Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Read More to Write Better by Diana Flegal

I was amazed the first time an author pitching me his story of a certain genre informed me he did not read stories of that particular genre or really read much at all. It was obvious to me he hadn't and didn't.

While I am sure there are exceptions, and one of you might be that one, I believe strongly that in order to become a good writer one must be a great reader. 

I can't imagine an aspiring pianist having no familiarity with melody.

Assuming you are a lover of words, I am curious to know how you choose your reading material.

I know some who visit their local indie bookstore and ask the staff what they have recently read and liked. Others ask their librarian, and others go with book club picks.

How do you choose, and what have you read recently that you especially enjoyed? What are you currently reading?

I am reading Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller (for the second time), as well as The Aviators Wife by Melanie Benjamin


jan said...

Your point is spot on. I have my favorite authors and I always know when their next book is coming out. I gravitate toward authors who are interviewed on NPR/PRI. I often decide based on recommendations from friends. Or, I wander up and down the aisles of my local bookstore until something grabs me. I just finished "The Art of Memoir" by Mary Karr ("The Liar's Club")and I am on the home stretch with Matthieu Ricard's 700 pg. tome, "Altruism--The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World." Next up is "Crafting the Personal Essay" by Dinty Moore. As they say, "So many books, so little time."

Rick Barry said...

Although I sometimes take interest from browsing the local store, more often friends pique my curiosity when they gush about books they love, and after that I stumble across new titles in ads and blog posts.

But yes, definitely, if you're going to write, you have to read in that genre, whether it's kids' books, suspense, romance, or whatever.

Emily Ann Putzke said...

I use Goodreads most of the time to find books and recommendations. It's such a great tool! I'm currently reading "The Wall" by John Hersey.

Diana Flegal said...

Jan, you are so right, so many books so little time :-) Rick, friend recommendations have piqued my curiosity as well. And Emily, Goodreads is another place I have come across interest worthy titles. When I see them I add them to my 'to read' list and on Amazon, I have a wish list of titles I refer to often. Many of these I seek out at my local library.

Unknown said...

I have my favorite authors too but sometimes I like to go out of my comfort zone and try someone new. Friends and customers recommend books and I tend to try them just for something new. And when all else fails I read new cook books. There is a great new one called Caramel. Makes you want to start melting butter... Ricky Lauren (Ralph Lauren's wife) has a new book (actually not new but new to my shoppe) Ricky Lauren, The Hamptons, Food, Family and History. A great cookery and wonderful insight to the Ralph Lauren magic.
Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild
Her Majesty's English Tea Room
author:Estate of Mind