Would You Rather…

It’s time for another installment of my kids’ favorite car game, in which you get to choose between two hypothetical options.

If you’re lucky enough to have played this game with kids, you’ve probably had to choose between lovely alternatives like: “Would you rather be hairy all over or completely bald?” or, “Would you rather be the most beautiful person ever but really dumb, or the smartest person ever but really ugly?”

My favorite question lately was, “Would you rather play World of Warcraft… or kill yourself?” (That was a tough one.)

But today’s question for you is not so hard. Here it is:

Would you rather give up writing for the rest of your life but have all the time you wanted for reading… or give up reading for the rest of your life but have all the time you want for writing? 

In other words… give up reading or give up writing?

Mwa ha ha ha ha……

Have a good weekend pondering that one!

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© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

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  • Becca C.

    >Ahhhhh!!! This one would probably require a lifetime of consideration! I’ll get back to you…

  • Delia

    >That is a horrible question. However, if forced into a choice (which is never going to happen, right?), I’d have to choose to give up writing. Because it would be impossible to write well if I couldn’t read. So there it is.

  • sally apokedak

    >Awful question. I guess, writing, because I’d hate to give up reading the Bible. And reading all the brilliant works out there. I can think and discuss what I read. I don’t have to write to interact and communicate.If I gave up reading I’d be missing out on too much.

  • ET @ Titus2:3-5

    >That is the meanest question! Which probably explains the evil laugh…I’m with Delia. If I gave up feeding my mind, it would be impossible to produce anything worthy of being read. So I give up (gulp) writing.Thank goodness this was hypothetical!BTW, my kids’ favorite is:Would you rather lick jam off a hobo’s foot or drink rotten milk?(And I’m sure they have no idea what the word hobo even means! I’m also pretty sure that someone mixed up the whole toe jam concept.)

  • Rachel Overton

    >That’s just wrong, Rachelle. :-)

  • Robert Trevino

    >I would rather write than read. I can’t express myself through reading someone else’s words, I need to write my own.

  • Bryce Daniels

    >I give up. Period.

  • Natalie Sharpston

    >Oh, that’s just mean. Seriously, it’s Sophie’s Choice mean. Choose between my two babies? Kill me now! :)I’d rather answer this question: “Would you rather be hairy all over or completely bald?”Completely bald. Definitely. I think.

  • Stephanie McGee

    >Well, I am going to have to say I'd rather have the time to write.

    The writing process includes both writing and reading. I have to read what I wrote in order to improve it. As a writer I read the works of my friends to help them improve their work.

    So I get to do both as I'm writing, but if I couldn't write and could only read, I would be out of luck.

  • Patricia Perez

    >This was not as hard for me, to be honest. The root of all good writing is good reading. I would never be able to write properly without reading books.

    It's like the famous question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" You simply cannot really do one without the other. A good writer has to be a good reader and in most cases, good readers are at least decent writers.

  • patti.mallett_pp

    >Now you're just being mean, and after such a nice vacation. (I'm going to pretend I didn't read that.)

  • Tana Adams

    >I already play that game. I've chosen the second option, but lucky for me I cheat and I sneak a book in every once in a while ;)

  • Nancy Thompson

    >No question. I'd give up writing. I could only entertain myself for so long.

  • Ted Cross

    >This is an easy one, because I love reading way too much to give up. I could be a very happy person if I had all the time in the world to read. Writing is wonderful, but it can't come close to the pleasure of reading, at least for me.

  • Chantal

    >I'd give up writing. As long as others kept writing, I could live my writing life through them and it would keep my imagination going.

  • Sharon Bayliss

    >I'd give up reading, but I'm sure my writing would start to get progressively worse without the influence of great books.

  • Kim Kasch

    >I'd have to keep writing…of course I read my writing as I'm penning the words on paper, so. . . if I gave up reading. . . I'd have to give up writing 'cuz the two go hand-in-hand.

    ;)

  • Julia B

    >As a former World of Warcraft devotee, all I can say is :P

    But on the real question – I'd give up reading. I love reading, I love writing more. To be fair, my writing would probably be worse over time because I wouldn't be reading anything but I'd be willing to make that sacrifice.

  • Kate Larkindale

    >Don't think I can answer this one. I couldn't write if I couldn't read, so giving up one would be giving up both…

  • Celia

    >As my daughter would say, that is a seriously stinky question! But if I HAD to, I'd give up reading because at least I could then still write and read my stories to my children.

  • Celia

    >PS, the exclamation point + CAPS = revenge for making me choose.

    Mwa ha ha ha …

  • Adam Heine

    >I'd definitely drop writing. I love it, but if the all I could read was the stuff I wrote, I probably would kill myself.

  • Eli Ashpence

    >No contest. I'd give up reading in favor of writing.

  • Diane Fordham

    >I would never give up writing – no matter what! Writing takes me and puts me in a good place – and then, I still don't miss out on the reading because I would always have my own stories to read :-)

  • Gary Baker

    >You've ruined my day. Ruined it I say!
    Especially as I'm in the middle of reading a terrific book AND in full flood with my novel.
    Cruel.

  • otin

    >I would definitely give up reading. I'm glad that you didn't put pizza in there as one of the options. lol

  • Anne Gallagher

    >Reading. If I couldn't write I'd die.

  • Sharon A. Lavy

    >Would have to resort to listing to books on tape. Sigh.

    Your kids sure got to you on that vacation!!!!!!!

  • Heather Sunseri

    >Altough that's a tough one, I'll have to say writing.

  • Katie Ganshert

    >Oh my goodness – this is the worst question ever.

    If I choose writing, do I get to read my manuscripts??

  • Anna Zagar

    >I'd give up writing. That way, all the people who gave up reading would have a reader for their writing.

    Also, this question sucks! :)

  • Timothy Fish

    >That's an easy one. I would give up writing. As someone mentioned, to give up reading would be to give up the Bible. Give up that and we have no means of knowing what God wants us to know without relying completely on what other people tell us. Our concept of right and wrong would be messed up and we would be spiritually ignorant. While I wouldn't enjoy giving up writing, there are other ways to communicate, but God chose to communicate with us through his book. I choose to know what he has to say.

  • Sharon A. Lavy

    >This is an unfair question as you well know. But I have always had to write to make sense of my world. I write when I cannot speak.

    In my old age I am coming out of myself and speaking more.

    Yesterday walking up to Bob Evans for lunch we were surprised by two women standing outside close to the entrance praying. How brave they were. Many of us pray at the table, but they were praying out in the open.

    They finished praying as we neared the door. I kept walking, hesitated, took another step toward the door, then swerved and headed toward the women. God bless you I said.

    Husband was shocked. Totally out of character for me. I believe ACFW has helped me be a better encourager of other Christians.

    I cannot quit writing. I would probably cheat on the reading part, because after all, God has not required it of me.

  • Janet Oberholtzer

    >I would give up writing … because I'm an extrovert and love to learn about other people/things/views/worlds, so I would hate to quit reading.
    Plus only writing and not reading means I would be solely focused on myself, my views, etc. with no other input, which would not be good.

  • R.S. Bohn

    >Ahhhhh! Rachelle, that question is evil!

    And will bother me for days now.

  • S.P. Bowers

    >It's an impossibility. Part of writing is reading. Reading what we've written, reading the competition, reading to find out how to write.

  • Wendy Paine Miller

    >Yowza! You’re pulling out the big guns now. It’s like asking if I’d rather watch episodes of Swamp People or Alf for the rest of my life…both scary choices. But I’m going to slink around this one by saying I’d take the reading option. If I could only write, I’m guessing by the nature of the question, I couldn’t read my own writing and that would be sad and my writing (without the ability to edit) would be lacking. How could I improve?

    My husband made me watch parts of Swamp People last night. What a show!

    Oh, and my family of origin thinks I invented Which Would You Rather. I had an overactive imagination as a kid…and I’ve still got it. ;)

    ~ Wendy

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407169700 Natalia

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  • Jillian Kent

    >I would cry but I'd give up writing. I just couldn't give up reading. It feeds my heart and soul.

  • Jude

    >Writing. Giving up reading would be giving up altogether. And the stories, unwritten, would live on in my head.

  • Marla Taviano

    >Not funny. If I could get away with loopholes, I'd keep writing and then read my own stuff. And listen to books on audio.

  • Sandra Ardoin

    >That's easier?

    How about if I keep writing and have someone else read to me?

  • Michelle DeRusha@Graceful

    >Oh evil one: I would give up writing. But I then I would be really crabby and psychologically unbalanced.

  • Rachel

    >Your kids' Would You Rathers are excellent. We play that game, too, and my kids love nothing more than to wedge me inbetween a rock and hard place. I.E. "Would you rather let our dog die or walk around WalMart naked without being able to explain why you were doing it?" I'd give up writing, no contest.

  • Laura Pauling

    >Maybe that would make a good dystopian. The world breaks into 2 factions: the writers and the readers. And the writers control everything – what people think and what they know. I'd guess I'd have to say I'd give up reading b/c I don't want to be controlled.

    Do you? Mwa ha ha

  • Sharon A. Lavy

    >I've often heard this question, even heard a sermon preached on it:

    If you had a choice, if you had no choice but to choose, what would you rather give up, your sight or your hearing?

    Some say they would give up their sight. They could listen to the Bible on tape, but they could not bear to never be able to hear the voices of their loved ones.

    I say if God takes your hearing, or your sight He will give you the grace to deal with it.

    If, on the other hand Rachelle, or someone else, makes us give up reading or writing it will cause the uglies inside of us rear up and bite.

    Sorry Rachelle. I do love you. But . . .

    YIKES! And to think I am non-resistant. At least I made a vow of non-resistance. . .

    Talk about putting us between a rock and a hard place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Walt Mussell

    >That question is just plain wrong. I'd have to give up writing. If I couldn't read, I couldn't edit (and my first drafts need editing).

  • Sarah Thomas

    >Writing. It's my love of reading that makes me want to write.

    My younger brother smokes and I once offered to give up reading for a month if he would give up cigarettes for a month. It was the only thing I could think of that would be equally hard for me.

  • immotusfactura

    >I would give up reading to write. I was expecting this to be a hard desicion, but as I took time to think about it the answer came pretty easily. I'm joyful, however, that I do not have to pick
    .

  • Yossi Mandel

    >This is a false choice. If you don't read, you can't write. And reading leads those with writing in the blood to write. There are masses of people who read unending with no desire or talent to write, but if you're a writer it will only drive you insane. So the choice offered is to read, become overwhelmed with desire to write, become depressed, turn to drink, have suicidal thoughts… Which we do already.

    Very clever of you.

  • Jessica Nelson

    >LOL I've thought of this before! Hmmm. Well, it is really egotistical of me to rather read my own writing than to read others, but I think I'd give up reading because in the process of writing I'm still getting the high (sometimes) that I get reading. Plus, if I was in the mood for a certain type of story, since I couldn't read, I'd just write it.
    But that sounds so very egotistical and arrogant of me…Thanks alot. LOL My true self has emerged.

  • MJR

    >I'd go into serious withdrawal if I couldn't read, so I'd give up writing. Even now I go a bit batty if I don't have something to read.

  • Kristy K

    >I'd give up writing. But then I wouldn't be able to process anything, so I'm probably just give up altogether. :)

  • Jessica Thomas

    >A ha! That's it! (I'm stealing someone's answer.) I'd listen to books on tape and keep writing.

  • patriciazell

    >Actually, I've already given up reading for my writing. Since I am also a high school English teacher, a good portion of reading I do is directly related to making sure my students achieve their best. As far as outside reading, I hardly ever pick up a magazine or a book anymore. I do read online though and I write a lot online, too. Hands down, I would choose writing over reading.

  • Daniel F. Case

    >Hand the sword to the mom and tell HER to cut the baby in half. Nice move, Solomon.

    IF I really had to choose between the two, I would have to choose writing. I've tried to not write, and I can't do it. I've also observed a correlation between the depression I sometimes struggle with and writing–when I don't write, the depression gets worse.

    But I've found a loophole in your wicked question. I could write all I want and have someone else read to me. Technically, I wouldn't be reading!

    :)

    D.

  • readgreatfiction

    >Oooh…so painful. I would have to give up writing, because reading is my sanity pill.
    As for surviving without writing -I would have to go back to the days of oral storytelling. ;)

    http://readgreatfiction.wordpress.com

  • Laila Knight

    >No fair. That's a trick question. It takes good reading to promote good writing. The two are interwoven. I would have to give up reading. If we're being technical, that would leave me editing my own writing, which means I'd have to read it, but I'm not allowed to read. Aghh, how the heck does that work? That's it, not playing.

  • Rachelle

    >Yossi Mandel — Yes, the whole point of the "Would You Rather" game is that it's a "false choice." It forces you to think and often sends your mind in circles!

  • Maril Hazlett

    >Ha, I'm going to counter your kids' favorite game with my kid's favorite game – "EXCEPT IF…"

    I obviously don't have to explain how this is played – whenever anyone makes a comment, suggestions, offers a choice, etc, her eyes twinkle and she will shriek: "EXCEPT IF…!" and then offer some hilarious alternative.

    And usually her whole point is that she can't be boxed into a corner :) I can't possibly choose between reading and writing.

    And I have to recommend Jim Averbeck's awesome "Except If" kids book, because that is where she learned it.

  • Shawn Smucker

    >I have to write.

    It sounds like many people who left comments believe reading is the only tool out there to fuel your writing. Interesting.

    Great question.

  • Christine Rains

    >Ack! What a hard question. I would say I'd give up reading. Other people could read to me!

  • Gina Burgess

    >Well, here's the conundrum… If I couldn't read what I wrote, then how would I know what I wrote is good or trash?

    Would you rather be blind or deaf? Neither provokes creativity into death, but not proofing what you've written is certain death of any respect for your writing.

    I rise above it and ask, "What's another game we can play?"

  • Ashley D

    >This is a fantastic question because it challenges me! I would say hands down that I would give up writing –because I love everything about books and writing is more painful than not.

    But when I reflect I notice that I AM giving up reading time to write more often! So perhaps I should rearrange my schedule…though I suppose I still read, just not as much.

    If I gave up writing I'd just switch to painting or dance or something like that to express my storytelling and artistic desires. :)

  • Marcy Kennedy

    >I would give up reading to write because giving up reading doesn't mean giving up "books"–I'd just have to make my husband read them to me or buy books on tape. That's not technically reading. Flirting with the line maybe . . .

  • Kay Day

    >I didn't even have to think about it. I'd give up writing.

    When I first started, Alton Gansky told me that writing would ruin reading for me. And it has. I can't just sit and enjoy books the way I used to. I evaluate them. I critique them. Sometimes I want a pen so I can edit them.

    But if I gave up writing, I could probably get back to the days of ignorant bliss and engulf myself in the world of stories again.

    Maybe.

    But I know that I could live without writing easier than I could live without reading.

  • Em-Musing

    >I love to read, but I need to write. Obviously, reading would go.

  • Anonymous

    >Oh my goodness, you are a cruel woman! LOL

    There is no way this side of eternity I could give up reading.

    Unfortunately, the poems gestating in my heart would shrivel up and die, which is a terrible thought indeed.

    The weather outside today is cruel enough, but this question. Oy.

    Margaret @ http://www.twitter.com/bigbluemug

  • BW

    >For me this easy, as a technical writer who writes all the time, I would DEFINITELY give up writing. I LOVE my job and I love all the challenges it gives me, however the one thing I find hard to do is to find the time to read a book. I have gotten back into reading but I still wish I had more time. I've had to listen to books going back and forth to work and whenever I visit my family. Listening to books is fine but not everything I want to listen to is available as an audiobook. Then there are books I would never want to listen to. I have to read them.

  • Amanda

    >I know that I would rather give up reading than writing, as much as that would hurt. It's a lot easier to sink into an existing world than it is to make your own. But at least I could linger in my own and I *could* make my own. If I didn't have that creative ability, I definitely wouldn't give up reading for anything.

  • Yossi Mandel

    >Rachelle, you took the false choice a step further here. You used it to point out that we already experience the choice. When we read, we aren't writing, we're preparing to write or we're procrastinating. When we write or do everything but write, we aren't reading, and boy does it hurt not be reading then.

  • Gypmar

    >Hmm…the fact that I don't even have to think twice about giving up writing over reading probably doesn't bode well for my future writing success…

  • Jill

    >I'd give up writing over reading. I might give in to marginalia, though. Is that allowed in this dilemma?

  • Ruth Madison

    >I love World of Warcraft! I enjoy playing it very much.

    I would choose the writing over the reading, though it's a tough one, for sure. Thank goodness I don't actually have to choose!

  • Scott

    >Your question is not that difficult because you only give up a one portion of brain activity.

    Would you rather all the time you want to read and write but never walk and drive, or walking and driving and can't read or write.

    People say I am lucky, I now have all the time I want to read or write. But I have lost the ability to travel and physically experience life and the world outside my home.

    Reading is crucial to understanding and relating to the world. Writing is about sharing that knowledge. Writing would suffer without those new experiences.

  • Shae

    >I would rather give up writing. No hesitation there. Both are enjoyable, but reading is pure escapism for me. Besides, without being able to read, I'd stagnate as a writer, so that would end up being no fun at all.

  • Nancy Kimball

    >I'd give up writing before reading.
    My love of reading gave me a passion for writing. I would lose the second without the first.

  • Katherine Hyde

    >I've been reading nonstop since I was 4. Can't quite say that about writing.

    One can be a good reader without writing. One cannot be a good writer without reading.

    So, reluctantly, I must say I would give up writing first.

  • PatriciaW

    >Writing. Reading has been a lifetime treasure. But do I get to scribble in the white spaces — margin, covers, etc? I could also daydream about what I would write.

  • Sophie Perinot

    >Ugly dilemma to be sure. I would give up reading. Not because I don't love it (I do) but because the books I've read over the years are with me still. I can recall passages and scenes as needed.

    Writing is necessary. Not only because I have a book contract but because it is a physical need. I presume if I chose writing I can still read (for purposes of editing) my own work.

  • CraftyMama

    >LOL I actually love World of Warcraft. :)

    Technically, if you're writing, you're reading, too. So I guess I'd go with "giving up" reading, even if I'm not a huge fan of my own writing. ;)

  • Chris Shaughness

    >Yes, this is certainly a tough choice! But for me, it's clearcut. I have a passion to communicate for the animals. My writing is the vehicle to help them. I would have to give up reading, no question, because I cannot give up on the animals.

  • Beth

    >I just want to go on record as saying that is one lousy choice, and I resent even having to make that decision. I'll say that I'd give up writing, because I can't give up reading, but I'd be under the blanket in bed with a flashlight writing in the dark of night anyway.

    So there.

  • Marilyn Almodóvar

    >Mean, mean, mean LOL This is an extremely mean question… *goes to ponder for the rest of her life*

  • Lydia

    >It's official-you should helm the next Saw movie. Reading, however, is my answer.

  • Ezzy Guerrero-Languzzi

    >Writing. I'd still be able to express myself through the spoken word. : D What a horrible choice!

  • Mona

    >I have to read, no doubts there, writing, well, I'd write in my mind :-)

  • Cynthia Herron

    >For those of us who write, writing is our lifeblood. But to not be able to read? I'd have to have a total transfusion!

  • Cynthia Herron

    >For those of us who write, writing is our lifeblood. But to not be able to read? I'd have to have a total transfusion!

  • kathrynleighaz

    >I didn't read most of the comments, but I'm with the first few responses. I think I'd give up writing because I don't think I'd have any clue how to write without reading. I wouldn't have inspiration or joy. So much of what gets me going with writing is reading the brilliant words of others. However, one of the cool things about writing is that in order to fully write, you end up reading your own words. Is that a loophole? I think so. :)

  • Siri Paulson

    >I could never give up writing — I have a deep-seated psychological need to tell stories. When I don't write fiction regularly, I get so grumpy…knowing I could never do it again would probably make me homicidal. Giving up reading would also make me very unhappy, but at least I'd still be able to soak up stories in the form of movies, plays, TV, and so on. (Cheating? Oh, probably.)

  • Kelly Combs

    >I'd give up writing. I could always share via my speaking ministry, so that would take care of that need.

    And not only do I love reading myself, but reading to my 1st grader is a gift too. We just started the Humphrey series & it is great.

  • Loree Huebner

    >It would be hard but I would have to give up the writing. I need to read. Now I'm sad.

  • athanasius

    >As long as I was interacting with people on a daily basis, I would rather give up reading. Writing not only puts me in touch with my own self, I am better able to see the world through it.

  • Zan Marie

    >What a cruel question for a new follower! After long, hard thought, I'd have to give up writing. My creativity would just have to sift to my art and singing. ; )

  • Julie Nilson

    >Depends–will I get paid for reading? If not, I'll have to keep writing. :)

  • Angela Mackey

    >But you cannot write without reading. You must read as you write and you must read in order to edit. HUMMMM.

    As much as I love writing I have to read. I am compelled to read and let's face there are a lot of people smarter than I out there.

  • friendtoyourself.com

    >It took a bit of time for me to process this. I realize it is because I'm wired to enjoy finishes and not the process, that the play with these questions makes me uncomfortable.
    Being an ENFJ per Jungian typology, I have never "played well" per cultural definitions of what it means to "play." This question is playful. It is like asking, "Can God make a rock that is too heavy for Him to life." I can't answer that, ie, I can't describe the argument and conclude it, so I am bored by it.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the circumstance, this question bores me too. You don't though. And that is an important difference. Thank you for including us tenacious-finishers in your invitation, despite who we are.

  • Shannon Taylor Vannatter

    >I started writing because I'm a reader. But given the choice, I'd give up reading.

  • elleamberley

    >Gee, thanks! For the inspiration, lol.
    Just wrote a post about this.
    To me reading and writing go together, no doubt. I cannot see myself giving one up for the other. I’m an avid reader, always has been. I was the child coming home weighed down by my findings at whichever library we lived near at the time. I learned foreign languages through my need to read. I’d pick up whatever I could lay my hands on to satisfy this need…

  • Hikablack

    >This is one horrid question.
    I'd give up reading though. 'Cause if I write, I'd still be reading my own stuff in the process. Better than nothing, I guess.

  • colleen laquay urbaniuk

    >at first i thought "easy question" because writing is what keeps me alive. but as i read through other comments, i realized quickly how my impulsiveness was wrong…again. i could never really live without reading God's Word again. just as easily as i tend to forget Him in life, i didn't even think about Him as i rushed to find an answer to the question. BUT His reminder was there in the words of His people. thanks to all who reminded me that while i live to write, above any of that, i live for Him.

  • Peter DeHaan

    >My initial thought is that I would give up reading.

    I am compelled to write, but reading does not come naturally for me.

    However, the thought of never being able to read the Bible again would be more than I can bear, so…

  • Robin Patchen

    >Evil question. I'd have to say I'd give up writing, because without reading, there is little learning, little growing. And without learning and growing, what is there to write about? Aah, but can I give up reading… books, but still listen to audiobooks. Maybe I've found a loophole…

  • KathrineROID

    >:(

  • Anonymous

    >I know the question about "World of Warcraft" versus "killing yourself" isn't meant to be offensive, but I was bothered by it. I don't think that we ought to use terms like "killing yourself" or "suicide" in jest. I've known people who have committed suicide and it isn't something to joke about, nor do I think the idea should be joked about.

  • Kelly Miller

    >That's just wrong! To ask a writer a question like that is equivalent to asking would you rather cut off your right arm or left arm? How can you chose? But if forced, I'd have to say that since completing my first novel my answer would be to give up reading. I just have too many ideas swirling around in my head not to get them out on paper.

  • Carol Riggs

    >LOL, terrible choice, but I didn't have to think that long or hard. I'd give up reading, as much as I like it. Writing is like breathing, reading is like ice cream.

  • C.E. Hart

    >OH EM GEE!

    This is like being asked to choose between your children. It is impossible.

    Oh wait… I have a fabulous solution!!!
    I would choose to write and have someone else read TO me! lol

    Yes, I'm cheating somewhat, but it shows my creative, rebellious nature, eh?

  • Merrie Destefano

    >I'm going with the trick answer, since this is a trick question *grin*

    I choose: writing.

    I could still watch TV and go to movies (both stories told in a different form). I could read my own stories. AND I could listen to books on tape.

    LOL. I know. I cheated. But the question wasn't fair. Another option…

    I could have a friend read a book to me.

    Oral storytelling has been around for centuries, so I'm sure I would get my fix for reading, in one form or another. But for me, my life just wouldn't be complete if I didn't have the outlet of writing.

  • Gus

    >I'm gonna dodge this one because I don't like the question, haha. It's like asking a Christian, "Would you rather give up praying or give up reading the Bible?" I doubt any committed Christian would be willing to give up either one.

  • Ella Schwartz

    >Now why did you have to do that?

    Honestly, I would give up writing. Reading for me is part of my DNA. I cannot live without reading. Writing is a passion, but is a tool to tell the stories I dream up. So even if I could never write again, my brain would be daydreaming about far away worlds and interesting characters. Too bad I wouldn't be able to share my world with others, but I will still have my stories in my head and heart.

    But take away my books and I would totally go ballistic.

  • Patricia Stoltey

    >No question, I'd give up writing before I'd give up reading. When I was a kid, the worst moment of my life was when I realized I'd never be able to read all the books in the world.

  • Charity Bradford

    >*sigh* I'd have to give up writing. It's a heck of a lot more work than writing.

  • Lauren F. Boyd

    >I'd definitely give up reading for more time to write! I'd rather write than read any day! :)

  • marion

    >First, I was like aaarh…–or whatever they say on Peanuts. [ellipsis followed by m-dash. How do you like that, Rachelle?!]
    Then I was like, this is a no-brainer.
    I have to write, or at least dream.
    I existed on very little reading for years. The focus wasn't there. Visual (I needed stronger glasses) and mental. During those dark years, my protagonists were traveling companions–sort of like Virgil in Dante's Inferno.
    So there.

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    >Writing is vital to me, not only to express my thoughts, but also to understand them.

    Until I force myself to be articulate enough to explain what's in my heart to someone else, I find I haven't adequately plumbed the depths of my soul. And if I will cultivate the art of careful listening, I can also understand the depths in another's soul.

    So my first answer was writing, until I remembered this:

    To understand the depths of God's soul, I must read the Bible.

    So if compelled, I choose reading. Far better to understand the Lord, even than to understand myself and others.

  • girlgeum

    >”Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”from Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

  • Durango Writer

    >I'd give up writing. Reading is a love too strong to give up. however, I'd hope that many writers would give up reading so they could continue to write the books I want to read!

  • http://thoughtsonpages.blogspot.com/ Christina Tsichlis

    A horrible, terrible, no good, very bad question! I’m assuming you mean reading for pleasure. As an English teacher, I have to read for work so that I can teach things properly. My love of reading in all forms is intense. I love the smell of books, the feel of books, and the way they take me all over the world/worlds and introduce me to new friends. However, I would have to give it up.

    See, thing is, I can sleep if I’m not reading a book. I can’t sleep if I’m not writing every day. I legitimately go a bit nuts and if I hit writer’s block my insomnia can get really bad, as does my mood. I have to be able to express the stories that swirl inside my head or I would loose my mind and all coherency with it. Even though I’m the biggest bibliophile I know, the choice isn’t really a choice. Reading is a joy, writing is a compulsion.

  • Pingback: Money or Readers – What’s More Important? | Rachelle Gardner()

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000529770052 ksenia

    I would give up reading but continue to write.

  • http://earthwalker.tk Julie Achterhoff

    I am so curious to know whether those who chose to go for the reading are serious, published writers or just somewhere else on the writing path. I can’t imagine someone craving the creative outlet of writing the way I do, yet even entertaining the option of giving it up, even for the glorious pastime that is reading! There’s simply no way I could live a life without writing. I don’t care if all I ever had to read for the rest of my life was my own stuff. I can never remember what books I write anyway, so no prob. :)
    Julie Achterhoff
    Author of Earthwalker,among others
    http://earthwalker.tk

  • http://thecapillary.blogspot.com The Capillary

    That is the world’s most unfair question… But if it was a life or death situation I would have to give up writing so that I could read for the rest of my life.

  • Disgusted.

    What a horrible, greedy question. It wasn’t cute nor funny.

    I would say go to hell, and publish the book myself. At least that way, if I don’t make any profit, I would only be accountable for myself.

  • http://www.wouldyouratherquiz.com would you rather

    This is an interesting one… I would have to go with give up writing, because I am too much of a voracious reader to live without my books!

  • http://en.netlog.com/lowfrlieleeann/blog/blogid=4386077 Ashlyn

    You have remarked very interesting details ! ps decent website . “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” by Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill.

  • http://laspeedwing.blogspot.com/ laspeedwing

    Twisted. I like it. I’ll give up writing because it was only through reading that I started writing and still now, it’s the reading that keeps me at writing.

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