"If forced to choose only one, what would you choose? Reading or writing?" (This was a question I remember being posed by Fiona Farrell ( NZ writer) at a talk she gave here in Dunedin at a long-ago Readers and Writers Week).
At times like now when I have so much writing on my plate, it's limiting any time I have to read. At the moment, to read in my 'off' times feels too much like work. It's a dilemma because in order to write you have to read, and without writers, there'd be no readers and without readers - why write? Hmmm.
Forced, I'd choose writing. I have gone into a bookshop with money to spend on a book and instead have come away not with reading material, but writing material - pens and paper and books that beg to be written in. I can't resist the enticement of a blank page and the instruments with which to de-blank. Or something like that. My granddaughter is an avid reader - as is my mother, her mother and her mother before her ... as was my father's father. As is my sister. As is my daughter. And as I used to be. Until I started writing instead ...
My grandfather, William McKenzie, was apparently one of Orepuki's very, very small library's most frequent users. (I remember the library as a child. The sweeest, tiniest, wooden building with three steps up to the front door and stacked with the smell of books - one of the most wonderful smells in the world). Grandpa used to make a small mark with a piece of blue raddle on the bottom of page 65 of every book he read. It was his check as to whether or not he'd read the book before.
Thankfully there is no need to have to choose, but if there were, which would you choose - reading or writing?