Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday At The Bookstore

I love hanging out with fellow writers!

Today my good friend Cindy Pon was in New York participating in the "Diversity Tour," part of a publicity junket to push her second novel, Fury of the Phoenix, which hit shelves back in March. The panel was held at Books of Wonder, a local independent bookseller in the city catering to the child and young adult reader.

This place is awesome! So many pretty, shiny new books. I sooo wish I had such a place to go to growing up. I loved to read as a kid, but never had many books in the house. This might explain why I hoard books to this day.

The Diversity Tour panel included several up-and-coming YA writers, including another friend of mine, Neesha Meminger. She's promoting her second novel as well -- Jazz In Love. I had a wonderful time meeting up with both talented ladies, and all in all it was a fantastic way to spend my early afternoon.

Left to right: Neesha, myself, Cindy.

One of the audience members posited an interesting dilemma to the panel members: "If you were forced to give up one forever, which would you choose--reading or writing?"

Cindy chose writing, whereas everyone else at the table picked reading. Oops. Guess Cindy and I are the fraud writers, because I also chose writing as the one I would give up if I actually had to pick one to lose.

Thing is, as much as writing is a joy and quite the cathartic experience for me . . . I simply cannot imagine a world without reading. It would break my heart to never be able to write again, but reading was what made me want to be a writer in the first place. It is what still inspires me today. So many times I feel like giving up, but then I'll read an amazing book and remember all over again why it is that I dare dream to be a published writer someday. Because I want to touch the imaginations of others, and have them share my dreams, too! This is the gift--and the burden!--of the writer. But without reading, I feel like I would lose that spark to want to succeed.

Maybe. Maybe not. In either case, writing is also hard! Whereas reading? Pssht! Reading is fundamen. . . er, easy. Yeah, easy. Reading is my escape. Well, moreso than writing is for me. Although there's not much separation between the two, I must admit. Not in terms of my affection for both.

Hmmm, tough decision wouldn't you say? So let me ask you writers out there (because you knew I would):

Which one would you give up?


Kim Kasch said...

Like choosing between eating and breathing -- impossible.

Looks like a fun way to spend a day tho' :)

Yvonne said...

I love bookstores! This one looks interesting and inviting! What a great way to spend your Saturday. As for your question, as your friend Kim up there posted, it's like having to choose between eating and breathing! I suppose if forced to make a choice, I would give up writing. It would pain me, but like yourself, I just can't fathom the idea of living in a world without being able to read. I hoard books too! You should see my makeshift office at home. It's got books and books and more books!

Watchtower said...

Not being a writer I don't feel qualified in answering that question, but I have a feeling I would have to give up writing over reading.

If I could I would like to make an observation here and say wow, living in NYC sure seems to have it's advantages.
You seem to be doing cool things all the time, whether it's meeting other authors or sitting in a well recognized throne!

Botanist said...

Ouch! What a dilemma! I think if pressed, I'd have to give up reading. I read a lot less than I used to, and these days I so often find the experience tainted by my hyperactive inner editor -- one of the perils of critiquing.

David Batista said...

Kim -- Someone else at the panel also refused to choose. I can understand why.

Yvonne -- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. Reading is everything to me.

WT -- NYC is a cool place, for sure. And I would miss it terrible were I to leave. But to be honest I yearn to return to Vermont where I went to school for 4 years. I miss the mountains and greenery, and all the fresh air that somehow managed to make me feel so alive and much more creative. Living in a big city can be too much a of distraction, sometimes.

Ian -- Wow, I didn't know that. I can happily say that I still read books today the way I did as a child -- completely engrossed and 100% believing the world the author has created for me. In other words, I still manage to loose myself in the majority of fiction I read to this day. This is why reading is such an escape for me; a guilty pleasure. While writing is like I'm bringing my dreams to life.

getyourselfconnected said...

I only write a blog, but I would give up writing before reading I think. I can never give up wikipedia!

David Batista said...

LOL! You and your Wikipedia, GYSC. Can't go without that, huh? :)

getyourselfconnected said...

David, a world without Wiki would be too scary to think about......

Jennifer Hillier said...

Yay for pictures! David with the ladies! :) What a fabulous day.

If I had to pick between giving up reading or giving up writing, I'd give up writing. I can't even imagine enjoying writing if I couldn't read other books. Seems weird to me. I'd miss writing, don't get me wrong, but writing is also work. Reading never feels like work. I'd be sad if I couldn't write, but I'd go NUTS if I couldn't read.

Rodney said...

Wow, I guess I'm the sneakiest of the bunch so far. Given the choice, I would give up writing (even though I don't write that often) and then just TYPE my stories and essays! Ha ha!! But if push comes to shove (and I'm sure you'd hold me to not typing either, David), I would go back to the original delivery method: oratory.

So I'd be able to read and STILL tell a good story!! Ha ha HA!!! :-)

I'm glad you had a good time, David. And I do agree, Vermont was an exceedingly stimulating place to live!

getyourselfconnected said...

Rodney, great answer!

Driver said...

Which one would I give up? That's where I pull my sidearm. There is no writing without reading for me. When all I do is write for a period of time, I start to feel too immersed in my own thoughts, too self-indulgent. If all I did was read, my head would explode--got to get that stuff out. Besides, ideas lead to ideas. Reading and writing are the two personalities of my schizophrenic muse.(Shh. I think I hear her coming.)

David Batista said...

LOL, Driver. I understand.

Of course, no writer worth their salt would want to give up either. Someone literally would have to force you . . . which is where the sidearm comes in handy. Haha! :)

Ashe Hunt said...

Writing goes. Love it. I'm gifted at it but it is not the only gift I have. Reading is necessary.

You Might Also Like: