Tag Archives: Reading

Is Light Literature Out of Fashion?

1 Oct
Is light literature out of fashion? So often, in perusing reviews of new release, I come across the words ‘dark’ and ‘depressing’. Some, if not most, current best sellers have been described in this manner. Does this mean ‘light’ literature is not longer in vogue?My own literature has been described as the antithesis of bleak and depressing. Does this mean its audience will be extremely limited?Why are readers choosing tales that may well disturb their psyche, instead of perhaps uplifting it? Is this a reflection of modern society? Do we enjoy being confronted by misery?

Is it time we all sat back and analysed the reasons behind our reading choices? Are we reading to be part of the mob, or are to satisfy our own innate desires?

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My 200th Post: What I Love About Self Publishing

1 Oct

Certainly it has its critics, but as one who has been there and done it, I for one can vouch for its virtues.

In the old days, self publishing’s image was often tarnished by the dreaded ‘vanity press’ tag. Undeniably, those self-published works have not been scrutinized by publishers, whom one might suppose chose the best and rejected the rest. Were this universally true, it would be hard then to fathom the reasoning behind self publishing by such immortals as Jane Austen, James Joyce, Rudyard Kipling and George Bernard Shaw. Sure, anyone can self publish; and, if we believe the critics, there are plenty of books out there that are nothing more than uninspiring collections of words. On the other hand, if we are to believe the reviewers, more than a handful of gems exist.

The beauty of self publishing lies in the degree of control it offers. It’s all in the hands of the creator(s). From original text, to editing, layout, cover, and promotion: it’s all a hands-on experience. There is no need to please the publisher: you need aim only to please whom you choose to please. Could be your readers, your family, or just yourself: it all depends on you.

The other attraction is the speed of results. No longer do you have to wait, perhaps for years, to see your work in print. It’s there: in e-book or physical. Moreover, it’s available for as long (or as little) as you choose. Particularly amongst new authors, it can take a while to get established, and develop a fan base. Conventional publishing may see your book withdrawn from sale too soon.

As a veteran of six self published books:25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia, A Taste of Life and Love in Australia, The Essence of Life and Love in Australia, Reflections of Life and Love in Australia, 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences, and Long and Short Australian Stories, I can vouch for the advantages of going down the self-published path, and hold my head high as I remember the company I am in.


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What I Love about Reading

24 Aug

What do you love about reading?

There’s so much to choose from: its value runs through many strands .

As a source of information,  it gives us the chance to find out so many things, in so many topics. Health, sport, society, history, religion, economics, politics: you name it, it’s been written about. And the beauty of the written word is that so easily it’s there to go back again and again, at our will: to savor, to reconsider, to imprint into our minds.

For many, reading for enjoyment forms a cornerstone of their lives. When we read, we focus on something else: sometimes,  something quite out our own personal experience. The writer’s skill is often tested and measured by the degree of empathy they engender. Evocation, too, is another critical component.

Focusing on something outside our own lives can be, and I dare say often is, therapeutic. Released from its burden of care and worry, even if only briefly, our minds are given a chance to recover and, later,  re-focus on our own problems.

Perhaps our reading has shed light on a new insight into relationships, which are sometimes fraught with difficulties.

Who know what we will unearth, on any topic?

Finally, reading gives us the chance to know intimately the minds of great and educated people. We can marvel at the beauty of language: the importance of word order as a tool of evocation. We can (almost) live the lives of people, past and present, in cultures like ours, or quite dissimilar.

To instil a love of reading into the minds of our children is surely one of the greatest gifts a parent can deliver.

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What Determines Taste in Literature?

7 Jun

What determines taste in literature?

I suppose out there are texts written by learned folk, backed up by research on this subject. Without easy access to such sources, I can only offer suggestions.

My gut feeling is that taste: in literature or in many other things: is determined by the personality of the individual. Sure, there may be other influences such as peers , teaching, or the media, but a strong person who is true to their own beliefs is likely to shun these factors, at least to some degree, and like what they like because it appeals to them, and not because their liking  seems to help them fit in with the crowd.

Good taste in literature is fostered by wide exposure to many styles of writing.  Even small doses can be enough to sway a person one way or another. Isn’t the appreciation of what is perceived as ‘good’ heightened by exposure to what is perceived as ‘bad’?

Parents have a huge role in steering kids into a love and appreciation of reading. Choose well and wisely, and hopefully your offspring will carry a love of reading with them throughout their lives.

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