practice. That’s the thing, quite often the more you do/ the more you practice the better you get. Usually. There are some er… exceptions to the rule.

          I admire that of any writer who, despite their popularity and the fact that they could probably just push out whatever and it would sell, they still aim to better themselves and their craft. It shows respect for your audience because we wouldn’t be bloggers without books but they wouldn’t be famous writers without readers!

          Oh a re-read is definitely out of the question! I cried like a baby the first time around!

          Like

  2. All great points!
    I love how you used the book you didn’t like to improve your own writing! ❤ It's defo a great strategy, and even though i'm not a writer, it's applicable to other things as well: you need to know what you don't want to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Oh I agree hugely with you. I think that you can learn just as much (if not more) by doing things and failing or by doing things many times until you find your best approach. If you can read a style or book and work out what isn’t for you that’s just as helpful as working out what is!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this so much! What a wonderful love letter to reading ❤️ There are so many reasons I love reading, the big ones are the same as yours. Escaping into magical worlds and stories, finding characters I connect with, seeing the world from different point of view and getting inspiration. I’m also just so freaking in love with words. I love that feeling when you read a sentence and you just can’t believe someone wrote it, like how can someone put words together so well, what fresh sorcery is that. I’m the biggest nerd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Oh I know what you mean! I always say that I find some people’s writing ‘delicious’ because there’s something about it I could just eat up. I get jealous at some people’s writing style as well because I would love to be able to turn a phrase like some people can. It is sorcery and it’s the best kind. There’s magic in words!

      Like

    1. Same! I use some of my annual leave days solely for reading and writing and I just love it. I feel so recharged afterwards.

      Oh yes, the commute isn’t actually too bad if I’m reading a book I really enjoy. Sometimes I even look forward to it as my reading time!

      Like

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