Let’s talk reading habits…

Hey guys,

Hope everyone is doing well. Since things have so far remained quiet in Hong Kong and Kashmir (see last week’s blogpost), I thought I’d just answer a question I get quite a bit.

Fairly regularly, I have some reader email and ask about my reading habits. Most assume I’m a voracious reader (and finisher) of hundreds of books, but actually, it’s quite the opposite.

I try to be a voracious reader. But frankly, I am a notoriously picky reader.

I don’t finish about eighty percent of the books I start, and I’ve literally gone to the library or bookstore to pick out a book and returned home two hours later without one.

But I do love to read. Don’t get me wrong. I just mostly re-read my favorites. I kid you not, I’ve re-read some of my favorite books more than five or six times.  (I think I’ve read one or two of them probably ten times, but I don’t expect you to believe that.)

And I don’t just read them. That’s not really a fair statement. I sort of chew on them. I move through them pretty slow when I’m re-reading (truthfully, I’m a slow reader even on the first run-through). But when I’m re-readine one of my favorite books, what I’m really trying to do is see (and study) what the author is doing.

I like to dissect what they’ve done — if I can — on each page, and even each paragraph. And I’ve personally found that I get far more out of books (from a learning perspective) when I’m re-reading one, than from reading a new one. For me, I find it’s nearly impossible to learn something when you don’t know what twist or turn is coming up.

So, if you broke into my house and examined the books on my bookshelves, you’d find things underlined, notes written in the margins, etc.

Like I said, I’m all about trying to discern what the author was doing. And with most books, I don’t even finish them; much less re-read them.

Most of the time, I start them and the author goes left when I think he/she should’ve gone right. Or the book gets me thinking about one of my stories, and next thing you know, I’m sitting down writing.

In many respects, I’m more of a writer than a reader. If you turn a movie on, or even start a conversation with me, often you’ll see my eyes drift about halfway through it because you can just about guarantee that my mind has drifted off to some kind of story idea. And by then, I’m almost dying to get my hands on a pen and pad (or fire up the laptop). 

Anyway, what’s your reading habits? How do you read? (Paper? Kindle? Audio?) Where do you read? (Don’t tell me if the bathroom is one of the locations! lol) And roughly how many books do you read per year or month? 

Also, are you a one book person? Or (like me), do you find yourself often reading a couple or three books at one time? Sort of nibbling on them until they get boring or piss you off?

Love to hear your all’s feedback/habits.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Oh, and I’m on the final scene my latest work — a story of two Marine NCOs in Afghanistan. I think the book is going to be pretty good. More to come.

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New front page graphic 2Stan R. Mitchell is a writer and author, as well as a prior Marine infantryman. Mitchell served in Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, and was lucky enough — or unlucky enough — to snag a Combat Action Ribbon. (The details of his military career.) Looking for something free to read? Here’s a piece of fiction that he wrote for you to sample. Hopefully, it’s both powerful and inspiring: The dreamer’s lament. And click the link at left to check out his books.

Hell or high water…

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! As promised last Friday, I’m going to try to get back on the weekly blog schedule. As such, let’s get to it.

On the national security front, there are two things I’ve really been trying to follow the past week. 

First, there are the enormous protests in Hong Kong. I’m still worried beyond belief that China is going to send in ground troops from their army, and it’s going to be an absolute bloodbath. I’m also terrified for the people of Hong Kong.

Can you imagine living there? Knowing your “own” leaders supported an extradition bill to China

If that bill is put into place, then any semblance of freedom is gone. Arguably, in many respects, freedom is already gone because China is already tracking who the leaders are of the movement, filing names and faces into databases. 

It would be nice if America would take its typical leadership position and encourage the Chinese to show restraint. But alas, that’s not happened as strongly as it should have yet. Maybe there’s still time for that.

The second big news crisis I’ve been trying to follow is the lockdown/invasion of Kashmir by India. That has all kinds of nasty possibilities happening, since Pakistan has nukes, the people of Kashmir don’t want to be ruled by India, etc.

These are definitely interesting times, and I haven’t even touched on the news that we’re negotiating the end of the war in Afghanistan with the Taliban.

Anyway, love to hear everyone’s thoughts on either of these matters. Or even the last one, where to my eyes, it seems the Taliban is in the stronger negotiating position, and thus has no real need to negotiate our withdrawal. They know that will happen at some point anyway.

One other thing I thought I’d mention is the movie “Hell or High Water,” which I recently watched on Netflix. Oh. My. Word.

How did I miss this movie when it came out?! 

It is EASILY one of the best movies I’ve seen in probably five years. 

One critic said of it, “There’s not a moment out of place, not a shot that stays too long. If [David McKenzie] makes a better film in his career, he’ll be lucky.”

Another, “Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.”

I couldn’t agree more with these sentiments. As soon as I finished the film, I IMMEDIATELY wanted to watch it again. I didn’t have time to, but I certainly plan to.

If you’ve got Netflix and haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Finally, speaking of time, my latest work — a story of two Marine NCOs in Afghanistan — continues to go well. Should be finishing it soon. Like maybe in a week or so.

Keep your fingers crossed about that. I’ve got to get this book done, come… (wait for it…) hell or high water. hahahahah

Oh, and let me know your thoughts on either the news above — I love a good conversation — or on Hell or High Water.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2Stan R. Mitchell is a writer and author, as well as a prior Marine infantryman. Mitchell served in Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, and was lucky enough — or unlucky enough — to snag a Combat Action Ribbon. (The details of his military career.) Looking for something free to read? Here’s a piece of fiction that he wrote for you to sample. Hopefully, it’s both powerful and inspiring: The dreamer’s lament. And click the link at left to check out his books.

Quick update, and some news

Hey guys, 

Hope everyone is doing well! It’s been too long since I last posted something on here, so there’s no time like the present to get back on track.

First, a quick update on me. I’m nearing the end of my latest work. It’s a book about two Marine NCOs in Afghanistan. I think it’s pretty good. Fast-paced, loaded with action, and extremely realistic. 

I’ll keep you posted on this as I get closer to releasing it, but it shouldn’t take too long. I’m hoping to have it done in a month or so. 😊😳

Secondly, I wanted to say that I’m going to try to post a blogpost every week from here on out. Sort of a weekly ramblings kind of thing. 

The topics will be a broad spectrum. From my thoughts on recent news and international affairs, to humorous or inspiring things I may come across. 

One of the great things about a blog is it’s easy to leave a comment and weigh in on a matter. Frankly, I’ve been increasingly disappointed with the dialogue happening on Twitter, so I’m hoping to provide a place where adults like us can talk and share views as a community, of sorts. 

So, here’s to that! 

Let me know below if you’ve got something you’d like to discuss.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2Stan R. Mitchell is a writer and author, as well as a prior Marine infantryman. Mitchell served in Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, and was lucky enough — or unlucky enough — to snag a Combat Action Ribbon. (The details of his military career.) Looking for something free to read? Here’s a piece of fiction that he wrote for you to sample. Hopefully, it’s both powerful and inspiring: The dreamer’s lament. And click the link at left to check out his books.