Hello SE friends. Gwen with you today. You might recall that my last several posts focused on typology and how our unique nature affects our writing style. Whether we’re analytical or fanciful, detailed or vague, or have an introspective or other-centered outlook, our fundamental way of approaching life is present in how we write. This fact leads to another consideration. Does our typology guide what or how we read?
It seems only logical that we’d be drawn to those books that resonate with our nature. If we’re more extroverted, for example, wouldn’t we gravitate to a book with a lot of action or engagement? Perhaps a passionate romance or a fast-paced thriller? Maybe …
When I investigated buying patterns, though, I discovered something I hadn’t realized. Indie writers publish around two million books each year. The reading choices are endless, and with just a simple visit to Amazon, a book can be on our Kindle in seconds. So what do we read?
It turns out that most of us buy and read books within our Indie communities. We follow blogs and join online book clubs. We create friendships, and we read books that these friends have written. Our communities are more determinant of what we read than the type of book we might be most drawn to. When a friend has a New Release, we often add it to our Kindle as a way of showing support. Through this simple gesture, most of us have broadened our reading parameters and perhaps discovered something unexpected. I’ll explain.
A few years ago, as I was reading a book by a club friend, something occurred that changed how I read. About a fourth of the way through the book, I suddenly became aware of the writer. It was just a simple sentence. Nothing profound. Nothing quotable. But the sentence drew me to the writer. I glimpsed his motivation, his reason for writing, and then wanted to know more.
Independent of the genre, I now read in search of the writer. A book becomes especially captivating for me when I find the author. The stories may be eye-opening and heart-racing, but the writer, the person who spent months creating the tome, is my ultimate interest. I want to know him or her. I want to understand why the author wrote the book. Who is this person who cared so much about the topic that he or she willingly dedicated every free moment to giving it birth?
An example. I dislike horror – immensely. And yet, I’ve read a few books in that genre because of a friend. I read to support her. There were parts of her books that I could not read, but once I met my friend in the pages of the book, the experience changed for me. It wasn’t just horror. I saw the writer’s courage, her deep sense of good and evil. I felt her urgency, her need to tell the world. And once I did, I walked with her.
When you read, do you look for the writer? I’m thinking that perhaps this phenomenon, of how we read, is tied to typology. I’m a feeler, an empath. I naturally go the extra mile for a friend. Maybe this is unique to me, or maybe it is tied to my INFP typology. Either way, I’d love to know if you find yourself journeying with the writer as you read.
I’ve written a poem to try to explain my process. I hope you like it.
Thank you for joining me today. Happy reading and writing, till next time . . .