What My Book Shelves Might Say About Me

These are just 2 of my book shelves
These are just 2 of my book shelves

I was reading one of the blogs that I follow this morning and in her post today she posted a picture of her bookshelves and posed the question of what your bookshelf says about you.  I never really thought of the books on my bookshelves as somehow being clues to a deeper knowledge of the reader which is odd given that I am a writer who has always been curious of what some famous author’s house on their own bookshelves.  I got to thinking about my bookshelves and what on earth they could possibly capture about me and my personality or my writing style.

So naturally I journeyed into the living room where my main three bookshelves are (although I have bookshelves located in other locations of the house) to take a look at my books.  I have the one bookshelf that is just dedicated to all of my writing style or instruction books as well as dictionaries, travel books, and business books.  Then the other two bookshelves are for the fiction (mostly anyway) books but what surprised me about those was just how eclectic my fiction collection actually is.  I’m not saying that as a bad thing, I always think that it is good for people to read an array of different styles of books, I just didn’t realize I had branched out into one of those people that actually did.

When I really started to get into my love of reading I was younger so naturally I read things like the Babysitter’s club, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, and those real girly girl types of books.  As I got older I was introduced to Eric Jerome Dickey, Mary B. Morrison, Terry McMillan, and more books considered to be urban fiction.  As I have evolved into an even better, more matured writer I have historical fiction novels, mysteries (James Patterson, Sue Grafton, J.D. Robb, Dan Brown) and of course some of the classics.

My collection of books says that I have evolved in my selection and also that my yearning for the knowledge of different styles of writing has grown as well.  I noticed something else too.  Even when I wasn’t really reading mystery books in my younger adulthood I was still buying them and stocking my shelves with books on writing mystery which is odd given the fact that at that time I had no interest in mysteries or writing them.  Something had told me to buy them anyway and what’s ironic is now I think that that may be the direction that I want to take my writing in.

I’m not saying that I now only want to write mysteries because there are many ideas for books that I have that are of different genres, but the novel that I am working on finishing up now and that I want to develop into a series is a mystery and I also have decided down the road that I want to write a mystery book series for young adult as well. I guess I just find it interesting that even when I had no idea that I would end up desiring to write mysteries as well as loving to read them I was preparing for this change of direction.

It is interesting when we take a look at the things around us what they can say about us.  As we evolve over time so does our interests and our tastes in the materials that we buy as well as the importance of those material things.  Sometimes it can be really nice to look at old writings, and old pictures, and even the books on our bookshelves and see just how far we have come and what an interesting (whether wonderful or troublesome) the journey has been.  What does your book shelf say about you?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

 

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For the Love of Reading

I forget to read sometimes.  I’m not talking about reading the important books and articles on the craft of writing, or the blog posts from other writers about their successes and failures, or even books and articles about the business of being a writer.  I’m talking about reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading and some of the genres that I am interested in writing in.  

I was reminded when I read a blog posts by author Jody Hedlund today about the importance of reading, especially for a writer.  She wrote about reading being an important tool in your writer’s toolkit because in order to be a good writer, in particular a fiction writer, you have to actually find the time to read just for your enjoyment.  She also stressed the importance of not feeling guilty about taking time to read something that has absolutely nothing to do with researching whatever your next project is because reading in the end helps you learn other techniques of other writers and methods of storytelling that you might not have discovered before.  

Reading her blog post made me think of just how many times I felt guilty for even reading a book that had nothing to do with what I was working on, or something to do with developing other techniques and skills that I need to as a writer.  But I didn’t use to be that way.  I used to always make sure I had a book in my hands, in fact there was a point in time where I would read two books at a time, one about my craft and one that I just wanted to read for enjoyment.  I could breeze through a book in about two days and now I can barely get through a book in a couple of months.  

I realized in reading Jody’s blog post that I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to just block out a space of time to read.  It was reading that made me fall in love with writing in the first place.  It was reading that made me want to be a storyteller that captivated people with just my words.  It was reading that allowed me to get lost in other people’s stories when I didn’t want to be in my own reality.  I forgot how much I loved to read and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about just wanting to curl up with a good book and get lost in a reality that is not my own. 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

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