7 June 2015

Day 7: Your Brain on Reading

It’s rare to find a writer that doesn’t read. We read for pleasure, for adventure, for learning and for love of lexical felicity.

Perth writer and NYWM participant Alex Griffin poses another reason for reading in his article published last month in Overland ‘Reading for Reason‘, highlighting the value of reading widely, and reading out of our comfort zones.

“In a world of free shipping from Book Depository, acting on one’s tastes without challenging them is about as bourgeois as you can get,” he writes.

Ouch. We’ve all been there. So what to do?

Griffin suggests we radicalise our reading list as part of considering alternate perspectives. This way we’ll challenge not only ourselves, but the majority voice.

Another reason for reading, of course, is research. Now, this is nothing new for journalists, but what about fiction writers?

In Krissy Kneen Down the Rabbit Hole, Brisbane writer talks about her fun and fantastic ride reading erotic fiction in order to fit the brief set by Text Publishers. How exciting!

Events and Opportunities

Writers’ festivals are easily the easiest way to find out what’s fresh. Perhaps a road trip is in order? Here’s a different festival for each state. Book some cheap flights, catch the train, flag the bus and get outside of your town for a new, different writers festival.

Victoria: Melbourne Writers’ Festival, The Emerging Writers’ Festival, Clunes Booktown

New South Wales: National Young Writers’ Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival

Brisbane: Brisbane Writers’ Festival

Adelaide: Adelaide Writers Week

Perth: Perth Writers Festival

Darwin: Eye of the Storm

Hobart: Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival


NYWM Challenge #3

For this NYWM challenge, compile a list of challenging texts to tuck into this winter. Think everyone should read it? Post it to goodreads.com.

Find a friend and do book swap! We all have different tastes and sometimes swapping a book with a friend reminds us of this, pushing us to read beyond our favourite authors.

Lisa Bu talks about reading books in pairs for a comparative evaluation. What would On the Road look like when coupled with Off the Road: 20 years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg? Watch Bu’s Ted talk and give comparative reading a try.

But sometimes we just want to read to decompress and relax. If there’s a book you absolutely love, enter it into whatshouldireadnext.com to find a similar read to get stuck into. Then, use your reading list to initiate a new piece of creative writing, with this prompt from writersedit.com and go behind the scenes of writing with ABC’s The Book Show.

Happy reading!