Thursday, June 1, 2017

#WhyIRead — Join in HarperCollins' 200th Anniversary Fun

Hey, did you know it's HarperCollins 200th birthday this year? Well, it sure is, and you can follow the celebratory goodness on #hc200.

The other space to checkout is #WhyIRead — started by HarperCollins "to highlight the importance of literacy and the transformative effects of reading, we are launching a social media campaign that encourages book lovers everywhere to share what reading means to them using #WhyIRead."

You probably know that the Supernatural Underground was founded by HarperCollins authors, and although we're no longer all with HC, I felt it would be great to both highlight #hc200 and #WhyIRead here today.

Most importantly I would love you to join in the conversation and share why you read: through the comments and/or using #WhyIRead.

To kick off, I thought I'd share why I read, as posted earlier on my own blog:
"Why I Read 

From earliest childhood, reading has been one of my favourite pastimes, if not the favourite. I was fortunate to be read to by my parents and to have the opportunity to listen to storytelling via the radio, but quickly progressed to reading and selecting stories for myself. Choosing the first book I ever bought—which although now coverless and decidedly tattered, is still in my possession—remains a vivid memory. And although I played games and sport as a kid and teen, I was also one of those kids that hung out in the library, both at school and in town.

Loving books is reason enough to read, but the question implicit in the hashtag is why I love them so much. My initial response was that I simply love stories: the non-fiction stories that are “real” and the fictional stories that help us to understand them. With a teaspoonful of luck and a dash of hope, they may also assist us to better comprehend ourselves as individuals, societies, and a species.

I also love reading because it’s essentially an active and interactive process. The primary act of creativity may be that of the author, but the imagination of the reader is essential to interpretation of the writer’s creation—and every reader’s vision of the characters and their stories will almost certainly be (at least slightly) different. If anything may be said to be perfect, the wonderful AS Byatt quote from Possession perfectly captures this alchemy of creative interaction:

Think of this – that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other.”
Books also encompass voyages in space-time. Even if I never step beyond my front gate onto Tolkien’s “road that goes ever on”, every book opens a portal into a new world: worlds in which the voyager may encounter landscapes, cultures, history, secrets and revelations, questions and answers—and walk in many different shoes.

Through books, I am always—in the words of John Donne’s famous Meditation XVII—“involved in Mankind.” When reading, I never have to send “to know for whom the bell tolls.” I already know that it tolls, but also rings out, for me."  

So that's it, that's me. How about you?


Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, interviewer and blogger whose first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. Her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood, (The Wall Of Night, Book Three) was published this year. Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we

1 comment:

Kim Falconer said...

I love this post, Helen. Thank you!

And big congratulations to HarperCollins on the 200 year anniversary!


For me, it is to live more fully, more richly, more passionately. Social surrogacy, for sure. Travelling the many-worlds with imaginary friends. Or are they imaginary ...?