Are You A Reader?

Carolyn McBride
3 min readOct 15, 2022


Let’s talk about reading…

Photo by 2Photo Pots on Unsplash

There are so many apps and websites vying for our time and attention these days that sometimes it can be difficult to shut out all the things clamoring for my attention. Do I knit tonight, or play a couple of hours of Skyrim? Or maybe I should watch Netflix. I am paying for that, after all. Or maybe I should…you get the idea.

But the one thing that is never in any doubt for me is reading.

I have been a lifelong reader since I learned that letters could make words, and those words could teach us things. I read pretty widely, as you might already know if you’ve hung out here with me for any length of time. Fiction, or non-fiction, I don’t have a preference. Mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, true history, science fiction, fantasy, crafting how-to manuals, some romance (of a very specific sub-genre), dystopian/apocalyptic fiction, gardening, and homesteading books…you get the idea, I’m sure. My point is, I am a rabid reader!

As you might have noticed if you’ve been here before, I am also a writer.

I’ve written a murder mystery, a couple of suspense novels, speculative fiction, some bad poetry back in the day, science fiction, fantasy, and quite a bit of shorter fiction. Currently, I’m back in the fantasy camp. I’ve been writing serial fiction lately too. Are you familiar with serialized fiction? If not, let me explain.

Back when Dickens was alive, he would release a chapter in a newspaper, per week. Readers became so hungry for each new chapter, they would buy copies of the paper just for the newest installment. Obviously, this drove subscription rates up for the newspaper, and anyone who could read was talking about Dickens. Serialization is making a comeback, and it’s exciting to see how authors are using it in a modern way!

Substack is a website/app that is helping authors and readers alike, “part of a seismic shift in the media economy that is all about writer and creator ownership and independence”. It is so much more than “just” a newsletter. There are hundreds of readers on SS, and the beauty is that if you read, no matter what you enjoy reading, no matter what you’re interested in — there is someone on Substack you’ll find interesting. Some have paid subscriptions, many more offer their writing for free. If you don’t know about Substack yet, go over and check it out. I promise you’ll find someone over there interesting! Yes, I use it myself. I read about thirty different “stacks” (newsletters) across a wide range of topics. And yes, I do still read “regular” books. Paper and ebooks. We do not have to read in just one format or another.

Currently, I have two “stacks” over there. “Brace Yourself” talks about all the ways we can increase our self-reliance (this stack is in need of some love and attention by its writer), and “Fantastical Library” which I envision as a library for my fantasy works as well as behind-the-scenes peeks at what I’m working on, how I work, and bonus material.

I’d love it if you’d come and check out Fantastical Library, as well as all the other terrific writers on Substack. You’re certain to find something interesting there! What do you like to read? Do you have a favorite format to read?



Carolyn McBride

I’m a self-sufficiency enthusiast, an author of novels & short stories, a reader, a gardener, lover of good chocolate, coffee & life in the woods.