Stephen King once said:
‘To be a writer you must do two things above all else: read a lot and write a lot.’
Now while I agree with the ‘write a lot,’ part, I’m one of those writers who doesn’t wholly believe in the first. For me, it suggests that if you don’t regularly read books, you can’t be a good writer. And if that’s the case, I’d better quit now.
But while I don’t believe you have to read anything and everything all the time, I do know that reading is beneficial to the writing process. Here are four reasons why writers (should,) read books.
Reading books is a great way to get inspired if you’re ever feeling the writer block blues come around. Holding that book in your hands, delving into the story, thinking ‘this is amazing,’ really helps get your own creative juices flowing. It inspires you to make your own story better, to work harder and in worst cases, inspire a completely new idea all together.
Nothing makes you want to write more than reading a good book. You know the journey the author made to get to that point. You know their struggles and the time and dedication it took to create the story. ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’ It helps push you into writing your own.
Reading can help you understand how writing works. You can study character development, story structure, style of writing all while enjoying a really good story. You can see what makes a good book and a bad book, and use those to help with your own writing. It helps you see mistakes you make with your own writing, and how to fix them.
Nothing pulls you away from your writing faster than kids, or a really good book. Writers can’t be writing all the time, so what better way to ‘write that chapter later,’ than curling up with a book (that’s actually finished,) instead.
What are some of the reasons you read? Do you believe that you have to read lots of books in order to be a good writer? Let me know down in the comments.
Good thoughts and happy writing!