Friday, September 7, 2007

Books, books and more books!

I was reading a blog the other night that I go to occasionally. The man is a "Literary Agent" so there is a lot of interesting information on there about books and what's out and what's coming and good things like, "How to write a proper 'Query Letter'" and other interesting facts and such for writers. It's just good to check out once in a while.
For instance....did you know that there are 14 NEW books out just about "Princess Diana" right now? Good grief. Enough already people.

The other day this man posed a question.....which I thought was a great one.
"How many books have you read this year?" or something to that sort of wording.

So I started thinking about how many books I've read this year and I've sort of kept track even on my blog. Yet I read alot of articles and news items as well, not counting....magazines. Ugh. I read a TON of stuff on the web. Information and such. Current events, etc.

I read a few of the comments people posted.....some of these people read up to 250 books a YEAR! YIKES.

I can't force books down peoples throats. We can merely suggest can't we? I read many books because of the recommendation of another person. That is a good thing really.

I am an avid reader and I WISH more people were because there's lots of good stuff out there to read.
I myself come from a long line of readers. I've been reading constantly since I was very young.

My Aunt Pat in Missouri is currently in TWO book clubs....she's retired of course.I used to read a lot of her books she had during the summers I had to spend in Missouri as a child and teenager.
Then my Mother and sister Jerri read tons of books. My other sister Jenny doesn't read at all. I've tried forever to get her to pick up a book and read it and she does scan the occasional "John Grisham" book from time to time but that's about it.

My own husband and children don't read much anymore. My husband used to read tons of books but now reads only the most important of books.....the Bible. He just doesn't have time to read the other tidbits of good that are out there right now. Only on occasion and that's rare. He did a good bit of reading when we took a trip this summer but that's been it for now.

My kids don't read. Gabe is in college so he does that reading that pertains to his subjects.....he was the biggest reader I had. He read TONS of books as a child and early teenager, then that dropped off.

I calculate that I read a book a week or more. Maybe up to two books a week.
Here's something that happened to me this week though. So I won't even count this book. It was of no value to me of any sort. BLAH!

Example: I started a wretched book...Sunday night and finished it last night..never trust those "Oprah book club" selections...ugh...some well meaning soul gave me this book to read. I HATED IT! But I was in it and had to finish it to see if this guy really did kill the friend and he did. No brainer. What a waste of my good reading time. I could have had a V8. A book with some kind of redeeming value.

I've been known to start reading a book and IF it's too slow or boring or cast it aside. But in the past year....I've "pressed through" many a muddy beginning of a book for it to turn out to be fabulous in the end.
Thus was NOT the case in this weeks book. Ugh!

So....tell me friends.....what are you all reading and how much are you reading??? Are you challenging yourselves in reading??

I was at a conference one time where the man speaking.....and he was a great leader....said that a person should...."take speed reading lessons/courses so that they could read more faster, thus in taking vaster volumes of information."
I thought the guy was NUTS!!!
But as I get older I understand his reasoning.

We ought to ever keep on learning, all throughout our lives.

Grab a book......and read.
Get something good though....out with the "muck."

I'm starting a new book today.
Beth Moores "Get Out Of That Pit."
I believe it will be good.

Oh and let me plug the "PUBLIC LIBRARY" right here. I have gotten more and more books from the library in the past year or so. That is sort of why we have them right? FREE BOOKS TO READ. Great concept.

Books are expensive lets just admit it. That is why they are a huge "investment" at times. The drawback to the library is that you can't always find the current books that are out or the new releases there that you want to read right then at that moment. You can order them in and then wait......and it will be a long time. I still have TWO books I am waiting for the library to get in for me. It's been months that they were put in for. I don't know if they will ever get them.

That's when Amazon comes in handy if you can wait a couple of days because you can usually get a "used" book for a good price.

I always PASS my books on to others after I am done reading them anymore. I am not one to read a book over and over and over. I know people who do but I'm not one.

Yesterday I bought a new book to read and it cost nearly $20.00 and it's not that thick at's outrageous really and I know WAY too much about the new trend in Christian circles about writing. I know some REAL writers "out there" and they write various things and are published through both Christian and Non Christian Publishing houses. I have learned about the "market" out there via them.

It's maddening and somewhat "unethical" what is and has been happening so I don't even trust some of these people when they "say" they wrote this book or that book, because more than likely they didn't and are PAYING someone to ghost write it.

Which is fine. That does happen but....

Then these "authors" stick their BIG TICKET name on it and sell a bizillion copies to us well meaning ding dongs who haven't got a clue that they didn't even really write it or nor have they really "experienced" what was written in the book probably. I have a problem with that when people are Christians because this boarders along the lines of DECEPTION....which basically is "lying" right? they are trying to tell US what to do and don't even do it themselves. Interesting.

Right now...there is a HOT "new trend" for Churches and Pastors to write books.
I personally know of three various Pastors that are writing books right now....there are probably about 500 thousand more out there doing the same thing but I know these people and it's disappointing that they too have fallen into the clutches of this "thing" whatever you call it.

They are doing this mainly because "they've been told by so and so (who has written a 45 page paperback book themselves) that they should." Whatever. I'm not "judging" them...because I myself have never wrote a book and can and do applaud them for trying their hand at writing. IF they do actually write it themselves.

Frankly, I won't be purchasing it though. There isn't anything much that I want to hear from most of these people because it would be like opening a like a box of frosted flakes actually and then choking them down with no milk. Can anyone please be ORIGINAL and break the barriers of such temptations to be celebs and just do some real or basic writing.
From the heart maybe? There's a good start.

People......listen to me...please write books because you have a passion inside of you. Write things, whatever it may blogs, letters, articles, books, whatever you wish. Just DO this because there's something bottled up in you that must come out in the written word.

A story, be it fiction or non fiction it doesn't matter.
Maybe you have a conviction, a solution to a problem...possibly a world view or first hand perspective on an issue, and you HAVE GOT TO GET IT OUT in the open into clear view for others to see. To maybe educate or inform or even WARN others.

Maybe it's your message to society.
THAT is the key that will turn the lock to many areas that could be so crucial in peoples lives.

Don't do it for money...although money comes I'm sure when the MOTIVES are right. DO however, do it for the cause. Whatever that may be.

There are many good writers, and some not so good that are writing some awesome things right now. That is the entire point. Not even being the BEST at it but attempting something so that you can bring light to a matter or some story.

Some of these people out there are just kicking out "stuff" to keep their names in lights and bucks rolling into their personal coffers. I say "kicking out" because they have no real substance or purpose to what they are saying....just choose a hot thought..any hamster could do that.....and they now have signed contract to "turn out" so many books within a certain amount of time.

Seen it.....heard it. Know people doing it.

So does that mean I am against "book series"....nope. In fact I love a series and I've read many, many.
Also....IF I like a writer..I will READ ALL THEIR STUFF. I've read every book out there nearly by two authors that I will name.
Max Lucado, is one.
I think he's highly genuine. Do I agree with ALL the states in his writings....nope we aren't always of the same "persuasion" of thinking but that's okay. What I is his "heart message," and his honestly, and I do like his writing style. All his books are good. He's a man with a Pastor's heart. He just stepped down from his Senior Pastor position at his church recently because he has a REAL heart aliment. He will stay on staff as their "resident writer." Cool.

John Grisham, is another.
Very good, suspenseful writer. Gives you lots of information, makes you think.
My favorite book by him is....."A Painted House." All his books mainly deal with the South and with "corruption" or some sort of social injustice.
The man WAS a real lawyer from Mississippi you know, I'm sure he has seen and heard a lot.

I can recommend tons more to you. Writers and books. Time doesn't allow me to at this moment. But there are many, many, that haven't bowed to the pressure of just writing some lame book because "everyone else out there is doing it."

I personally knew of someone that wrote a book and I best not name the subject because it was a popular of the MOST searched topics in the bible. It is even mentioned in countless verses over and over.

People FLOCKED to this writer's a weird flocking sort of way...because once these people write the books then some of them got to "promo" them in churches or where ever and they get speaking engagements that way as well.
It all depends on whatever their "schtick" is.

Yes, I do know a bit of "Yiddish."
See what reading can do for a person?

I went with a friend who was into this Lady's stuff and my friend was even beginning to travel places with this "events."
I went to one such event as a "friend to support a friend." I was not amused.

During this meeting what I saw I already knew and it was this.....
the woman's life...did not match up with her message ( and yes you can research many people's lives on the NET if you don't have "SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT" just use wisdom!!!) which she CO-WROTE with another man of a greater name...and this lady who wrote the "visions" then went on to write more and more and more fruity "visional" books because she needed the money obviously.

The thing is....people want to read that kind of malarkey. It's a quick fix. OR they feel like they can "pass the book" on to someone and they will get saved. I hope that works for them. I mean it could...God works all kinds of ways..... I'm not so sure on this one...or this book I should say.

Instead of having their own "experiences" many readers just follow someone elses. They want to eat it up and they don't even validate it with scripture or with the persons life that "had the vision" or whatever the case may be.

I'm not against agreeing with things people have "experienced" when it's real and possibly even "some" of what this lady saw was....but then it got out of control.
It became BIG business. Big $$$$$ and gifts and other such luxuries.

That is why I share REAL things on this blog. So you can judge for yourselves. Not take my word or anyone elses. "TRY" the spirit people, we are told to do that. Check things out okay? You should be doing that.

My friend was in a position to "see" first hand just how wacky this lady really was. She finally got a grip on what was happening and walked out of that circle and stopped traveling with her to meetings and otherwise. Thank GOD! Many times we can easily get caught up in the wrong things with the RIGHT motives.

These are just a few examples of many injustices in the catagory of "Christian" writing.
I think we could spend our money wiser..but people can write what they want and people can buy what they want. Welcome to life.

Oh right and let me mention this small matter.
I even saw one guy had a "Board Game" (like Monopoly) to go along with his best selling Christian "Self Help" book......I might add that it was on the lowest clearance section area there at Books a Million when I saw it.
People really don't care about all the gimmicks.

Obviously people ARE searching and they are searching for truth so why can't we just give them that??? Is it all that hard? I guess it doesn't sell as well as say......
never mind.
Onward Joyce....onward.

Back to lending books.
I know people who will NOT do this because they are part of their "library" and they cost big bucks. I don't blame them one bit though because sometimes people never give you back the books you "lent" to them.

I always let them know they can pass them on to someone else if I don't want it back.......otherwise...I DO expect my book that I lent you back. There may be a valid reason as to why I want it back. It may have some information in it that I want to use again later as a reference or whatever.

It's quiet rude not to give people their books back unless they tell you that you don't have to return them.

Keep that in consideration when lending out books because they may not come back home. Just count it as a "gift" if that happens and do not be offended.
Life is short.

Check out your local public library and DO support "good" Christian authors.
There are many of them out there.

As far as all writers.....especially "non believers, etc." I don't hold them to the same high, standards that I would hold a "Christian" writer to.
I think we all know why.

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