14 Dec

The Zen of Reading Like a Writer

Read like a Writer quote - Francine Prose

Read like a Writer quote - Francine ProseI’m starting to read like a writer, and it’s a bit scary.

Reading as a reader you let yourself fall into the book. You skip across the words, sink into the hero, live a life of danger, despair and domination (not that kind of domination). You let yourself be absorbed, enter a different world and just enjoy.

As a writer you see the structure of the story. You’re like Tank in the Matrix, watching rows of glowing, neon-green ASCII/Kanji flow down the screen and read out what’s going on. It’s exciting but it’s an experience from beyond. You’re no longer in the book, you’re looking at the nuts and bolts that make it up. Read More

01 Oct

Reading physical books improves your brain

Book heartRachel Grate, over at Mic.com, has a nice summary about how reading physical books influences the brain.

Apparently the sensory (mainly tactile) feedback you get from holding and handling a physical, paper book activates muscle and sensory memory areas, making it easier to remember the content, while when reading online, or on an electronic device, we tend to skim, which decreases our ability to read linearly.

Linky: Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

21 Jan

Writing rules the web page way

Clash of Culture rules - a list using graphics

Clash of Cultures Amazon rules – a list using graphics

You get a new game. You tear off the shrink, gently pry open the lid, inhale that beautiful new-game-chemicals stench, grab the rules and work your way through them, cover-to-cover, word-by-word, underlining and making little notes in the margins.

Or not. If you’re anything like the average gamer you’ll fiddle with the bits first. Then you’ll enjoy the pictures on the covers for a little while. Then you scan the rules, maybe looking for what a particular bit does. Only then you’ll read the rules.

Except that you won’t read the rules. You’ll scan them, skimming as much as you can while still retaining the information. When you hit a snag you’ll backtrack, looking for a clarification.

Are you really reading? Read More