Do you have half-read books? This collection of stories presented, this month, in Web Explored is rather different than normal. The usual source of this post are the various blogs around the web with interesting things to read. The idea — If I found them interesting, then I should share. 🙂
There are probably thousands of writers who write about various aspects of writing. The reason for creating this category was because I explore the web almost every day. Often searching for one topic or another. Perhaps with a view to writing about it, perhaps for my own education. We can always learn something from someone else. This is the essence of Web Explored. To bring pages from which we can all learn. Enjoy this selection of thoughts from around the world.
Michael Cristiano gives us this month’s starting piece “5 Reasons why I Leave a Book Half-read”. He says “I’ve fallen out of love” or “I’ve decided to take some space”. Well there are two good reasons on their own. I was talking about half-read books not so long ago, but my thoughts were surrounding works of non-fiction.
Cristiano’s thoughts relate to fiction and we should pay attention to them. If you are writing a novel they are important pointers of things you need to get right.
We all have half-read books. Think about it for a moment. When you wanted the recipe for Beef Ragout, you looked it up in a recipe book. Few people read the whole book, they often skim through looking for the items of interest, Sunday’s meal. From this point this subject takes a different direction. I wanted to see if other writers have considered the subject and link in some of their thoughts. Indeed, half-read books, has taken over this edition of Web Explored, but I promise other goodies later.
Adrian Tahourdin on the Times Literary Supliment Blog. Says of this subject “Half-read books? Don’t you hate them? They sit in piles on your desk or bedside table, gathering dust. Every now and again you brush them down and remind yourself how far you got: ten pages in? halfway? near the end, but you fell on the last lap? Should you try again?”
I have three on my desk, which I am slowly working through and one on my bedside cabinet. One of the positive things about a half-read book is that you can place them in ‘reminder spots’ around your home and office. An E-book is forgotten as soon as we close the app. When the app opens next time, it is more likely to open with the library of books. Thus most are half-read.
Jen Doll in The Atlantic calls this syndrome “The Quiet Shame of the Half-Book Reader”. Apparently “some people are plagued with guilt about the books they’ve left undone”. Don’t think I agree, but I will go along with this thought for now.
She does go on to say “I am an unabashedly proud leaver of half-finished books, and even more terrible, I have books all over my apartment and office that I haven’t even started”. Yes that is closer to how I feel about it. Books exist to savour. I used to read a novel quickly, but they have grown forever longer.
However I am a proud leaver of half-read factual works. I won’t say they are scattered all over my house but they exist on book shelves, in a logical order.
The site Her Life With Books goes on to list seven half-read books. This is an interesting mix (see below). Ruth Lillian Foulis adds “I have a big stack of half-read books, a long time TBR list of books I’ve put down for some reason and never picked up again”.
I am not proposing a cure here to the “To Be Read” pile. Simply noting that this will be a constant challenge for the book lover. We love to build our libraries. We are constantly reading, but we also constantly put the book down. As soon as we put it down, it is half-read.
Live your Legend suggests “7 Quick Steps to Finishing a Non-Fiction Book in Half the Time While Retaining Twice as Much” which should certainly be a cure. and each of these are interesting steps. the author says “It is the first exposure to something (a sport, game, dating, you name it) that requires the most care and time” they therefore suggest that we should preview the material on offer, because we “do something better or quicker when we do it for the second, third or fourth time.” An interesting thought.
Reinvent Your Career, Blogging
“Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news.” Says Meridith Dennes on Project Eve. She cover the topic from the very first question. Start a Blog – What Do I Blog About? I agree you should write about things you enjoy, whether professionally or personally. The suggestions Dennes provides are excellent and practical.
They all relate to things I have learned while starting my blogs. This advice comes from a career website, but is still very practical and relevant.
Lauren Bowling in the Huffington Post in How I Made $38,000 From Blogging (and Launched My Career!) Talks about the same challenge. Sponsored posts and coaching seem good idea from my perspective. I have been exploring the concept of creating a training course, here on GobbledeGoox and will be talking more about this soon
Show, Not Tell
In “How to Show, Not Tell” Georgio Konstandi discusses techniques of how to show people the aspects of the characters in their fictional novels.
How do you portray them as a psychopath, yet never use that word? He suggests writers, “CONSIDER writing a scene in which the character in question makes an irrational decision or action, thus giving the impression that he/she’s deranged.” This can be a small scene, perhaps only a few paragraphs when introducing the character. It is the reader that will then draw the appropriate conclusion about the character.
The method of “show, not tell” is used in many aspects of writing and is as applicable to non-fictional writing as it is to fiction.
Web Explored are:
- Failure, Motivation, and Research
- Free Speech and Getting Lost
- Longer Posts, Deep Work, etc.
- Gramerd, Writing Prompts, etc.