...or was that "reading is fundamental", child of the seventies that I am. It's fall up here in the Pacific Northwest, or it was a few days ago. The leaves are changing color and flittering down to clog the gutters and the fields are going brown. I guess that's the problem with a cool climate. It gets hot for awhile and next thing you know it's back in the high sixties with night time lows in the fifties and all the leaves fall off. I even have pumpkins. It's kind of weird. Fall is my favorite season, so maybe it's a good thing.
I was talking to a friend, about well--a friend. And it's funny how you can go along knowing people for years without really "knowing" them, because despite being a writer, she wasn't a voracious reader like me and my other friend. I read boxes and cans, and newspapers and books, and whatever is laying around because I love words. Back when I was a kid, I dreamt in words and spent all my spare time at the library or standing around at Honolulu Bookstore pretending I was browsing, when I was actually reading everything that wasn't nailed down. Nowadays, I have too much to do, but there are still days--when the weather is cool, and there's a nice breeze coming in through the windows when I get under the comforter and read as many books as I can in a day. A different friend sent me a box of RWA books because I couldn't get to the conference this year, and except for the contemporary, I read them all last week. It filled me up again and made me remember why I write and work on craft stuff. My bookshelves are a universe of other worlds, all of which I know by the cover--hundreds of worlds, that I can visit over and over again.
It's pretty cool, and I think it helps. If nothing else, it gives you a firm grounding in how books are shaped, and when you're reading the new stuff--a good idea of trends and writing styles.