Reading: an Apprenticeship

Thursday, September 08, 2011
photo by nuttakit @
Reading, for writers, is like an apprenticeship. You, the writer, study the craft of the great masters, and then you try to mimic the master’s style until you get the hang of it and evolve into your own style. You can also learn what not to do from not-so-masterful writing, but in any case, you are learning about writing every time you read.

Reading, for avid readers such as me, can become an expensive hobby. It can also become a back-breaking hobby, which I learned after moving about 20 boxes of boxes out of a third-floor walk-up apartment into a different third-floor walk-up apartment this winter. That detail is kind of beside the point, except that that incident is what prompted me to finally invest in an e-book reader.

Do you have an e-book reader?

If so, you need to check out this column from eBookNewser that directs you to free e-books across multiple platforms (Kindle, Nook, etc) every day! That’s 365 free e-books per year! Sometimes 366!

The free e-books are either public domain classics like Frankenstein or Pride & Prejudice, books that are available for a limited time from places like Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or they’re books by self-published authors through Smashwords or Lulu. The site includes books from multiple genres so they’re something for everyone in the free e-book archive.

If you are impatient and/or greedy and want more than one free e-book per day, then check out these sites that offer databases full of free e-books:
I know it’s not an exact equation, but I like to believe that the more I read, the better I write.

But even if your writing doesn’t improve, you just got a lot of free e-books. And can you ever really complain about free books?

I can’t.

by: Anne Greenawalt: Twitter, Google+, and my website!


LuAnn Schindler said...

Amazon also has the top 100 free ebooks. Lots of classics. Sometimes, there have been cookbooks. I've downloaded several and liked what I've read.
I'll have to check out some of these other places. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I (Heather Heaton) am recommending my new ebook ("Her Letters from Prison") as a motivational resource for reading pleasure, review, contemplation, and comment. My ebook will validate your inquisitive doubts about what goes on in women’s prisons; it can justify the efforts spent toward ministries to women’s prisons; and it can be an inspirational (tell-it-like-it-is) resource for drug rehab/prevention programs. The book is non-fiction prison romance (It is what it is!); and the original letters are included as images for authenticity. You can go to and purchase “Her Letters from Prison”, Parts 1 and 2.

If you don’t happen to own a Kindle, Nook, or some other eReader device, then download the FREE Adobe Digital Editions software to your computer to read the “epub” version of my ebook as purchased from Smashwords. Multiple versions of my ebook are available on Smashwords.

I am a 34 year old college student trying to better my life, in spite of the baggage I carry from my previous life. To date, I have been quite successful in accomplishing this goal; and I will use the proceeds from the book to help support myself. My picture is posted, with my book descriptions, at Smashwords. I can be contacted using email at

My recently published ebook is entitled ("Her Letters from Prison: Part 1 & Part 2", by Heather Heaton). The ebook was published at Smashwords ( A brief description of the ebook follows:
1. Breanna tells the true story of her experiences in prison through her letters to her friend Heath. This is a story of survival and a quest to make a better life. The letters describe the daily shocking events of prison life involving drugs, sex, utter devastation and humiliation, anger, hopelessness, despair, and finally happiness and hope.

2. Breanna's "truth" stands still even as the world around her trembles and burns! Bad things do happen to good people; and Breanna is the perfect example of this truth.

3. Breanna's inner strengths and principles eventually win out over the corruption and evil that surrounds her. With God's help, Breanna survives the horrible experiences of prison life and regains her self-confidence and hope for a better life.

4. "Breanna" was an inmate at Tutwiler Women's Prison from 2007 to 2009.

5. "Breanna" benefitted from women's prison ministries and the LIFE Tech-Wetumpka state-funded self-help program.

Heather Heaton

Customer/Reader Review of “Her Letters from Prison”
Heather, ever since you first contacted me about your ebooks (and when I received them) I have been giving them traction. At least two women on my case load checked them out, (like a library card so I would get them back) and were very moved by the content. I haven’t had another problem with their behavior since they read them. So…I know they are working. They should be required reading, ordered by a Judge before women are sentenced to probation, so that they would fully understand the consequences of their behavior.
Gary Parsons
Parole Officer
State of Alabama – Board of Pardons & Parole

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