We live in a world where everything is speedy. People want it NOW. We want instant gratification, don’t want to take our time, and if something doesn’t catch our attention right away and hold on for dear life, then it slips from our minds to be replaced by the next shiner thing.
I believe the same is true for books. There are A LOT of books out there. New ones come out every day, and there are a plethora of unexplored volumes. Take Goodreads, for example. On the Goodreads site, you can make a list of books you’d like to read/plan to read, and perhaps unless reading is your favorite hobby, it’s easy to let that list get away from you. And just trying to tackle one when you have all these other books lined up behind it… I think it leads to the same result: me (or you) wanting to rush through one book to get to the next one – especially if the one I start with tends to drag a bit. I can’t say I’m not guilty. I certainly do it too.
That annoys me about myself, and also about books these days. I think so many are written to accommodate for this – to propel us through at a quick pace, push us out the other side, so we can move on to the next… But does any of it really stay with us? Do these books that entertain us for the moment and leave us feeling the exact way we started really even leave residue in our minds?
I think a good book is worth reading. I mean it’s worth slowing down for. It’s worth indulging in, taking one’s time to examine and live through – over and over again if need be. I’ve read books that I couldn’t WAIT to be done with. I’ve abandoned books in the middle because they annoyed me, and some didn’t make it very far at all. And then there are a precious few that have urged me to savor every word – that I truly could not put down – even a couple that I started reading again immediately after finishing because I simply knew there was more to it than what I saw the first time.
My mission statement, as a writer, is to create something worth reading. The books I write are not always meant to be read quickly. They are designed to immerse and lead, to be brilliant within themselves and as a group (if a series). I design them so that they can be read more than once, and dare I say: be even better the second time.
I’ve seen a few comments about Nevermor, where people have believed that there is a lot of ‘filler’ content (in #1 especially). Maybe so, or maybe everything has its place – its purpose. How many times have you read a book that you wished had more than just the bare facts? Or maybe the plot was good, but you wish there was more detail? Because it’s not enough to simply say that the world is round. Personally, I like to spend a bit of extra time with the details (but there is a right way and a wrong way to do that, to be clear. Don’t give me 3 paragraphs describing the exact shade of a character’s eyes, for example.).
In Nevermor, as with all my books, I try to offer something more. I use subtleties which may not even make sense at the time, but everything I do is for a reason. You may have to get through the entire series to see those things, (and true, some things are done simply for the sake of timing), but every sentence is helping to paint a larger picture. Because I want the second reading experience to be as good as the first – better. I want to create works that can be read again and again, and the reader can see something new each time – tie things together within each book and within the series as a whole. I want readers to have a moment, weeks later, when a light bulb goes off and they think ‘Oh my God, I just made a connection with that thing that happened in book 1, and that’s why (blank) happened in book 3!’ (that’s not a hint, by the way…only an example). But anyway, you get my point.
So, if you have the time, read it again. You’ll probably notice something new. 🙂