Suspend Your Disbelief

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Writing without reading?

Behind in my 3rd Week (6:365 - Oct. 22)

Some frustrated soul on Facebook has started an “I Hate Reading” page. Even though–in keeping with the “I hate reading” theme–there’s nothing actually on the page, over 475,000 people “like” it. AbeBooks issued the following video, entitled “Long Live the Book,” in response:

Okay, so some people hate to read. Some people aren’t book people. But some writers apparently also hate to read. On the New Yorker‘s Book Bench, Macy Halford writes:

[William Giraldi] teaches writing at Boston University, and has been amazed at how many of the kids possess a passionate urge to write without also possessing an urge to read. This strikes him as crazy. “There’s an analogy there that I haven’t been able to complete,” he said:

Wanting to write without wanting to read is like wanting to ____ without wanting to ____.

He’d come up with a couple, unsatisfying answers, one involving race cars, one involving sex (he wouldn’t tell us what they were). But he threw it out to the audience to ponder, and now I’m throwing it out to you. What is wanting to write without wanting to read like? It’s imperative that we figure it out, because Giraldi’s right: it’s both crazy and prevalent among budding writers.

(Via.) Why would budding writers hate to read? Can you really write without reading? And for those of you who teach writing: if the answer is no, do you have trouble convincing your students that reading is useful?

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