Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Other things we learn from bio lab

You might remember my discussion of bio lab in my last post. About the time my prof mentioned you need to read a lot of lab reports to know what you like, she also mentioned you need to read a lot of reports to learn something else: What's been done.

When doing a write up, you need to acknowledge what's been done before. If you don't keep track of what's been done around your subject, your research could end up looking totally derivative and useless.

It's sort of the same thing with books. Sometimes the same idea occurs to three people at the same time (I've heard of it), but if you never read, you'll never know it's been done before or how to make your book original in comparison.

Books are good. Books are fun. Books are context.

Go forth and read!


  1. Great reminder, Dominique! I know this lesson well from science, but I admit that when I work on fiction, I tend to only compare myself to the classics. Contemporary books may well be doing what I'm already doing, and while being redundant isn't a crime, I don't want to do that.

  2. This is a great reminder!! And SO true. I recently joined a crit group and it turned out me and another girl were writing about pretty similar subject matter!

  3. Good reminder. I'm trying to read more buy less (having said that, I brought home 4 new books tonight). If only osmosis would work with novels :-)

  4. Domey -- I know the feeling. Being redundant wouldn't feel good. It's a continual reminder of why I need to make time in my day for reading.

    Melissa -- It happens. I'm always amused when strangers come up with similar ideas. I wonder how it happens.

    Charmaine -- If only. Osmosis would be fabulous. Still, I must say, libraries are wonderful things. Book exchanges, too, are the stuff of magic.