The Importance of Reading in the Life of a Writer

Cat-reading-a-book

The following content is taken from an article I wrote for Every College Girl called “How To… Find More Time to Read.” Reading is vital to the budding writer because it improves his or her vocabulary, teaches flow, and illustrates what does and does not work in the way of structure. Thus, it is absolutely essential you commit yourself to reading. If you’re looking to improve your writing, you must get in the habit of reading. I cannot stress this point enough. Here is the article:

As a self-professed bibliophile, there is nothing I love more than reading. I read whenever I can wherever I can, and I read almost everything that I can get my hands on. Believe it or not, you have more time to read than you think you do. Here are a few tips for finding more time to start that new series you’ve been dying to read.

Make a book your companion
First of all, get used to reading in small sips as well as big swallows. This means always having a book with you because the opportunity to read could come at any time, and you don’t want to be caught unawares. Read in lines, before a movie starts, in the bathroom, between classes, and before bed. Read whenever you have a few free minutes, not only when you can devote hours at a time to the book.

Expand your reading horizons
Also, read in the car. Now, I don’t mean that you should prop your novel against the steering wheel and have at it on the interstate. Today, thank God, we have audiobooks. You can download an audiobook to listen to while cleaning, doing laundry, or walking to class–not just while driving somewhere. Audibooks make it possible to multi-task, and what woman doesn’t want that?

Know yourself
My third and most important point is this: Read what you want to, and put the book down if you aren’t enjoying it. Just because millions of people before you have liked War and Peace doesn’t mean you should feel guilty if it’s not your cup of tea. Life’s too short to read boring books. Find something that piques your interest. If you don’t like something, move on. That’s all there is to it.

What do you think?
Do you love to read, too? What advice do you have to get the most out of your reading sessions?

How often do you read? I’d love to hear your input!

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3 thoughts on “The Importance of Reading in the Life of a Writer

  1. tarunss

    Sadly, I find that the more I write, the less I have a desire to read. For some reason, reading is something that takes up a lot of my energy, so my reading and writing life becomes very either/or. Essentially, since I recognize that I have to read to improve as a writer, I’ll set aside days where I read ‘instead’ of write. Definitely going to take a look at audiobooks a la your post, though. It may just be a way of absorbing the information without exhaustion, so that I can write on ‘reading’ days too. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. esjones2011

    I have an original Kindle, which has a text-to-speech option. So it will actually read books to me. It isn’t as cool as an audiobook, since it’s a generic robot voice, but it means I can listen to a book while I need my hands/eyes to do other things, and when I can read-read, I can continue the book that way. It has made work so much better and helps me stay awake and alert (night shift, yaaay).

    I try to read a book or two a week, though when I’m on a roll with my writing, my reading suffers. And I have to be careful, since whatever I’m reading at the moment can have a big effect on my writing–after reading “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” I found myself describing exactly what my characters were doing all day, every day, despite it not furthering the plot. ^.^; Heh. Oops.

    Reply

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