A friend if mine said to me yesterday about how if I wanted to become a better writer, I had to write more. And I know this, I never doubted that practice makes perfect. But I would have never given reading some thought.
I guess that reading lots of different styles and such like helps you understand how other writers work. And I’m always reading, not just the conventional hardback or paperback books, but literally everything. I read mountains of stuff for work, I read kids books, I read gossip and fashion magazines, even technology stuff too. I am constantly on my iPad reading my subscription of the Guardian. I am always reading random stuff on the Internet. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not reading SOMETHING.
Like writing, I’ve always been reading. I’ve been reading everything and anything since I was able to walk. I passed the habit onto my daughter too, from an early age she had more books than most adults own. I was quite impressed that she had the entire collection of Dr Seuss and Beatrix Potter on the same shelf. And now it shows in her school work, as her writing is amazing and she devours books so fast when she is able to sit still for five minutes.
If I sit down and think back to the amount of crap I have read over the years, I absolutely astound myself. Hundreds of books. Tons of magazines and newspapers. Countless bus shelter posters and work manuals. Hours upon hours of sitting by my daughters bedside, reading her bedtime stories. And I’m glad to have passed the addiction on. It’s one of the best things I have taught my daughter I believe, even in the age of the Kindle and ebooks…there’s nothing quite like picking up a book and feeling the paper between your fingers and cracking a fresh spine on a brand new book. The smell of used bookstores, and the excitement of reading something you’ve never read before.
I impress myself with how many words I have written or read. And it’s certainly not something I plan on giving up anytime soon.