Sunday Book-Thought 139

Unlike royalty-published, indie-published, or hybrid authors, fanfic authors are ushering in a new era of prose fiction: one that is open-ended, palimpsestual, intra- and intertextual, inviting to new contributions, shaped around community and discourse, with room for multiplicative forms of creativity, play, and experimentation. Despite the arguments in this section, fanfic writers may not need external validation for the legitimacy of their work: given their numbers, their passion, and their youth, they may simply shift cultural reading habits to their new realm, rather than attempting to fit into the old one.
R. Lyle Skains, Digital Authorship: Publishing in the Attention Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), p. 82.

Why I Don’t Read Fiction

A few weeks ago a fellow PhD student in the English department asked me what I read when I’m not reading for my doctoral research. I answered that I read mostly non-fiction and that, come to think about it, I couldn’t remember the last fiction book I had finished (a later peek at my ‘Books Read’ list revealed it to beĀ The Hobbit). My colleague looked at me confused, noting that he often found himself lost in fiction that drew him away from the books that he knew he needed to read for his own doctoral research. ‘Why don’t you read fiction?’, he asked. Without thinking before I spoke, I blurted out my truth: ‘Because it doesn’t feel productive.’

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