Booking Through Thursday — Inspiration

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?
This is sort of an odd one, but I’ll take a stab at it – because I’m not sure the act of reading is really “inspired” but, I do have several different motivations for reading.
Relaxation.  I typically read for a while (sometimes as short as 10 minutes, maybe as long as an hour) before going to sleep.  Reading helps turn off all the “extra” things going on in my mind and that focus helps relax me such that I can get sleepy, rather than just be “tired”.
Escapism.  You don’t have to spend long looking over my books for the last couple of years to see that I read almost exclusively fiction.  That’s not true – during the day, I spend a fair amount of my time reading scientific literature – which is about as non-fiction as you can get.  What I read for pleasure is fiction.  Fantasy, SF, novels, horror, mysteries, thrillers – all are good and get their share of the rotation.
Reflection.  One of my favorite things about really good stories is that they will often cause me to consider my reaction to the situations presented.  Good SF and fantasy will challenge perceptions of society and its rules.  Novels of “everyday” people make (e.g. Joyce Carol Oates, Jim Harrison) me think of the bond of common experience, the depths of still waters, and my own emotional response (or lack thereof) to daily life. 
I think it’s hard to be escapist and reflective at the same time, so I will often ebb and flow between “easy” books and more “thoughtful” ones.  Works for me!

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7 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday — Inspiration

  1. Easy books and thoughtful books… I do the same thing. I try to squeeze in some career development books too. But right now, I think I need a break from those.
    Btw, if you like Joyce Carol Oates, you might like the book "Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner, if you' haven't read it already. I really enjoyed it (quick read, too) and it reminded me of Oates' writing.

  2. Great post. I'm extremely fussy about what fiction I read, I should join one of these book groups on Vox (although I should also visit your book section since I bet you have great taste) have you read, The Eight, or Labyrinth? Both very creative plots.
    During my semester break I've scanned book stores for good fiction – I'm seeing the same old problem – the plot summaries are as follows: "Sarah had a rocky relationship with mom, her inner child wounded, she tried several relationships blah blah blah freaking blah". I want a plot where something happens, that involves not just humans but also ships, planets, civil war horses, something that gives the story some beef. I spent hours reading summaries only to find just one or two good plots.
    Funny, I just recently discovered book reading as an insomnia fix, and I shut off the computer after 6 pm (or that's my rule, don't always follow it) because I really think the blue screen on computers and tvs cause the jitters.
    I also look to fiction characters for how they respond and react to situations. I think they sometimes make for better role models than our supposed "real" role models in Hollywood (which I usually ignore anyway).

  3. Ellie — I just read "The Eight" at the end of last year. I enjoyed it. Definitely kept you guessing. For sure look over the things I have in my books collection — I can definitely give you recommendations.I also completely agree about the tv jitters. I won't have one in the bedroom. I think falling asleep to the tv causes restlessness.

  4. I have friends who don't read at all, and by that I mean at all! They barely get through their textbooks. They have an abiding interests in all things televised, but not in books. I often wonder why I feel so differently. You summed it up so nicely — books do so much for us. They keep us thinking, keep our mental faculties sharp. My primary motivation is the last one — reflection, or maybe reflection/knowledge (see latest post). There's so much to discover!

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