Yes, I read very few books each year. Har har har har har.
It was until I sat down and read the highly recommended book “On Writing” that I thought to myself…I should take reading more seriously.
As you can see on my Goodreads profile, I have so far read ‘Quiet” and am almost done with “Nickel and Dimed”. Let me explain how I finally began to enjoy reading again, from an outsider’s perspective.
Actually, let me first explain why I avoided reading books for the past few years.
Why I Didn’t Like To Read:
- I’m a visual guy. Movies, anime, video games and YouTube are way more entertaining and easy to consume and engaging with sound and color and…visuals. Most books, especially nonfiction books, aren’t visual in any way once you open it up.
- It’s tricky to read holding up a book or staring at a tiny phone screen for a few hours. (The irony that I’m complaining about reading while also being an aspiring author is not lost on me.)
- I can speed through any web article or blog post within 10 minutes, why sit down and spend 3 to 5 hours reading a book? Such a long time! (The irony is still not lost on me about my complaint…)
Why I Like Reading More Now
- “Quiet” was a really in depth read about introverts. Seriously, it had lots of personal stories, stories from the author’s life and research the author did for the book. This level of detail and evidence is usually not matched by YouTube videos. The book was so insightful with its observations and conclusions…reading all its depth and research was really interesting. It felt like getting the same content as a 12 episode season of a TV series, just a ton of depth. It made me realize that books are still strong at depth and research because they don’t really need to worry about production costs or length, unlike video games and movies.
- “Nicked and Dimed” is a book I am eager to finish. It’s a book about the author trying to survive, living like the American working poor for a week, back in the early 2000s. I have watched numerous documentaries, YouTube videos and web article words on my screen. This book just really excelled at putting me in the shoes of the author and the situation. I really did feel like I was in Key West. I really felt like I was a waitress. It felt like I knew her coworkers. The book, despite lacking any visuals, was STILL able to immerse me into the setting, to the point where I started to treasure each scene as it went on. So wow, books can be visual—in your head—if they are done well enough. The sheer level of intimacy following the author from job to job is unmatched by most videos and documentaries. This book even incorporates research too!
- These two books just felt like they kept going and going, going into greater detail about the settings, the people and the facts. I sensed a greater level of depth and comprehensiveness, greater than what I even experienced from hour long documentaries. YouTube videos are free, but they just felt more shallow in terms of story, detail and research compared to these books I’ve read so far.
- The subject or focus of books can be unique and cool too. I read “Save The Cat” recently, which as far as I know, is not some YouTube or streaming series yet. So for seeking out certain types of stories or info, books are good for that too.
I will admit, reading books is time consuming though. And, I have to sit and actively stare at the words the whole time. But now I know, or can at least remember, books CAN be vivid despite not having much or any color…visuals…sound…
The irony of defending books is—you know.
I have more or renewed respect for books now. Maybe I’ll even start enjoying some FICTION books after this!!! (I enjoy reading nonfiction and writing fiction. Nonfiction helps my real life. Fiction explores impossible or speculative ideas beyond my current life.)