8 Responses

  1. Erin Eymard
    Erin Eymard June 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful post, Ron!

    In my pre high school days, I wasn’t very into reading for fun. I was one of those weird kids who read the encyclopedia and books like that. My middle school librarian (who happened to be my basketball coach) recommended a book for me called “The Giver”. She thought that I would like it.

    She was right. I loved the book but then the next two books she recommended, I didn’t like. So reading went to the wayside. Then my eight grade English teacher said that we would get extra points on our final if we ordered a book from the Scholastic magazine. I NEVER passed up extra points. So I picked a book with a neat cover. That book was “First King of Shannara” by Terry Brooks. I bought the next seven books in the series within the next three months.

    I was hooked on fantasy :)

  2. Ashley
    Ashley June 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm | | Reply

    Firstly, wonderful post, Ron! I can’t remember how old I was, but I’ve had a book in my hand for about 90% of my life. My late grandfather was an avid reader, and he was keen to pass on the reading bug. I remember reading my first ‘chapter book’ (Bunnicula) at around 6, and I have fond memories of my mom limiting me to only 3 books from every Scholastic order.

    And then there was middle school and high school. I was ‘that kid’ who always finished the assigned reading ahead of time and would pick back up with something from home.

    Now I work as an editor and own as many actual books as I do Kindle books.

    1. Erin Eymard
      Erin Eymard June 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm | | Reply

      Ah, Ashley! I envy you. I missed out on so many years of enjoyable reading!

      I actually now own more eBooks than print books but still love the look and feel of print. If I really like an eBook, I’ll pick up an a print copy.

  3. A.T.H. Webber
    A.T.H. Webber June 5, 2013 at 1:47 am | | Reply

    A most excellent post.
    There is a wonder in books that allows a person to escape and to be in another world. The current trend to hyper reality gaming is I guess a similar escape. But one that is designed to reward in a different way.

    Gaming stories are sometimes entirely intense and involving, but can be at times bogged down with the mechanics, leaving the consumer either staggering the story line due to the need to complete whatever task is involved OR simply being emotionally invested in the main character – because often the gamer IS the main character.

    And I think that’s where the problem lies. In books we are able to associate with the main protagonist purely as an observer, and are entirely at the whim of the Author who has decided the fate of all of the people in the book we have become attached to.

    It is a huge responsibility – not of the Author (although they are in the picture as well) but of the reader. To allow themselves to be totally immersed in a story that they have no ability to impact. To see people in their imaginations as they go about their lives, independent, and without influence.

    To allow themselves to trust that things will be what they are, and let the story take them away is of vital importance, both to the art of writing, and to the artistic and social growth of the reader.

    I came to be a devourer of books due a need to leave my life, if only temporarily. Worlds panned out before me and like Ron, to me Tolkien was everything an author could stand to be. At the time I felt the same about the Dragonlance series to some extent. I revisted them a couple of years back… not so great. Tolkien though remains a constant. Also Raymond E Feist’s “Magician” gets a huge score from me as well, not so much the rest of the series, but Magician? Wow.

    Reading was something that I could do without the need to justify, and the beasts of real life paled to those of myth and legend, if only for periods of the day.

  4. Richard Abbott (@MilkHoneyedLand)

    Great interview here, and I recognise so many of the key books and authors that Ron mentions… except I also diverted into fantasy and historicals at some point. The public library in Godalming (Surrey, England) where I grew up saw me very often…

Leave a Reply