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edited July 2010 in - Writing Problems
Does everyone find that reading a lot helps their writing? Never fails to amaze how may writers I meet who don't read! I try to clear two books in a week (all being well) and it assists me in my work so much.


  • I agree completely, CB, and reading inspires me to get on with my own writing. Most of what I read is in the same genre: YA thriller-cum-fantasy.
  • I read anything. fiction and fact. Even dictionaries. And I do find that reading, in particular good poetry, helps inspire me, and raises the quality of what I am writing.
  • Oh, and hi Cath.
  • edited July 2010
    Hello back at you Liz!
    I find reading helps me with any probs I have with my writing, when I get stuck or write myself into a corner - where I frequently find myself ...
  • Hello, Cath, pull up a chair.
    I love reading children's/YA books - I'm never quite sure how it helps my writing, but I think it does!
  • read read read. All the writers interviewed in WM say that. I do it all the time, it's a good cure for insomnia.
  • Welcome, CB!!

    Yeah, I read constantly. I don't get how other people can say they don't read - especially other writers. If you don't like reading, how can you expect anyone to want to read your stuff? And how can you hone your own skills if you don't look at other writers' material to see what works and what doesn't, or even learn how to use grammar and punctuation correctly? Most writers do their thing by instinct, but there are skills we need to learn so we can, hopefully, gain a bit of professional credibility, and the best way to do that is by reading.

  • With all the good weather we're having I'm reading like mad and itdefinitely helps my writing.
  • I don't read nearly as much as I should, a book a week at most. I know there's probably a balance I could make, but I prefer writing a hell of a lot more than reading.
  • I have spells of reading between writing sessions.
  • I read as much as I can, always try to find the time even if it's just on the bus to work
  • When I saw Terry Pratchett speak at the Winchester Writers' Conference, his summing up sentence was basically, "Read, read, read. Read so much that it fills you up and you are overflowing." He says his friends and family buy him books about odd subjects, which he laps up, like the history of false teeth!
  • ive always got my nose in a book and get through 1 book every 1-2 days on average. i love nothing more than taking a book in the bath with me and find i can easily lose two hours whilst turning into a giant prune!
    i tend to carry my book room to room even if i am moving to do a job i.e ill leave my book in the kitchen while i mop then while i wait for the floors to dry i am sat on the kitchen side reading.

    i love reading!
  • yippeee, you read one book every 1-2 days? I find that astonishing.

    Now I'm wondering, does everybody remember everything they've read?
  • I started reading a book once and got a couple of chapters into it before I realised it felt very familiar...and I realised I'd read it before! (but I re-read my books all the time. it's such a comfort!)
  • John Wyndham's The Chrysalids stands out in my reading history as the only book I read non-stop, from afternoon to 4 or 5am the next morning. I had to see what happened. I was single at the time so that didn't affect anybody else. But Yippee, doesn't your reading impinge on the family? Or make you a tad anti-social?
  • I would never have a bath for two hours, but throw in a flake and maybe you might just twist my something or other to do so. :)
  • My uncle had leprosy and he always had a flake or two in his bath.
  • urrrrrrrrrrrrgh sometimes, young man, you are truly revolting.
  • Hey we'll have less of the young thank you very much.
  • Oh, I've read plenty of books non-stop, including The Chrysalids (incidentally my favourite book of John Wyndham's).

    I do find myself re-reading books I've read before quite often... covers change, and if you've read loads of books you do forget. The most irritating thing is to become vaguely aware you know the story about 75% through, and then remember exactly what happens 4 pages before the end... I hate that, particularly with detective novels!

    Nowadays I read fact and fiction and poetry so it's hard to know how many each day, but I get through about 5 books(novels) a week plus I've dipped into or read through several poetry books and often read a factual reference book or two as well.

    With novels I often find if someone's asking me what I'm reading that I have no idea... of the title I mean.

    Currently reading Margaret Athill's autobiography (the last one, can't remember what it's called!), 'Rose, Where Did You Get that Red' by Kenneth Koch, 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe, 'Book of Longing' by Leonard Cohen, The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens and 'Butterfly Brain' by Barry Cryer.
  • bath? no way. Read? all the time. And yes, I do remember pretty much all I read. Unless it's a large book, I get through 2-3 a week. I have a book by my chair all the time at home, books in my office to read apart from the non fiction for research, that is, a book in the car (in case I go to lunch on my own) a book here in the summerhouse (in case I get to go to lunch on my own and don't go by car) and a book is rarely far from my side.

    When I lived in Spain, we associated with a lot of working families, there on contract for some of the biggest industrial giants there are. One family admitted they set the table for dinner with everyone's book by their place mat. They thought people who didn't do that were strange!
  • Hmm, Dorothy... we were brought up to consider it rude to read at the table, if you're in company, that is, the idea being that it's a time and set-up for mixing. So that cuts out reading the paper at breakfast.

    [quote=Liz!]but I get through about 5 books(novels) a week[/quote]

    It's thanks to you and your ilk, Liz, that the rest of us have hope eternal that the publishing industry will need us somewhere down the line.
  • I get them mostly from the library though now Dwight as we don't have the money any more, or the space, the bookshelves being full. Ish. Could fit a few more in. But those will be MINE. Mwahahahahahahhahaha.
  • well, Dwight, that family was being brought up to consider reading at a meal was all right. I read at breakfast, until daughter wanders in, and then out again. I snatch all the reading time I can, no matter where.
  • As reading is food for the soul I think it's acceptable to have books at the dinner table.
  • I could never read in the bath.
    I go through periods when I read loads of books then have a rest for a while, usually when I am writing my own book, but I read poems every day.
  • Must admit cathbore, this thread has got me thinking. I dusted off one of the books I have on my reading pile this week, and keep dipping into it every now and again.

    Hurray for reading.
  • I still keep reading the title of this thread as Reading (the place) ;)
  • So do I!!
  • So glad I'm not the only one...:)
  • It's the capital letter carol, not us.
  • But Carol, without a capital letter is okay? :)

    Have you ever been to Reading, either of you?
  • I love reading, certainly broadens your horizons
  • Think I've been near Reading, Dora. :)
  • :)


    You can't miss it Carol. :)
  • Well it rings bells, but I can't remember which direction we were going, or the intended destination...;)
  • [quote=dora]yippeee, you read one book every 1-2 days? I find that astonishing[/quote] [quote=dora]yippeee, you read one book every 1-2 days? I find that astonishing[/quote]

    yes thats right but they're not huge books about 300-400 pages each one.
    i remember most books ive read, but occaisionally i will get halfway through a book and realise ive read it a few years previous
  • [quote=Dwight] But Yippee, doesn't your reading impinge on the family? Or make you a tad anti-social?[/quote]

    i do the majority of my reading when my son is at nursery, which is when my daughter naps or in the bath and then the little inbetween spare minutes i have. but it doesnt imposeon my family time.
    im up very early in the morning which is when i get my housework done and then spend the rest of the morning playing with the kids and preparing the evening meal. my husband spends the evening on the guitar so he rarely notices when im not there, i could fall in the plughole for all he knows!
    my writing is done late at night. i go to bed about 1am and tend to be writing until that time.
  • My sister is like you yippee, reads tons and tons of books. She has millions. :) Whenever I come away from staying with her, I'm always laden with few more titles to add to my "must read" pile.

    Anyway, I said earlier in this thread I have been inspired to get reading through that pile, and started this week. It's a good book an' all - Sophie Hannah.

  • Only been past Reading on the way to London.
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