What Reading Does For Writers

The joy of reading the works of others, what does it teach us?

Reading like a writer is an essential skill for all to have. Reading however for me is not about improving my writing. For me, it is an escape to another world, a release from the tragedy that is life.

One of my earliest, childhood memories involves buying books with my mum. As an avid bookworm herself, she often took me to bookshops. One was an old rambling house with many different rooms and stairways. It was a fantasy world all of its own. In it, on every available wall, was floor to ceiling bookshelves, filled with second hand books. My sister never read, so this was a time for the two of us. We would spend hours wandering the rooms choosing our next reads.

Today we share books as much as we ever did. Books go back and forth, and we talk about them as if they are friends.

Recently, in lockdown, I have added another hobby to my life. Staring at other peoples bookcases. To be fair if I visit a house I often have a nose at what you read. Now with so many people being interviewed in front of their bookshelves, I can have a good nose at celebrity reading. It is better than listening to the depressing drivel coming out of their mouths.

Reading and Writing

As I read I now look at sentence structure, character development and many other factors. I analyse what makes a good read and what I can’t finish. This informs the writer in me.

If I see a word I don’t know I look it up. I educate myself. When the time is right I add it to my writing.

It is a valuable skill every writer should use. Not with novels and textbooks, but with articles of interest. What makes you read a blog post to the end, and what makes you stop reading?

Use these insights as a reader to inform your writing. If you like a particular style and voice, it is fair to say others will. Improve your writing, by writing something you would want to read.

If you are writing fiction then keep in mind everyone’s story is different. The writer might start the story, but they need a reader for it to come alive, and it is never the same way twice. Everyone’s journey will be different. That is the beauty of writing.

The reader in writers.

Because reading is such a big passion of mine and informs my writing. I have decided to add it to my articles. Suggestions for good reads and recommendations that you should try.

Not reviews of books, you can check my Goodreads out for them, but a more in-depth study. Why I enjoyed the book, what it changed in my life and why I think you would benefit from the journey.

These recommendations will be shared with my email list and on my publication as a separate tab. These will include fact and fiction, not self-help books though. I don’t read them. They are not for me, other people are different. Each to their own.

If you could choose one book what would it be?

Imagine it is the apocalypse and you could save one book for everyone else. What would it be and why? Tell me in the comments, other peoples reading fascinates me as much as the books.

As a fellow bookworm, I will leave you with this. My favourite quote from a book I read as a child and still read today.

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly — Inkheart Cornelia Funke


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