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Essay I Love Reading Books

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Last winter, I posted that I would love to hear from readers, writers, bloggers about why they read, write and blog. Gail Dayton, author of the new book, New Blood, offers up this personal account.


I love to read. No, I looooove to read. And I read fast. I read about 300 books a year (counting re-reads). So when I saw the Ja(y)nes offer to post essays on reading, writing and the love thereof, I got to thinking-‘WHY do I love reading and writing so much.

It’s the stories. My cousin Diane taught me to read when I was just four, and from that moment, I’ve been caught up in the worlds opened up to me by books. But I think my addiction to story must go earlier than that, because my mother likes to talk about taking me to see Bambi with my multitude of cousins when I was three. (Mama is the youngest of four sisters, each of whom had four kids, except for Aunt Bettye, who had six…The family Thanksgiving is massive.) For weeks afterward, my invisible friend Bambi went everywhere with me. Hey, at least Bambi was a deer and didn’t require his own plate at the dinner table, like the fella’s invisible friend Mister. (Mister got on a plane one day and flew to Chicago, never to be seen again.)

Stories fire my imagination and, for a little while, let me live in That world, instead of this-‘often boring-‘one. In the world of story, ANYTHING can happen.

Which is why I write. I still have invisible friends. No, really. TIME magazine quoted researchers who discovered that fiction writers’ relationships with their characters is virtually identical with a child’s relationship with his invisible friends. We know they’re not real. Honest. We do know. But we still have no control over them. They go off and do stuff just because they want to, and we have no way to stop them.

Back to the topic. I don’t write just because I get to hang out with invisible friends. I write because I get to tell stories. And in those stories, ANYTHING can happen. Dragons are real. Soul mates can find their destiny. People can recover from tragedy. Even all of the above. And, despite the fact that characters can go their own way, I can still tell the story I want to tell. (The characters usually know better than I do.)

I started wanting to tell stories MY way back in-‘junior high, I think. That’s when I inherited a bunch of my dad’s old books. Copies of Robin Hood in archaic English. The originalTarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I literally read the cover off Tarzan. The only problem I saw was that Tarzan didn’t have a sister. Jane really didn’t cut it as a place-holder for the role I wanted to play in the book. I wanted to live in the jungle too. So I made up one.

I graduated from fan fiction sometime in college, eventually learned to finish a book, and here I am. I still love to read, and I still love to write (even though these days it sometimes can feel like work). Because it’s all about the story.


If you would like to contribute a guest essay on why you read, why you write or why you blog, please send an email to Jane at dearauthor.com with “Essay” in the subject line.

Like this:

ESSAY: Why I Love to Read and to Write by Gail Dayton


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

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    Essay on Personal Narrative- My Love of Reading and Writing

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    Personal Narrative- My Love of Reading and Writing

    Reading and writing has always played a vital part in my life. From toddler to adult, pre-elementary to college, I’ve managed to sharpen both skills to my liking. However, even though it significantly helped, schooling was not what influenced me to continue developing those skills into talent. Many different things shaped and influenced my learning, and now reading and writing have become the safety net of my life. I know that even if I have nothing else in the future, I’ll still have my talent and knowledge. To ensure my success, I hope to further develop those skills so that I may fulfill my wishes. I was always a creative child; it was something I just…show more content…

    Reading was the new outlet for my imagination and the stories I read fascinated me. They weren’t too unlike the scripts of computer games or the own stories I came up with on my own, but books actually had the action and emotional aspects written out. And again, while my peers were reading things about growing up, things that had morals and would teach valuable lessons (I remember one book about a shoplifter who had to do community service at an animal shelter), I read real fiction: Jurassic Park, Dragonriders of Pern, Lord of the Rings… Stuff of fantasy and science-fiction that let my mind stray from reality. Stuff that kept my imagination alive while I was being forced to learn multiplication and the names of countries. Of course, my teachers encouraged me to keep reading, as long as I wasn’t doing the reading in the middle of their lectures. But it wasn’t because of their influence, however, that kept me interested in books. It was because I loved it. It put pictures into my head and made me think. So I kept reading. But even then I knew reading wasn’t enough… Yes, the stories were fascinating, but they weren’t what I wanted. Back then I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but as middle school came to a close, I found it. All eighth graders had to take a career class to determine what we wanted to be when we grew up. I remember telling my teacher that I wanted to be an archaeologist and the strange look she

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