On Re-Reading

Looking around my apartment, there are three separate stacks of books, all with more than five books themselves, waiting for me to read them. There is also a Kindle loaded up with yummy novels, and across the street there is a library chalk-full of books I want to read (and across the other street there is a book store, and two blocks away there is another book store…) I have a lot to read–that I’m looking forward to read–and I also have two internships plus my own writing and blog and fun times to be had, so that means squeezing books in when I can. With so many new narratives waiting for me to discover them, I really don’t have time to reread the books I like.

And yet, I spent the past few days hunting down in the library (okay, it wasn’t that hard since it’s across the street) for the second time all the books in the Molly Murphy Mysteries and rereading them. And loving it. And liking some of them more the second time around than the first time I read them.

I was feeling guilty about this until a friend posted that the Journal of Consumer Research has scientifically concluded that it is good for you to reread books.  Continue reading

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The Jane Smiley Pyramid

I survived the AWP Conference last weekend, and now I’m here to share all I learned with the world. One of the panels I went to featured Jane Smiley, and as you might expect from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, she had some useful things to say.

Speaking on the elements on fiction, Jane Smiley broke them down into a triangle that I find very useful both for writing and also for discussing writing. It’s a hierarchy of story-needs:

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