As a writer I love reading. Not only literature, but all kinds of books.
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Why I read
Since I got more serious about my writing, I also tried to diversify more in my reading.
When I was younger I’d mostly read fantasy, an interest sparked by reading the Lord of the Rings and mostly stick to it.
It was only in my early twenties that I started to read more widely and spread of into a variety of genres. One thing I learned is that it is important that you not only read as much as possible, but also as widely as possible.
I try to read at least one fictional novel and a non-fiction book at all times. It is just something that I got used to these days. I read fiction before I got to bed, on public transportation and to relax. Nonfiction is what I read to learn new things and broaden my horizon. If you are looking for interesting books, check out the Recommended Reading section of this blog.
This is the fictional novel that I am reading at the moment. I know, I should have read this book years ago. The book has even been on my shelf for ages, but I never got to it yet.
So far I am enjoying it a lot, even though I am only about a third in.
What can I tell you about Moby Dick? First it is one of the most celebrated American novels of all time, but you most likely know that already. From the point of view of the writer though, it is his style that I find interesting. I am normally not a fan of the semicolon and completely ignore it in my own writing, but Melville uses it as a major element of his style. In my opinion this is working well.
The overall atmosphere of the book and its description, at least in the parts I have read so far, is always grandiose and filled with references to various other works in the western canon, including Shakespeare, Milton and the Bible. I am really looking forward to continuing this book.
I recently finished this book. It is the very first history book, at least in the western world. The book provides a detailed description of the history of the Persian Empire and the Greco-Persian Wars.
I mainly picked this book because I am very interested in history and in ancient literature. While the book might not introduce you to specific nuances of style, it can be quite inspirational in terms of content, at least if you are interested in historical events. One of the most interesting to me was the ascension of Darius to the throne of the Persian Empire, after the Magi had usurped it.
For a writer the benefit of this book is that it is very intellectually stimulating and helps your brain to stay active. It can also introduce you to quite a few new ideas, as many other history books do.
I am half way through the book and I am enjoying it immensely. Ferriss’ book has been one of the most popular books for young entrepreneurs for quite some time. I like to pick the occasional book on business or entrepreneurship. I can see where the high appeal for Ferriss’ book is coming from.
The book showed me lots of ways on how I can optimize many different parts of my work routine. Now I am not aiming for anything close to titular four hours, but it is simply nice to save time for more important things. Ferriss discusses many ways on how you can optimize and automate various tasks. A very interesting thing that he described is that you should always do mundane tasks in batches to save time. An advice I am going to follow from now on.
The greatest advice in the book so far, which I think is not only important entrepreneurs, but also writers is this:
Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important?
In terms of writing this means any sort of unnecessary preparations. Extensive notes, character studies, outlines and so on. While these things are not bad per se, doing it extensively is again nothing but procrastination. The most important thing is always writing. You can have all the notes in the world, but there are two universal truths: The first draft of everything is shit and you never know how your story develops.
I might do these types of posts every once in a while to talk about what I am reading and to give interesting recommendations to people. I hope people will both enjoy these pots and find them helpful.
What are you reading at the moment?