Reading Inspirations

As a writer, I am always happy to be inspired with a new idea. Struggling through the creation of a story is important, I think, in building yourself as a writer and as an imaginator, but it’s definitely always nice when, every so often, inspiration strikes.

But what about when you are inspired to read?

I don’t mean this in the way that you see a book that looks interesting so you read it, or you hear a good review of a book so you decide to pick it up, or it’s a new release by a favourite author so you definitely plan on getting it. I mean those moments when something about a book or a story draws your attention so greatly that, even if you hadn’t previously been interested in it, you become intensely intrigued and drawn to it.

This can be a cover, perhaps, that just speaks to you in the store, or something peculiar about someone’s review that sparks a curiosity deep within you. It can also be the experience of an adaptation of a story, or a new detail you’ve learned about the author or the writing process. The difference, I think, is that sometimes being inspired to read can come completely unexpectedly. You have some books that sound kind of interesting, and some books that you want to read the moment you see them. But what I’m talking about are those books that you’ve passed many times before, uninterested until something thoroughly changes the way you think about them.

For me, I tend to be inspired to read classics in these ways. I’ll have zero interest in a tale, and then randomly, out of nowhere, something will draw me into wanting to read it. Not too long ago, I finally decided to watch BBC’s Sherlock, which is of course about Sherlock Holmes. Now, there are tons and tons and TONS of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, including 3(?) current shows/movies about his stories. And never had I read a Sherlock Holmes story before, or been remotely interested in reading any of the stories/watching an adaptation.

I started watching the show because I’d heard great things about the dynamic between Watson and Sherlock, and I like Martin Freeman, so I thought it was worthwhile to check out. And, then, of course, I loved it. Sherlock as a character is so different from how I’ve always believed he would appear in the stories. I thought he was a cheerful fellow, always joyful and beloved by everyone. Albeit that Benedict Cumberbatch’s betrayal is certainly more sociopathic than the original tales, but the personality of this character was so unexpected that I simply had to read one of the stories, to see just how different he as a character was.

And you know what? He’s not that different! Again, I mention that the modern character of Sherlock is certainly more disliked and more difficult to be around than the original, but the original was no rosy-cheeked, happy-go-lucky detective, either. It was so much fun to realize how wrong I’d been about the character, and it was so interesting to read the stories and see the differences/similarities between the original tales and the show, that I have become slightly addicted. I’ve read two of the novels, listened to one collection of short stories, am currently reading another short story collection, and have purchased another other short story collection to read. I can’t wait for more of the show this fall, and I can’t wait to keep reading this classic series that, a couple of months ago, I had not a care in the world for.

I love being inspired to read, because it makes, for me, the reading experience that much more fun. So what about you? Do you ever get inspired to read something unexpected?

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