Books · Reading · Writing

Fantasy isn’t literature.

“People who write fantasy and science fiction, like you [Brandon Sanderson], J. K. Rowling and many others… you aren’t authors; you’re writers. And these books are definitely not literature because they’re not real.”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion on the merits of children’s literature and how reading and a sense of curiosity and wonder should always be nurtured. The wonderful Brandon Sanderson – author of the Mistborn series –  was there, and he spoke about his own experience with books and writing, and how – as a kid – he only became a reader when his teacher introduced him to fantasy. When all was said and done, one crusty critic blatantly told Sanderson that he doesn’t consider him or the likes of J. K. Rowling to be proper authors, just writers, and fantasy, science-fiction… that’s not literature, simply because it isn’t real.

A fantasy writer myself and a huge fan of Rowling and Sanderson’s work, I was seething. How dare he? But then Sanderson gave such a gratifying answer that left everyone clapping and the man looking around in defeat. He questioned this obsession with reality, what’s so wrong about things that aren’t real, what’s so wrong about imagining things? After all, there were many things that we currently have that weren’t real at some point, and would never have been if man hadn’t thought about them and imagined to be real. That power, that sense of wonder, is important to hold on to. Of course, he didn’t answer in so few words, but that was the gist of it. Continue reading “Fantasy isn’t literature.”

Reading · Writing

Proudly presenting… my bookshelves!

I am quite proud of my shelves. Even though they’re overflowing right now and could do with some form of categorization, I am still filled with delight every time I look at them. So I’m taking a leaf out of Britt and Letizia‘s books and accepting the challenge posted by Jilane Hoffman … and showing you my bookshelves! Mind you, I have not read every single book on these shelves. In fact, the total number of books that I haven’t read is 40. Eep.

So to begin with, below is my bottom shelf. As you can see I arrange my books by height, and tallest starts at the bottom. I no longer have room for books on my shelves, so horizontal organization is unfortunately inescapable. To make things more interesting, I’ll tell you my favourite and least favourite of each shelf. In this case, my favourite is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the least favourite is How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.

bookshelves 1 Continue reading “Proudly presenting… my bookshelves!”

Reading · Writing

A Reader’s Resolutions

I’m not one for resolutions. I’ve noticed that I always fail to meet them, whether it is to go to bed early, exercise more, cut down on chocolate (perish that thought!) or otherwise. However, I know I can’t go wrong if I’m doing something I enjoy; less chance of failure there. So for 2013, I shall make me some reading resolutions!

1. As has been the case for the last two years, this year I’m going to challenge myself to read a certain amount of books. In 2011 I went with 20 books, last year I went with 30, and this year I’m going to kick it up to 40. I know I’m not as ambitious as some other avid readers out there who read more than a 100 books per year, but I know my limits, and I know that I have stories of my own to write as well. Continue reading “A Reader’s Resolutions”