Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Fun Reasons I Love to Read

Recently, I attended a reading by Tom Peek, author of the novel Daughters of Fire. As he read, Tom exuded a quiet excitement, revealing the depth of his characters while drawing his listeners into the action and adventure of a world he had created.
Most people do not need a reason to read, only a justifiable reason to take time out of their busy schedules to sit down, relax, and read. Stephen King, author of innumerable books, all of which I have read (though maybe not the entire text of Danse Macabre), advocates that writers should read at least four hours per day, the same amount of time as they should write. When something becomes “should” however, the fun drains away.

My three fun reasons for loving to read
are what always keep me reaching for that next book

 1. From the time I started selecting my own reading material, books have taken me to ‘another world’, that proverbial place where one is able to travel without the expense of air fare, car rental, or 20% tipping. To this day, I dream of taking a steamboat ride down the mighty Mississippi River. During my first and subsequent readings of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I smelled the fresh air while bobbing along the rippling surface of the rapidly-flowing water, heard the incessant chirping of birds under the willows, marveled at a catfish “big as a man”, watched furry-pelted creatures scurry along the river bank. The morning breeze cooled me as it tousled my short-cropped, river-washed hair.

2. In my teen years, I read my way through the Sherlock Holmes cases of Arthur Conan Doyle, Nero Wolfe’s investigations as penned by Rex Stout, and the court scenes of Perry Mason by Erle Stanley Gardner. Finally, I exhausted the local library’s supply of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Only years later did I consciously come to the realization that I loved the “mystery series.” Each story kept me reading, but I returned to the series, book after book, to read about the adventures of a particular person. Even though the word ‘protagonist’ didn’t enter my spoken vocabulary until years later, I loved revisiting my new-found friends within the pages of those novels. These friends were often eccentric, loud, or “foreign”; they were knowledgeable in their field of expertise; at times, they were confused or befuddled or even angry; but always, they were exciting to read about and fun to know.

3. Robert Ludlum’s novels changed my outlook on reading. Now my time was often spent reading for sheer pleasure and entertainment. I settled back while the story flowed over me, excited, tantalized, mesmerized, enlightened, and enthralled me. Through the decades, I devoured: all of Stephen King’s novels, stories painted exquisitely with descriptive phrases, especially his Dark Tower series with Roland Deschain; Sue Grafton’s ABC mysteries; John Sandford’s Prey series; Tess Gerittson’s medical thrillers; all of the works by Michael Connelly, Mary Higgins Clark, Clive Cussler, Janet Evanovich, and JK Rowlings. (Raise your hand if you enjoyed the parallels between the Lord of the Rings, Dark Tower, and Harry Potter series.) 

In summary, three of the fun reasons I love to read include the desire to:

1. Venture into an imaginative other-world;

2. Experience the development of a unique, stimulating, sometimes humorous, always thought-provoking personality from the perspective of its author, including protagonists Kinsey Millhone, Lucas Davenport, Harry Potter, Dirk Pitt, Stephanie Plum, and Harry Bosch;

3. And immerse myself in the sheer pleasure and entertainment that lurks behind all those colorfully illustrated and telling front covers.  




  1. Superbly written.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Hi, I'm new to your blog and enjoyed this post. I love a good mystery, too, and Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Return of Sherlock Holmes are top of the list.

    Since you like mystery series, let me recommend three: Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series set in early 1900's Manhattan; Jacqueline Winspeare's Maisie Dobbs series set in Edwardian England; and Cara Black's Aimée Léduc series, set in contemporary Paris. (A free trip to Paris!)

  3. Shelly and Elizabeth, I am sorry for the late reply. After being spammed (147 times on on post) I had to change the format for comments.

    Thank you for the recommendations, Elizabeth. I have hear of the novels but have not read them yet.


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