Neil Gaiman On Reading and My Two Cents
I was making my usual rounds on the Huffington Post when I saw this link to an article about why author Neil Gaiman thinks reading is important for the future. The article is lengthy, but thought-provoking.
As an avid reader and aspiring author, I agree with every word Gaiman said. The only thing that would impress me more is if Gaiman turned this lecture into a fantasy novel. However, I want to add a few things.
First, fiction is not the only genre that can impact a reader.
As they get older, kids get exposed to other things and have to read non-fiction. If they have to do a paper on their favorite author, then they will have to read biographies or autobiographies.
If a reader enjoys an author’s work enough to read the author’s biography or autobiography, then the reader might appreciate the author’s work even more. The same thing can apply if you read a biography or autobiography about any creative or innovative person.
By reading more about certain people, you can learn to appreciate certain aspects of life more or want to do something to improve it.
Secondly, reading fiction has a special message for some readers. That message is, “You are not alone.”
One of the worse things that you can feel is that you’re only person experiencing something. Finding a character in a fictional work going through the same thing you are is as comforting as a warm hug.
Last but not least, I think the ultimate reason reading is important is that it inspires other people to express themselves through any medium.
The short stories I have been writing as practice have been influenced by teen fiction, news stories, and a little personal experience. Some of my poetry has a similar influence, but has also been inspired by classic poets.
Without people reading books, the world wouldn’t be where it is today. I will always be grateful for libraries, books, and the authors who write them.