As I watch the snow fall outside, I’m excited about reading today. Of course, this assumes that I will be able to get both the little tykes down at the same time. But I cannot tell you how much I look forward to sitting down with a good book. And because I’m a writer, I get to call it “research.” Isn’t life grand?
And it reminds me of a common issue I confront at writing workshops. At the last one I taught, I asked for a show of hands asking who was currently reading a book. I had to swallow down a gasp of shock when just two or three individuals–out of fifteen–raised their hands. My indignation swelled, but I calmly replied, “That’s not acceptable.”
I try to read at least a book a week. And I’m a mom of two kiddos under four!!! I read on my Kindle while I workout, as my husband watches TV at night, and during my kids’ quiet time. Basically, once I’ve completed my proscribed daily word count, I set my computer aside and read. As a writer, I am constantly growing and developing–learning. Every writer, no matter her level, can be better. I want to get way, way better. So it makes sense that I consume everything from popular YA to the classics. The best way to learn good writing is to read what has been deemed worthy.
That’s my philosophy, at least.
Perhaps Samuel Johnson said it best:
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”