Reading vs. Writing: The Goodreads Phenomenon

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Long before I took a blind leap at writing, reading was one of my favorite pastimes, allowing me to explore different points of view, different cultures, different periods in history. It expanded my world and my knowledge, and offered me a chance to live vicariously as the characters took all the risks.

As readers, we don’t know much, if anything, about the creative mind behind the story that we devote our time to. Yet we open the door and walk into an alternate world, carrying nothing more than an open mind, a yearning to be entertained, and a certain amount of skepticism.

My experience as a writer has turned me into a hybrid reader. Now, when I start a new book, I have two different mindsets assessing the experience. It’s been a byproduct of writing that my mind is constantly in editing mode. I wish there was a way to switch it off during my leisure activities, but sadly it’s become habitual. The result is a power struggle between the two factions of my brain—the eager reader and the uncompromising critic—that will cause me to abandon a book if it isn’t quite up to the rigorous standards that I’ve set for myself. This doesn’t mean that I will disparage it; it simply means that it wasn’t to my taste. Life is too short to read something that isn’t completely engaging, and even the most beloved book is never going to please everyone. But I will leave it to others to share their negative experiences. I’m copping out for professional reasons. 🙂

I feel very fortunate to be a Goodreads member, as both a reader and a writer. This site, in which readers comingle with writers in a supportive, uplifting environment, has offered millions of bibliophiles the opportunity to share the love—or the angst—and given us an opportunity to expand our horizons. I personally don’t know of any other forum that allows so many people from around the world to come together for the sake of their passion. Nor do I know of a better venue for discovering new authors and titles. The more I delve into the site, the more I appreciate all it has to offer.

To all of those who I’ve connected with here, thank you for giving me the opportunity to multiply the joy of reading by quantum bounds. Your reviews, messages and recommendations are gifts. Please feel free to share your opinions with me anytime.

Warmest regards and happy reading!

Cynthia

 

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