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Avatar image for lordgodalming
#1 Edited by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

I am a lifelong gamer, reader, and writer. When I was a kid I spent my summer evenings either stretched out on the couch with a sci-fi novel, or on my dad’s PC playing Lucasarts adventure games. So here’s my question: are other gamers readers?

I’ve been writing books for a good ten years now—a few of them good enough to publish—and my newest book is actually about a gamer. The feedback I’ve gotten from agents and publishers is, “Great story, but there’s no market for it because gamers don’t read.”

To which I say, REALLY? I am a gamer and a reader. My friends are gamers and readers. What am I missing? Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

Not really, because I already get a lot of meaty stories from games. Plus time management and all.

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#3 Edited by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

Well of course there are gamers that read. Gaming and reading aren't mutually exclusive. I haven't been reading much lately if i'm being honest.

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#4 Posted by DonutFever (4038 posts) -

I do a little bit, not as much as I should.

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#5 Posted by CaLe (4757 posts) -

As part of studying, yes. Not much for recreational purposes these days.

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#6 Posted by Dot (164 posts) -

Not me.

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#7 Posted by schreiberty (229 posts) -

well im pretty sure Ready Player One did pretty good, so there has to be some market. Also generally i dont like reading fiction about video games, it usually comes across like its trying to hard but Ready Player One was pretty good.

Also yes, i read books regularly

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#8 Posted by JJWeatherman (14933 posts) -

Yes! Reading's great. Writing, too. You should point us to your published works, as I'd love to check them out.

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#9 Posted by Twisted (305 posts) -

There are plenty of gamers who read, they are not mutually exclusive. I read, though not as much as I'd like to anymore, but if your book sounded interesting enough I'd buy it.

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#10 Posted by jeffrud (556 posts) -

I'm genuinely put off by the idea that people don't read for the hell of it. I'm in grad school and still manage to read "fun" books outside of the metric tons of assigned stuff I slog through weekly. Seriously, no matter what your interests are, no matter how depraved they may be, there's books to be read that cater to your interests.

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#11 Edited by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

Wow, lots of people chiming in already, thanks! Sounds like a pretty mixed back so far. And I definitely remember the college days of reading only for class instead of fun.

@jjweatherman said:

Yes! Reading's great. Writing, too. You should point us to your published works, as I'd love to check them out.

And I would love to whore out my books in a public space like this! But it is (rightfully) not allowed.

Edit: Holy shit are you actually Rich Gallup? I used to watch you on Gamespot all the time. Cheers!

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#12 Posted by falserelic (5769 posts) -

I might read gaming articles or magazines. I've never been heavy on reading books that's just me.

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#13 Posted by Slag (7351 posts) -

I was a reader first, games came later.

But I must admit, in the age of interwebs, games and smart phones I don't "read" a whole lot anymore although I'm reading constantly.

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#14 Posted by JJWeatherman (14933 posts) -

@jjweatherman said:

Yes! Reading's great. Writing, too. You should point us to your published works, as I'd love to check them out.

And I would love to whore out my books in a public space like this! But it is (rightfully) not allowed.

Edit: Holy shit are you actually Rich Gallup? I used to watch you on Gamespot all the time. Cheers!

I'm not Rich, unfortunately, haha. Just a fan.

But it'd be totally fine to link to your books. Especially at someone's request. PM me if you're really not comfortable with it. I'm always looking to read new things!

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#15 Posted by shinjin977 (912 posts) -

I just haven't found any books that interest me recently. The last series I completed was Tales of Ice and Fire, and Fate/Zero before that. Wow, now that I think about it. It's been at least 3 years since I finish a book.

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#16 Edited by Gamer_152 (14501 posts) -

I read, but you also have to remember that you're not going to get a proper overview of gamers' reading habits by asking this question to the users here, or probably even by asking it on gaming websites in general. Among 18-35 males who are the primary audience for video games, I'm sure there are quite a few readers, but I'd wager that most young men and probably even young people in general, just aren't that into books.

Moderator
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#17 Posted by Stonyman65 (3651 posts) -

I read and write all the time. I've been reading more stuff online rather than typical books these days just because I'm at the computer a lot rather than sitting down and reading a book.

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#18 Posted by mason20 (349 posts) -

Sure am! I usually read a novel or two a month. I give thanks to the many stories I have read in video games as a kid which I feel increased my speed in reading and interest.

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#19 Edited by Chop (2013 posts) -

I still read try to read occasionally but honestly, I've lost touch with it in recent years. I maybe get through five books a year now and that's being optimistic about it. For me, reading requires 100% of my attention, while gaming or internet browsing or whatever can be done with half a mind, which kinda makes those hobbies...uhh...easier.

I've embraced the disposable entertainment age we're living in!

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#20 Posted by mattscout007 (113 posts) -

I love games, and probably play more than I read, but when I find a good book, nothing engrosses me more. I don't know what it is but good books are almost dangerous to me with how easily they can suck me in. Nearly missed a test last year in college because I stayed up late reading "The Wise Man's Fear", and I've managed to never do the same with a game. So I would qualify myself as a gamer and a reader. (I dabble in writing a bit too.)

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#21 Edited by EvilNiGHTS (1169 posts) -

Considerably less than I used to, as having disposable income and becoming increasingly inpatient is likely to do to some people. Made a concious effort to get back into reading a couple of years ago, but I kind of have motivate myself to do it and it's easier to do so when train journeys are part of my commute (I can't read on buses without getting motion sickness).

I also tend to pick up bad habits and have an awful time trying to get through books that I don't enjoy, to the point that I'll grind to a halt and it'll take months to finish it rather than simply trying something else. Started on Neuromancer in July of last year, and didn't finish it until January. A real shitshow.

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#22 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -

I have to agree that not many of the people who play games do read.

Personally I like, and I think many other guys do too, the more immediate nature of games. You don't have to concentrate your full atention to be immersed on the action, and there is little left for the player to fill with his imagination. And as difficulty has taken a nose dive in the latter generations, it is a hobby better fitted to a stressful and unstable world.

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#23 Posted by Ben_H (3957 posts) -

I used to a ton. Not so much anymore. Do programming books and other things like that count or do you mean novels/other forms of fiction? I'm reading a 1200 page Python book right now along with a book on Unix.

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#24 Posted by JasonR86 (10178 posts) -

I read. I also play games. But if anyone calls me a gamer or a reader I'll be really upset with them.

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#25 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4430 posts) -
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#26 Posted by Irvandus (3170 posts) -

I play games and I read. I believe these two things having nothing to do with each other.

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#27 Edited by Calitar (114 posts) -

I can't even read this thread!

To seriously answer your question, not as much as I would like. Part of that is due to the fact that I have arthritis and get cramps in my hands while holding books open (don't currently have an e-reader and don't like reading on the computer). Currently making my way through Cloud Atlas with Game of Thrones next on the list.

ETA: Forgot to say that I also read some manga. Currently re-reading Wandering Son vol 1-3 while waiting to get volume 4.

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#28 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: Good point about video game books. I know an author named Tobias Buckell, and he went from having a sort of sci-fi cult following to being an NYT bestseller as soon as he was offered the chance to write a book in the Halo universe.

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#29 Posted by Justin258 (14487 posts) -

Yes, I do. Not as often as I should, but I do read. Saying that gamers don't read is fucking stupid, there are people from every hobby and walk of life that read, and there are some that don't.

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#30 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

@lordgodalming said:

@jjweatherman said:

Yes! Reading's great. Writing, too. You should point us to your published works, as I'd love to check them out.

And I would love to whore out my books in a public space like this! But it is (rightfully) not allowed.

Edit: Holy shit are you actually Rich Gallup? I used to watch you on Gamespot all the time. Cheers!

I'm not Rich, unfortunately, haha. Just a fan.

But it'd be totally fine to link to your books. Especially at someone's request. PM me if you're really not comfortable with it. I'm always looking to read new things!

Understood. When I saw how many followers and posts you have I suddenly wondered, ha ha. I won't link directly to my books, but you can check out my website at

http://www.andreswartley.com/ if you'd like. Thanks!

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#31 Edited by Devil240Z (5708 posts) -

I don't remember the last time I read a novel. or any form of book for that matter.

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#32 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4430 posts) -

@lordgodalming: I've read some of his Halo books! Interesting he was a cult hit. 'The more you know. Thanks!

Edit: I just looked, and I knew I had 'The Cole Protocol.' @_@

Also, I just added one of your books to my wishlist. I think I'll get it at some point, when funds seem alright. Still, thanks!

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#33 Edited by rebgav (1442 posts) -

I do not understand the concept that there are people (individuals or groups) who do not read. If you can read, why wouldn't you read?

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#34 Posted by pyromagnestir (4470 posts) -

I don't read nearly as much as I'd like, for reasons I'd rather not get into. I'm illiterate. :( ... Okay, you caught me. That's actually not it.

Gaming and reading aren't mutually exclusive.

Incorrect. You're either with us or against us. Choose wisely.

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#35 Posted by Lord_Xp (648 posts) -

I would really love to read more. But I have so little time to do so. I love philosophy type books, even though I've never read any. I want to though. The only books I don't think I'd like is Sci-Fi books. I also love reading about ancient history and those old legends.

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#36 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: Thanks a lot! I wish I were popular enough for my books to be in your library so you could read them for free! And regarding Tobias Buckell, his own original series of books is what he calls "Carribbean steampunk." Really unique stuff.

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#37 Edited by JJWeatherman (14933 posts) -
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#38 Edited by ShaggE (8449 posts) -

Always be reading. Not nearly as much as when I was a kid, but only because I read an obscene amount of books back then, and it's just not realistic to keep up that pace. But I still read quite a bit. Hell, I was one of those people that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the e-book age because I was such a traditionalist. The idea of having thousands of books in my hand was just too tempting to ignore, though.

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#39 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5919 posts) -

Well so in the past two months I've finished three books, all of them over 500 pages long.

I don't know how representative I am of the average gamer, but there you go.

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#40 Posted by TheHT (14443 posts) -


Edit: Holy shit are you actually Rich Gallup? I used to watch you on Gamespot all the time. Cheers!

I'm unexpectedly pleased that this still happens.

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#41 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

Well so in the past two months I've finished three books, all of them over 500 pages long.

I don't know how representative I am of the average gamer, but there you go.

Hell, that's better than I've done. Ha ha.

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#42 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

@theht said:

@lordgodalming said:


Edit: Holy shit are you actually Rich Gallup? I used to watch you on Gamespot all the time. Cheers!

I'm unexpectedly pleased that this still happens.

Why? Don't tell me YOU'RE Rich Gallup. ;)

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#44 Posted by Tennmuerti (9136 posts) -

Absolutely.

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#45 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2547 posts) -

I sort of doubt it, considering how insensitive they are to the quality of writing.

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#46 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4430 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: Thanks a lot! I wish I were popular enough for my books to be in your library so you could read them for free! And regarding Tobias Buckell, his own original series of books is what he calls "Carribbean steampunk." Really unique stuff.

Aah, I've fallen out with libraries. I don't like that they never changed since my 6th grade. Like watching everyone be there for 'coolmathgames.com' depresses me. And seeing shitty people I knew from high-school, ahh..

Anyway uhm, I saw that your 'Leon' book is $4 on Kindle. Totally good enough for me! I liked that your cover looks like the old 1970 'Hobbit' cover. And uh, 'Dragon Warrior, sure.

But Tobias: 'Caribbean Steampunk,' you say? It sounds like 'Treasure Planet,' to me, which is fine. I would definitely check it out, though.

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#47 Edited by gomezar7 (70 posts) -

I love reading.

For those who are interested in Economics Stiglitz's Price of inequality and Wapshott's Keynes Hayek were good reads. Not everyone will agree with Stiglitz's conclusions but they are well thought out.

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#48 Posted by StarvingGamer (11399 posts) -

I used to be. I would read a few books a month up until my daughter was born.

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#49 Posted by chilipeppersman (1318 posts) -

@video_game_king: this. I used to read a lot more when I was under the age of 10, like choose your own adventure and stuff. It was those books that got me into video games I guess. Being able to make your own decisions and whatnot was amazing to me. But now I do that with games, and I mainly play games that have good SP stories, and I will spend a lot of time seeing what its like if its interesting, prolly KOTOR was my first revelation to that idea....

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#50 Posted by lordgodalming (235 posts) -

I sort of doubt it, considering how insensitive they are to the quality of writing.

Interesting point. Given that most game reviewers will point out good or bad writing, I think we aren't necessarily "insensitive" to bad writing in games. We will just put up with it if the surrounding gameplay is fun.

On the other hand, give me Amy Hennig's writing over, say, whatever jagoff(s) wrote the last three Transformers movies.