I'm usually wary of writing about writing and reading about writing, because (as this sentence probably already illustrates) it can get rather circular and confusing. That said, I've found myself thoroughly enjoying The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. And while I don't agree with her stance on work spaces, there are plenty of other bits that I've underlined, circled, and generally found very worthy of further thought.
For example, THIS bit about movies vs. books:
Why would anyone read a book instead of watching big people move on a screen? Because a book can be literature. It is a subtle thing-- a poor thing, but our own. In my view, the more literary the book--the more purely verbal, crafted sentence by sentence, the more imaginative, reasoned, and deep--the more likely people are to read it. The people who read are the people who like literature, after all, whatever that might be. They like, or require, what books alone have. If they want to see films that evening, they will find films. People who read are not too lazy to flip on the television; they prefer books. I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place.
(Bold emphasis is my own.)
It can feel like the book world is dominated by this urge to win more readership by creating a reading experience that mimics all the good TV out there nowadays, but what a mistake! Thank you Annie.
I also had to laugh out loud at the way she described a day of failed writing that ended as such:
I decided to hate myself, to make popcorn and read.
I've been there girl. I've been at the bottom of that popcorn bowl before.