bad advice

 

 

“I judge a book by the impression it makes and leaves in my mind, by the feelings solely as I am no scholar.–—A story that touches and moves me, I can make others read and believe in.–—What I like is conciseness in introducing the characters, getting them upon the stage and into action as quickly as possible.–—Then I like a story of constant action, bustle and motion,–—Conversations and descriptive scenes are delightful reading when well drawn but are too often skipped by the reader who is anxious to see what they do next, and it’s folly to write what will be skipped in reading …. I like a story that starts to teach some lesson of life (and) goes steadily on increasing in interest till it culminates with the closing chapter leaving you spell bound, enchanted and exhausted with the intensity with which it is written, the lesson forcibly told, and a yearning desire to tum right back to the beginning and enjoy it over again . . .”

 

— A. K. Loring, undated letter to Louisa May Alcott

 

A. K. Loring was a well-known juvenile publisher who published the works of Horatio Alger Jr.

 

 

*****************************************************

 

Poetry makes for delightful reading, but I prefer Hallmark cards. Literary fiction may be a taste for some, but I would rather read a graphic novel.

— Roger W. Smith

 

 

 

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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