There are certain books I can read over and over. Not only because I love them or I feel they are good books, but I get a creative charge from reading them. A certain phrase, a particular segment causes my imagination to quicken with ideas. Fragments of story, dialogue, poetry, or simply a response to what I’m reading come to mind. I’m starting to take the time to write down those responses. Certain books I read at a table with a notebook standing by, so I’m ready to jot down a particular quote or a snippet of story, poetry, and whatever might emerge from my reaction.
This is different from research where I’m looking for specific information about a particular topic. This is more free-form, a way to kick myself free from blockage, ruts, or an inability to write anything. All the while I read, I ask myself questions. Why is this particular book so special? What lessons can I draw from it to apply to my own writing?
How about you, dear reader? Are there any books you not only love, but give you ideas for your own work?