Claire Baxter: To read or not to read…a stupid question?
What do you think shapes certain people into readers, and others into non-readers?
I’ve been thinking about this for weeks, ever since I had an odd conversation with people who claimed that they never read fiction, and had zero desire to do so.
I’m not talking about people who can’t read due to learning difficulties or a lack of opportunity, but people who choose not to read fiction.
I tried to imagine my life without reading, and was appalled. I read because it engages me in a way nothing else does, and if you’re here at this blog, it’s a fairly safe bet that you’re an avid reader too.
Then I heard someone say that it takes imagination to be a good reader. Is this the answer? Do non-readers lack imagination?
It’s true that reading takes work. Unlike when we watch television, images don’t enter our minds directly through sight and sound. Written words have to be filtered and interpreted, so a reader participates actively in a novel. The story world doesn’t exist until it’s created by the reader in her own mind. And those images created by a novel are a collaboration between writer and reader, a combination of the experiences of two people.
But it’s not difficult work, it’s enormously enjoyable. At least, it is for me. Why isn’t it enjoyable for everyone? I’m sure it’s not the result of nurturing since I have two adult sons, one of each – an avid reader and a non-reader – and they were both encouraged to read as children. So this has me stumped. Can you imagine a life without reading as a very important part of it?
Flirting with Danger
To be together is dangerous. To stay apart is impossible.
Firefighter Jasmine Mackinnon has always just been one of the guys. So no one’s more shocked than she is to find herself kissing fellow firefighter and all-around sinfully handsome playboy Aaron Parkes after a friend’s wedding. Jasmine knows she can’t risk an emotional connection with a colleague—a potentially dangerous entanglement when fighting fires together—and nothing’s more important to her than her job.
Aaron never noticed how beautiful Jasmine was until he saw her out of her firefighter duds, but there’s something about the fiery woman that tempts him. Though he knows pursuing a real relationship is out of the question for a serial dater like him, when their casual flirtation builds into something more serious, it’s not just their jobs or their safety on the line. It’s their hearts.
Promotional Video: http://youtu.be/Wi8mCLcG-B4
Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction of all lengths. Her short stories have been published in commercial women’s magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages and have been nominated in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Awards (Winner, Best Harlequin Romance).
Before following her passion to write full-time, Claire was an award-winning corporate communications manager. Earlier, she worked as a translator and a PA.
Claire grew up in Warwickshire, England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful metropolitan beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.
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