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.’
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.
I’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.
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.
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 I 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?’
Back 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.
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!