Seriously, a lot.  I always have a book on the go, generally fiction, I read the local papers and the Globe.  I also read magazines.  When you want to write for magazines it makes a lot of sense to read them.  Two of may favorites for at least 20 years now have been Powder and Bike.  so much so that I now pretty much have perpetual subscribtions to them both.  I also read Decline and of course all of the “E-zines” with preference for NSMB.com.  Something I have noticed is that the use of “casual” or “colloquial” language is on the rise.  While occasionally this can be refreshing, there is something to be said for clean, crisp use of the English language.  In the latest issue of Bike (December 2010) the article written by Brice Minnigh on the latest Red Bull Rampage is excellent.  So much so that I wrote them a letter, which I will publish here in case they don’t.

Dear Bike,

I must say, I am very impressed with the latest issue
(December 2010).  It’s not for an epic
photo, in depth technical review of the newest gadget or bike, or even an amusing
answer from Chopper.  No.  It is in fact for one very clever use of a
much ignored tool of English literature. 
I speak of the excellent examples of exemplary alliteration on page 61.  Not once but twice (at least) the first
letter of closely trailing words was matched. 
With much of the new “literature” being pushed upon us today by action
sports publications being of dubious quality, it was very refreshing to find
such high quality in one of my favourites. 
Keep it up; and in homage I offer a borrowed literary form for your
enjoyment, a Haiku.

Despite this back pain

I dream of trails yet
to be

Seen and felt with
joy

 

(and I just realized the first line of my Haiku has 6 syllables, not 5 – DOH! – OK, fixed now – better re-send my e-mail to Bike!!)

Andrew