Real Books Are Still Better

Now, I know ebooks are the wave of the future and all that, but there is something to be said for the actual book. It simply makes it real. And you can put it on your bookshelf. I would say it’s a pretty handsome looking specimen at that. This baby will retail for around $16.00, which ain’t bad.

But indie authors beware, the Createspace salesman wanted to sign me up for their handy dandy in house service that does this for you, for a cool $300.00!

Well, no sir.

This cost me a cool $10.00. The templates for page setting couldn’t be easier on Creatspace’s website. I mean, you would have to be trying to mess it up.

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Nine Reasons Why You Or Someone You Know Should Actually Read Fiction

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I recall a conversation with my mom. We were talking about reading and how that compares to watching movies and she said something that has stuck with me like superglue. She said, “For those who don’t read for pleasure, they never know the richness that comes with reading a book.”

So often, I tell people that I am a writer and get this response: “Oh, I don’t read anymore.”

It makes me wonder, why the hell not? It makes me mad. I don’t say you shouldn’t watch TV or movies, but does this have to be mutually exclusive? I mean, come on!

So, here’s my list of why you should ACTUALLY read fiction:

1) Reading makes you smarter. Once upon a time, I did a jewelry show. It was a sales gig. I took the job because I got to travel and I wanted to sharpen my sales skills. Well, I ended up learning a lot about the shopping habits of women, but in the bargain I made this strange little discovery. Every once in a while, someone would come to the booth who I could relate to. Strange to say, but I mean, me personally. Not me the sales guru, the Fabio of semi-precious stones, but lil’ ol’ me.

These people, about 1 in 75, were wonderful. They got all my jokes and my references to seemingly random things. They were articulate. They were…literate! It was actually uncanny how well those people could carry on a conversation about all kinds of things.

Well, everyone of those 1 in 75 were readers. I know because I got wise to it and I started asking them. They read. So, I concluded: WOW, READING MAKES YOU SMARTER!

2) The book is better than the movie: Everyone has heard that one a thousand times, but I will say it again a different way: the book is A LOT better than the movie. Get it? Almost every movie is based on something written, and I don’t mean the script. I mean a book, a comic book ,a short story, a written story. So…seems like a no brainer to me!

3) Reading is more enjoyable than watching movies or TV: Now, at first you could debate this, reasoning that you can get the whole story in two hours versus, say, twenty-five. Yes and no and more at no. The movie or TV show, only has an hour or two to engage the audience.

That means they have to edit the story down to the highlights. It’s like watching the Cliffs Notes. YOU MISS A TON! And that ton is what gives you the richness my mother was referring to. That ton is why the book is always better than the movie. It’s the multi-layered, sophisticated and in-depth version. In other words, the highest quality rendition of the story.

4) Reading allows you to use your own mind to create stuff and therefore allows you to create the story too: Okay. So, ever watch a movie and say, “Hey, that’s not what (that character) looks like!” Or “That’s not how I would have imagined it.” Well, when you read you look at your own imagination. Your mind makes up the images you are reading about. Well, so what? It’s more enjoyable when it’s yours, that’s what. And the character and the world and the universe, become yours.

A visual medium overrides your own mental constructs and just gives you an image. It’s like this, ever had to find your way around town using a map? And then after a few times of using said map, you don’t have to use the map anymore because you learned the route. Well, let’s say you go and use a GPS. A funny thing happens. No matter how many times you travel that damn route, you don’t ever seem to learn it. Why? The GPS takes the place of your thinking mind, that’s why!

Well, if someone else has to provide images for you all the time, after awhile, you won’t be able to provide your own and you’ll just wind up a gaping, drooling fool.

5) Reading is cheaper: I mean, go to the movies and eat five table-spoons of popcorn, then compare that with an e-book or a big, fancy hard copy book. Or buy Game of Thrones episodes. Yeah, pretty obvious!

6) Saying “I’m not a reader” just sounds really bad if you think about it: I mean, what if someone said to you, “I’m not a watcher” or “I’m not a thinker” or “I’m not a speller.” Saying “I’m not a reader” makes it sound like you are unable to read, which is bad for the old personal public relations department and won’t impress any girls!

7) Reading promotes literacy and literacy preserves the language: It’s important that we preserve the language. English is the most expressive language in the world. It’s quite beautiful. No other language has the color and depth that English does. We have so many words to describe so many things and the same thing. It really defies belief. Other languages are cardboard by comparison. We should use it so we don’t lose it!

8) Reading imparts wisdom: When you read, and I am talking fiction here, you find these little pearls, these kernels of wisdom planted in the text. They just happen. They are spontaneous. These nuggets of wisdom are part of what makes reading so rich, as my mother was saying. And you simply will never, never, never get that from a two-dimensional movie or TV show. That medium is just not expansive enough to hold that much culture.

9) And all that leads me to my last and, probably, most important point of why you should read. It’s like this: A government has a very, very hard time controlling a free-thinking and educated populace and that needs no further explanation at all.

Oh, it might take you awhile. More than one book to get back in the groove, if you’ve fallen out, but as surely as I am sitting here writing this, I can tell you, that if you read, you will, sooner or later, prefer reading books to watching them. You will grow tired at the pale and vapid, by comparison, versions of your favorite stories that you pay so much for in the fancy, modern-day cathedrals called movie theaters. You will return to your roots, as a reader.

Carnival Barking for The Age of Aquarius

Ah, ’twas the moment I had been waiting for. The day my books came in the mail!

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No writer should be denied this little moment in time where he gets out of his head and stops self-deprecating long enough to appreciate what his toil hath wrought.

Call me an old fashioned Luddite, but the e-copy just ain’t the same.

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Slender little devils.

I got 25 copies which I will take with me to Rhode Island to NecronomiCon which should be an absolute blast. I will set up my little table and wear my silver Cthulu pendant that I ordered from Italy on Etsy and carnival bark all the weary travelers over to see my wares.

“Step right folks and get yer Demon O’ Montreal books! One for a half-penny, two for a shilling!”

Well, perhaps I should up the price.

In the old days they used to carnival bark all kinds of things on the streets of London. You had a lot of immigrants coming in there and they needed work. So, they found it in very odd ways. You had the mudlarks who dug in the Thames and found various objects washed up on shore from trade ships and sticking in the mud, which they would hawk on the street.

The penny dreadfuls which were a kind of newspaper with lurid headlines to shock you into buying wherein your would read all manner of half truths and outlandish rumors. Sold by urchins. Entertainment.

You had the ratters who ran the high stakes ratting dens where prize fighting dogs would take on a horde of rats, slaughtering them in a mad frenzy. Of course, inevitably the best dogs would fall sick and die after however many matches with rat hordes. Then they would taxidermy the head and put it on the wall with a plaque to honor it. Strange business.  But they had a lot of rats back then.

One of the most prominent tribes of the time were the Romany, or gypsies with their own brand of magick and legend.

So, in the tradition of 19th century London, carnival bark it up!