Tag Archives: book

Share the Love of Books

I live and breathe books. I beg, borrow and buy books. I buy new and second hand, go to the library, borrow off friends. It’s essential that we do this to foster a love of reading, to keep the book alive (although I have no fear of it dying).

There are writers out there who don’t understand this and it makes me sad. I’ve even heard of an author complain about his books being in libraries because he doesn’t get the same amount of money. And this man makes serious money because his books for children sell exceptionally well.

There is still value in a book being in a library. I’ve often borrowed a book then bought myself my own copy or a copy for a gift. And then there’s public lending rights too. But I won’t get off topic. Libraries help to foster a love of books, especially for children when their experience is limited or parents may not have much money. It’s a place to try them out, fall in love with them.

How do you share the love? Do you visit bookshops or libraries? Buy books? Share books? Attend writer’s festivals? The only way to make sure that books are part of our collective mindset is to make sure we actively pursue them and read them, not just be the writers of them.

Besides, you can’t be a good writer without being a good reader. That’s a whole new topic but one I strongly advocate when I facilitate anything around writing and publishing.

This week I’ve been hanging out at bookshops and visiting Adelaide Writers Week. In Port Fairy, I visited Blarney Books and Art and spoke to Jo about the book-selling world. I hadn’t really thought about it too much but it seems that it’s equally hard for a little indie bookseller as it is for a little indie publisher in terms of being taken seriously. I hadn’t thought about this in terms of book distribution but it’s something I’ll be thinking about as I look at different ways to distribute books in the future. In the meantime, we all need to hang out at our local bookshop and make sure they feel loved and help us keep the book alive. If you’re ever passing through Port Fairy, be sure to pop in and check out Blarney Books. They have an awesome space for author events and a mix of new and second hand books, as well as exhibition space.

If you’re an author and worry about your books not selling, have a think about your own reading habits. Are you sharing the love around?

Blaise, the book chick.

Is writing significant?

Significance: image by Kev Howlett
Significance: image by Kev Howlett

There are many reasons why people write. Over the next few blogs, we are going to look at some of those reasons. Is writing significant?

Humans want to feel significant, to have some meaning or reason to be alive on this earth. For many it isn’t enough just to work, raise a family, build a life, retire then die despite the fact that you could argue that is the reason why we exist. Our existence is much more layered than that and we are complex beings consisting of a range of spiritual and emotional depths.

This is where art comes in and why it’s so very important to us. We use art to make sense of our world, our selves and our worth. We want to know why we are here and what impact we have by being here. We don’t like to think that we are just a tiny dot in the history of time (even though we are and it’s humbling to realise this).

Is it ego that drives this need? I’m no psychologist or philosopher, so I can’t really say too much about this but I do understand the driving need to feel significant after working with other writers and from my own writing practice.

So is writing significant, does it leave something significant for when we are dead and gone? I would say it does. For every writer out there toiling over the page, trying to get thoughts and ideas into some kind of shape, they are making sense of the world. It might be in poetry, a novel or a self-help book, even a children’s book. All of these forms have truth and impart the writer’s reality and knowledge. How good or bad the writing is beside the point because the writer is finding ways to express him/herself, looking for meaning in life. This becomes significant in two ways: the writer has created something and the world is given a creation (good or bad).

Of course, we can argue that art needs to be good. What does that mean exactly when art is subjective? Any piece of art can create discussion and relevance in a good or bad way. I agree that we should strive to create something of value in terms of skill and outcome but at the end of the day, who is to say that someone’s poem isn’t worthy of existing if it isn’t deemed perfect in the realms of poetry? Who are these gatekeepers that tell us that a piece of writing isn’t written well so it isn’t worth anything? It becomes about relativity. One person’s writing can have a significant impact on some readers but not others and yet it is significant to the creator.

Blaise the book chick