Recently, Reading Rainbow and LaVar Burton concluded an absolutely insane and fantastic kickstarter project called Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere! I helped.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve watched Reading Rainbow. It was one of the five television shows my parents permitted me to watch. The others being X-Men: The Animated Series (if I cleaned my room on Saturday morning), Star Trek: the Next Generation (nightly, if I promised to have my teeth brushed and be ready for bed by the time it finished airing at 8pm. My bed time was officially 7pm but I begged a lot), Ghost Writers, and Jeopardy. I’m not entirely sure that’s a healthy list of television for a child of 4 or 5, but whatever…
Okay, the point is that while Reading Rainbow didn’t inspire me to read every book or everything I could get my hands on (that started when I was 8 or 9) it did provide a solid foundation for the importance of why reading was important, even if I didn’t know it at the time or come to realize that until much later. Besides, I was still trying to get my father to read me bed time stories. Notably, those kept getting shorter and shorter, until that story was:
The Beginning. The Middle. The End. Goodnight.
Right, my point is, I read every day now. Last night, when my building lost power due to a high wind thunderstorm that lasted barely ten minutes, I broke out an e-copy of a book my cousin recommended to me: The Information, by James Gleick.
At this time, that makes for three books I’m reading simultaneously, the most I’ve ever tried to read at once. Usually, I try for one book at a time and plow right through. Currently, those books are:
- The Information, by James Gleick
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini
- Baseball: Between the Numbers, by Baseball Perspectus
These aren’t exactly fun books, in the sense that they’re all research papers, essentially. But they are fascinating. If you’ve been following me for any length of time or read my book reviews, you’ll know that these sort of books fit right into my reading habits, as much as things like the Wheel of Time or Snow Angels. Though, that book choice does seem to mirror the types of shows I grew up watching.
I say this only as a reminder that reading is an essential part of writing. We absorb the habits of the books we read and that without reading, writing ultimately remains pointless.
What books are you reading and why?