September 4, 2014

Reading Fun on Facebook, While Improving Your Writing

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine 

Many successful writers have written, "how I write books." Almost always, they advise in order to be a good writer you must read anything and everything. I'm in total agreement. 

Southern writer, William Faulkner, who also taught writing at The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS advised his students to, "Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window." How can you hone your writing skills and voice, if you don't strengthen your own reading skills?

You can easily get free ebooks through the Kindle App by searching through their free offers. If you like holding and reading a book, use your public library. Every town has one thanks to Ben Franklin. 

In the past, I have blogged on Suite T about Stephen King's book, "On Writing: A Memoir of theCraft." In his book, Mr. King states, "If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write."

Like most readers, I often read books recommended by other readers. Which is what attracted me to the latest status "reading list challenge" prompt on Facebook.

Here's how it works. You post in your Facebook status the following; "In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you; in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me so I can see your list." Create your book list, post the challenge and wait to see your friends list. Enjoy discovering and rediscovering books to expand your reading and writing skills. 

My "reading list challenge" Facebook list is shown in the picture. My daughter who nominated me said I cheated by listing all the works of several authors. In my defense, when I find an author I like, I read everything they write. I can't just pick just one title from all the books written by each of my author picks. These are primarily books that started me on my own reading path from childhood to my children's childhood. We read aloud everyday until their own reading tastes evolved and they discovered their own favorite books. 

The fun thing about this Facebook experience was seeing each other’s lists, remembering favorite books that I now want to re-read and finding books that others recommend. 

So, what are your ten favorite books? It’s okay to cheat.

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