Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What I'm Reading At the Moment...And Other Thoughts

With every post that I write expressing some point about writing or offering some advice about the freelance life I hope I'm offering something of value. That's part of the reason I'm here. At the same time, I think this blog is important to me because it allows me to share something of my world - my little microcosm - with the world at large.

As much as like tips and strategies, I wanted to share something else with you. This is a post about the books I've been reading lately. (I'm reading several at once.) I find that I'm caught between those books that I read purely for pleasure or the sake of some bit of knowledge and those that serve a practical function. (Actually, looking at the stack next to me, I see it's an even split.)

Three books deal with the book publishing business. Then I have one theological book concerning the teachings of the apostle Paul (Yes, I read that sort of thing for fun, too.) Then there are two novels that I've started but haven't quite finished yet.

Why Should You Care?

Perhaps, there is no answer to this question. I do think that reading is a vitally important activity for any professional writer. I'm sure most of you would agree. For me, reading books, especially good books, acts like the fuel for my creative engine. Concerning my new business venture, learning as much as I can about the world of book publishing just makes sense. If I can get as many perspectives on the business as possible, I hope I can construct a well-rounded body of knowledge. The more I learn about publishing from the perspectives of the writers, agents, editors, and designers, the clearer the picture becomes. At least I can say I'm on firmer footing.

Oh, The Books

Here's the list of six books I'm currently reading.

The Art and Science of Book Publishing - Herbert S. Bailey, Jr.

Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book - edited by Ellen Lupton

The Business Of Books - Andre' Schiffrin

Reinventing Paul - John G. Gager

Superpowers - David J. Schwartz

Emma - Jane Austen

The Point

I have a quite a mix, I know. I finished Gager's book about Paul in no time. Not sure what my thoughts would be one the subject matter. Frankly, I was very intrigued by the content but I know that I'm not prepared to comment on that here at this point. Theology and Christian thought are both long time interests. I've written more directly on these subjects elsewhere.

The two novels are different. Lots of stops and starts. Inching along a few chapters at a time. Love Austen so far; I've read Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice. I'm fascinated with the societal conventions that she wrote about and explored; she also has a way with characterizations. Superpowers is just a random read offered to me by a friend who knows I still love superheroes and comic books.

The three publishing books are just homework right now. I skimmed Indie Publishing, but I do plan to go back and read it. The main focus of my reading right now is Bailey's book. Even though the book was written 40 years ago, much of it is still relevant for me and my small press today. At this point, I'll probably pick up a copy on Amazon so I have it for future reference.

That's It

This is the one thing I know. If I only focus on producing polished posts holding out some piece of practical advice or some direction to writers like me, I haven't done all that I want to do with this blog. It is as much my personal sounding board as it is a tool to promote my business endeavors. I have to explore both aspects in order to be authentic. I want to be real folks. Why waste time with some unrealistic personal? I don't want to was anybody's time, least of all my own. With that said, I'll say bye for now. If you have any current reads that you'd like to share with me, just leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Nuahs my friend, reading too many books will entangle your brain. Don't get too lost.

Anonymous said...

J V JONES Watcher of the Dead comes out April 15th. It's the 4th book in the Sword of Shadows series. A very good series with in depth descriptions of clan life and their gods. Well thought out.

SCK said...

Ydnar, appreciate your concerns. : ) Good to hear from you, especially here in my little corner of cyberspace.