The other half of writing

Word count: 320                         Reading time: 1-2 minutes

This week the Vancouver Writers’ Festival is on. In Wednesday’s session called Word! with Ivan Coyote, Lemn Sissay, and C.R. Avery, I was doubled over with laughter one moment and swallowing the lump in my throat the next.

On the way out, of course I bought a couple of books and got them signed. It wasn’t an impulse purchase; I knew I’d buy Ivan Coyote’s latest. After seeing Lemn Sissay, I had to add his poetry my library. That got me thinking about reading as a writer. Some of the rules I try to follow are:

  • “Focus in on the genre you want to write, and read books in that genre.” Nicholas Sparks.
  • Read outside your genre.  Francine Prose: “A beautiful sentence transcends time and genre. […] This is just one of the many reasons it’s important to read outside of one’s own genre.”
  • Take advantage of the local library. North Vancouver has excellent libraries with knowledgeable librarians.  I know: I’m there every week.
  • Take the One Book Pledge. From Black Bond Books in Vancouver: “We are asking our customers to make one more of your book purchases at Black Bond Books, and one less from Amazon, or elsewhere. We are not asking you to buy all of your books from us, just one more at a Black Bond Books location.”  

That last one lets me support local businesses while I support the writing community. Some of my favourite people are writers. Some of my other favourite people are small business owners.

I’m going back to the Writers’ Festival on Friday and Saturday. I can’t wait to see Annabel Lyon, Chris Cleave, and Margaret Atwood, among others. I’m sure I’ll buy another book or two.

Are there any rules about reading that you follow? Do you have a favourite book store or are you more of a library person? Do you favour e-books over paper and ink?


Photo by: Lucky Business