Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm not a Reader .... Or am I?

Recently I was introduced to a blog called: I am a Reader, Not a Writer. It's a book review site. In the short time I've been aware of this site (just a couple of days), I haven't really pegged-down a particular type of genre this site caters too; I have, however, noticed that the featured authors are female which leads me to believe that it's not necessarily genre driven as it is driven towards highlighting women authors.

Regardless of its target audience, what drew me in from the start was the blog name itself - "I'm A Reader, Not A Writer." I instantly laughed when I read that and said, "You may be a reader, not a writer, but I'm for sure a writer, and NOT a reader."

That was a couple of days ago. Since then I haven't been able to stop thinking about what I proclaimed to myself. I've been questioning what makes someone a reader.

So I did what I do so well... went back to the beginning to figure out why I made this assumption.

First things first, in my mind what makes someone a reader?

Instead of putting a definition around the term reader, I thought of those I see as "readers." The first ones that came to mind were my friends BFF, PT, D, and my brother and sil A-squared. I know for a fact, all of these individuals love to read. It's a passion of theirs which they make time for regardless of what other things are going on in their lives. (For one, it has became part of their "work" as well.)

I can tell you, they ARE readers!

Where does my opinion that I'm not a reader come from?

Unlike my friends and family, I don't read on a regular basis. I write. To be exact, I write almost every day (and I'm not talking about writing e-mails). Even if I don't publish something on one of my blogs, I'm always composing something. You'd be amazed by the number of drafts I have archived just waiting to be sent out into cyberspace.

I think about reading books all the time, and even have a few books that I have started reading, but haven't finished. There are some I've actually finished as well. I've even written a book review on my other blog that actually generated an opportunity to write a tribute post about the author of the book in question on another well-known book review site.

I have had a stack of books BFF has sent me. However, since I wasn't getting around to reading them, and I wasn't sure when and if I would, I gave them back to her. I guess if anything should I figured I really want to read them, I know where I can find a copy.

If I do "read," picking up a physical book (or in this electronic age, an e-reader) is not the way I typically participate in this activity. I'm a fan of audiobooks. More specifically, I prefer books that can be loaded to my iPod. For some reason I don't see this as "reading." Oh, and there is my obsession with reading blogs. I can't tell you how many blogs I subscribe too. I've lost track.

However, since I don't read books frequently I find myself saying: "I'm not a reader, I'm a writer."

What is the literal meaning of being a reader?

By this point, the logical side of my brain is crashing the party. The thought I had goes something like... "Umm... do you not realize that even on the most basic level you are a 'reader' just by the mere act of reading things in general?" Ok, so if you take the definition of the term "reader" literally I am in fact a reader.

My whole life I've struggled with a learning disability that makes reading difficult to me. (I believe this to be the reason I don't run to pick up a book for enjoyment.) Even though this is the case, over the past couple of years I have grown to be quite thankful for the fact that despite this disability, I can in fact read and comprehend what I am reading fairly decently. I sometime forget there are those that can't even read at a basic level.

So, all this boils down to the fact that in the literal sense of things, I am in fact a reader.

What's the final verdict?

Today I was thinking about the birthday celebration I attended for my middle brother back in 2010. Besides the fact that I gave him a book for his birthday that year, one of the gift's he received from my older nephew was to form a book club of sorts with A-squared (his dad and mom). They were all sitting around discussing which book they were going to read first and all I could think was how I wanted to join them. Then I stopped myself and questioned why I felt the way I did - I'm not a reader.

That following September, after I published my book review BFF and I got into an intense e-mail discussion about the book in question. After telling her how it wasn't only the story, but how it was told that kept me reading, I began to discuss some of the central themes of the book. She replied with her thought. I then responded with mine. Eventually all the back and forth came to a stop, but while it was going on we definitely fed off of each others thoughts and opinions about the story. There was one point of contention, but it was a friendly disagreement. This is when I began to wonder if this is what it was like to be in a book club. If so, I really liked it. However, once again, I've never actually taken the plunge and joined a group because I didn't really think I was the type of person for such a group.

In the end, I guess I am in fact a reader masquerading as a non-reader. I mean, it would only make sense given my love of writing and storytelling that I would seek-out things to read - books, articles, blog, etc. If not only for the enjoyment of such an activity itself, but to see how other writers approach the the craft. Reading and writing surely do compliment each other nicely. Additionally, after all my so-called-reasons for saying I'm not a reader, I've realized that I don't need to be holding an actual book, or e-reader, to make me a reader. Reading blogs, articles and listening to audiobooks does in fact make me a reader.

Hopefully, as time goes on I will try out a book club - or something of that sort. Maybe this should be one of the (formerly known as) the can't do list items I tackle in 2012. I guess only time will tell.

Until then, I proudly proclaim... "I am a writer AND a reader."

1 comment:

  1. No real genre, I read a variety of books but mainly young adult and clean romance. I do not enjoy writing :) but love reading. Glad you are both a reader and a writer :)