In the era of blogs and binge-watching tv shows and addictive online games, even writers can be distracted from one of their most important pursuits: reading. It’s easy to forget that we can learn a tremendous amount from simply immersing ourselves in other peoples’ words.
There’s reading as a writer, which involves careful analysis of craft elements to see what works and how we might apply it to our own writing. But there’s also the task of absorbing story and language, keeping up with what others are writing in our genre, or actually (gasp) reading for enjoyment.
After binge-buying books at recent conferences and independent bookstores, I have a gorgeous feast of summer reading ahead of me. Some of the titles on my to-read list are:
The Last Chinese Chef – Nicole Mones
The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
Z, a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – Therese Anne Fowler
The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George
The Queen of the Night – Alexander Chee
Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
H is for Hawk – Helen McDonald
Beijing Bastard – Val Wang
All the Single Ladies – Rebecca Traister
The Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys – Klara Glowczewska, ed.
There are more books piled up on my bookshelves, tables, and floors, but this will do for a start. I’m sure I’ll add more as the summer goes on.
What are you reading? Are you reading a little, every day? If not, try to make it a habit to fill the well regularly, and see if it makes a difference in your connection to your own writing.
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