I have a confession to make.

I was listening to a writing conference CD on my way home today and the discussion was on the difference between literary fiction and commercial fiction.

Several of the editors (it was a question and answer session) recommended reading Leif Enger’s book Peace Like a River.

I read the book through Reader’s Digest Select Editions.

Is it a sin for writers to read condensed versions of books?

I wonder what I missed by not seeing all the words.

The truth is, I would have never gotten around to reading the full blown version because I have so many books on my “to read” shelves (yes, shelves).

I have enjoyed so many good books through Select Editions.

Anyway, Miss Snark says “When agents talk about commercial fiction they mean the stuff that sells well. When they talk about literary fiction they mean the stuff that gets reviewed well.”

In my opinion, literary fiction is about the art of the writing itself and commercial fiction is about entertainment.

One book that I recommend you read for literary fiction is The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. She happens to be one of my favorite writers. Her book Redeeming Love is, in my opinion, a Christian Classic (the heroine is a prostitute. Warning: This book is very sensual)

P. S. I’m not smart enough to write literary works of art.