Surefire – But Often Ignored – Trick to Superb Writing

by Jan Geronimo on September 23, 2009

writing tip

Reading broadens the mind.  For writers, it’s as important as breathing itself.  So the question I pose to you now is:  what have you read lately?

If you’re anything like me, I’m guilty of feeding my mind with nothing but junk food lately.  I’ve always postponed reading great books like a truant student.

Don’t laugh now but I religiously set aside blocks of time so I can have my fill of the following  -

  • Facebook status updates
  • Twitter updates or tweets
  • FriendFeed conversations
  • Blogs

Is this your daily reading fare, too?  That’s it?  Nothing more?  And you perhaps think you and I can dominate the blogosphere with such paltry nourishment?

Holy cow.

Elizabeth Hardwick says:

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”

Good reading illuminates your writing.  It enriches your work, gives it a compelling emotional and intellectual depth.  That’s something you cannot pick up from reading emo blogs.  See?  I remember all this after all, but I pay it no heed.

It’s time you and I became  good writers by making sure we read good books.  Actual books -  those made from the carcasses of dead trees.

Can you join me in making this  commitment?  Are you up for it?

Well,   I’d be revisiting an old friend – Toni Morisson’s Tar Baby.  But only if Joyce Carol Oates will allow it.  Out of the corner of my eyes, I can already see  a pout forming on Ms. Oates’ lips.

This will be a long night.  Imagine – a menage a trois!  Cool.

How about you?  Whose great writer’s magical words will lull you to sleep?  Out with it, guys.

Photo by Lauren Nelson

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  • I love to read, and I try to do it at least an hour a day. I read books about blogging, and Internet marketing, and I read novels (mostly fiction).

    I'm not sure how much it helps my blogging, but it helps me relax and it helps my creativity... so in the end, I think that my writing is better because of my reading.

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  • suacky
    hello author. suacky here, are you an ex-seminarian too? can u suggest a book i can read? i want philosophical, those that can reshape one's way of thinking after reading it. topic: just about everything, about life, about money, about careers, anything. of course from a notable author. im an exseminarian. its "ex". right now in wandering mode, still discerning. if you can give me a sound advice, it would be helpful.

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    by the way, ur blogs are worthy of reading. great job
  • Always good advice, Jan. I would add that there so many great books that if you find one doesn't "console, distract, and excite" you, pick up another.
    Love Toni Morrison, for instance, while Joyce Carol Oates truly puts me to sleep.
  • Sometimes a quote in a book or an exchange of conversation in a novel gives me sparks of ideas. So bad I haven't read a book for the past month - lots of other stuff to think about. I read this post and it makes me want to buy a new book this evening.
    A Paulo Coelho novel perhaps.
  • Reading is a hobby of mine (always has been). In fact, I make a great Barnes & Noble customer (I'm a sucker for the fresh smell of new books, ha). I usually wonder over to B&N at least once a week. Lately I've been reading: "Trust Agents", "Socialnomics" and am looking forward to picking up "Six Pixels of Separation" by Mitch Joel.

    Sure I read a ton of blogs (I think I'm subscribed to about 400+; I don't read all of them obviously, I've learned to skim!). I check in on Status updates with friends and all but I also definitely take the time to read something new and keep fresh.
  • Oh, those uber social media books. Great choice!... Wow, and I thought I
    was being democratic with my blog reading choices. Four hundred is a tough
    one to beat. I've got less than 200, I think. But I rarely pare it down no
    matter how unmanageable my reader has become. It's like my database -
    typing a keyword on its search box and there it is spewing out a surprise
    article or two.
    I skim blog titles, too. But I find myself lost in a post without sense of
    time when a piece is particularly well written. That's a skill I have yet
    to master - scanning a post.
  • Hi Jan! I am not really into reading books. I must admit I envy my classmates way back in High School who were 'book worms' ~ reading novels and a whole lot more. Oftentimes, I would kiddingly say that I would just wait for that book to be made into a movie.

    But, there had always been the desire in my subconscious to read a book. Probably 'Tuesdays with Moorie' or the like. Soon Jan. Soon.
  • lemuel
    i agree, reading helps a lot. does reading blogs count? how about reading newspapers and headlines about politics? :(. watching tv perhaps help?....
  • Oh Jan,

    A man after my own heart! I do love those real, live, hold 'em in your hands books.

    Working in the library as I do, one of my tasks is to finish up the processing of new books and putting them into circulation. I've used this as an opportunity to check out an read books that I otherwise would never have looked at.

    I've recently read some great fiction from authors I've never read before and I've read some great non-fiction books like how to build a spaceship in your back yard.

    Totally committed to reading books, my friend.

  • Iain M Banks lately. Love his use of language.

    Can't say I spend much time on fb/twitter/etc. Probably should spend more.
  • You're lucky you're not spending too much time on fb and twitter. You're not missing much. ",)
  • I so agree. Reading does help especially with my writing. I just re-read the Twilight Saga for the third time. Now, I am going to start reading Sofies verden or Sofie's world by Jostein Gaarder. The author is actually a friend and colleague of my father. Also I am reading this Danish book called Idébogen or The Idea Book as part of my studies.
  • What's great about some books is that even if you're just rereading them you always find something new you've not appreciated before. I find that a joy - finding new levels of enjoyment with an old book.
  • this is one of my frustrations, jan. books used to be my constant companions, but now, we've drifted apart, as i find myself lured more and more by other media. ah, the internets. :P

    on a recent visit to powerbooks, i found myself picking up Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. and i finished it in four hours straight. just like magic, my love returned to me, and i realized it had never been gone in the first place. books are wonderful things. and while reading bits and pieces on the internet is always fun and interesting, curling up with a good book is a far more enriching experience.

    the downside is, it takes you away from blogging and bloggers for at least a few hours. imagine that - hours! :P
  • Don't laugh at me now, but I have yet to read Neil Gaiman. The nearest I can claim to knowing his work is the stuff I've watched on YouTube. He's got video clips there talking about writing. LOL.

    Yeah, a few hours away from blogging is hell. :)
  • What have I read lately? Would quality-written blogs qualify? If it has to be a book, I have with me a non-fiction book by Lee Strobel, "The case for the Real Jesus". I'm enjoying it as it dispels theories debunking Christianity.

    If fiction, I have not read any book for the longest time. Fave authors include John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Jane Austen. The later, I love her wit. Isabel Allende, i like too.
  • Yup! I agree mas mahahasa ka sa pagsusulat kapag mahilig ka rin magbasa... well provided na may sense naman binabasa mo... jejejejeje... I learned this the hard way but good enough now mas improved na ako... yun nga lang mukhang kinukulang ulit sa practice... jejejejejeje
  • Kahit naman siguro you're reading Carlo Caparas comics may mapupulot, di ba? Who knows you'd be able to follow in his footsteps in become a National Artist? Agree? LOL
  • Roy
    Hey! I grew up reading komiks! Hiwaga, Tagalog Klasiks, Pinoy Klasiks, Superstar, even Wakasan!

    I shared all the adventures of Rigor, Astrobal, Panday, Totoy Bato and more. I've known Barok even before I've known Tarzan.

    Maybe they have a lot to do with my wayward imagination.

    What's good about that then was that I was able to balance it with Sesame Street on TV ;)

  • Comics became my reading fare, too, while growing up. But I became uppity in high school and started reading books. Sesame Street - yes, I watched that, too. It became a part of my college education - pretty helpful actually. ahahaha
  • What a great point JG, reading nourishes all minds to be sure, even those not out to dominate the blogosphere. Summers are full of fluff reads for me, the kinds of books I can drop and pick up at a whim. I have moved on to Ayn Rands "Atla Shrugged", it's a daunting tomme, yet a promising yeild. Or so I have been promised. Next in line is “Against Happiness", by Eric G. Wilson.

    As a side note, I know your main focus is blogging and most if not all others who read your points are bloggers, so I feel no slight, just like to let you know that even as a non blogger I get something out of what you have to say. :-)
  • I love your term "fluff reads." I read those, too, to be honest. LOL. But not to worry. You've redeemed yourself by reading Ayn Rand. Wow, that author is a handful. ahehehe.
  • Good reading illuminates your writing.

    I heard this so many times. Is it not writing a gift? If writing is a gift then I have none at all.

    What am I reading? I mostly read manuals - the how to kind of books - step by step instruction - this would lead me to the question how on earth could I write intelligently? That is why sometimes scraping (copy and paste) is just so tempting... darn it!
  • Writing is a gift that can be cultivated. My only advantage is that I started in high school. But that's nothing because some start earlier than that - right off the cradle. LOL.

    Anything can be mastered through persistence and industry . That's the good news. Blogging requires us to be diligent. Writing every day or every other day. Even when we're not writing our posts and just commenting on other blogs - that's a fine way of honing our writing skills, too.
  • I have stages where all I want to read is nonfiction, then fiction. Right now, I'm in a non-fiction phase and have a nice fat stack of books from the library.

    Not sure why but I seem to be reading a lot about the sociological aspects of housework and natural selection these days.
  • A large chunk of my reading fare is fiction. On the net, hands down - blogs. The more personal the blog the better. Is it the voyeur in me? Well, I'd like to call it living by proxy. LOL. We only have this set amount of time to live. Through my friends eyes I get a fair idea how it is with them. They distill these experiences for me in their stories, and yes, even in their rants. :)

    Sociological aspects of housework... Is this a hint of what to expect from your blog?
  • zorlone
    Confessions of a book reader:

    "Harrison's Principle of Internal Medicine - I even highlight lines, but when I read them again, I forget what they're supposed to be. Duh!

    Okay, now truth be told, I read of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes." I always have a version in my mind that Watson was the detective. He he he. Then moved to Perry Mason.

    I also read the Tolkien books but never finished the hobbit. I need to find out that there's a movie, then I'd rush to finish it before the premiere night.

    For poetry, there's Edgar Allan Poe. "A Dream Within a Dream" cool poem, very err, dream like. Ah! Francis Schudellari writes brilliant free verses. He's a blogger.

    LJ, I can't produce any wise words here, I just blurted out these authors at the top of my head. Anyway, I am more profound when I'm sick or drunk - me thinks.

  • Edgar Allan Poe, my favorite for short stories. I love some of his poems too.
  • We're poles apart in taste except for Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe. I skip the poems though for his short stories... I haven't seen you sick. Wag naman sana. But I love it when you're almost drunk. If I were loaded I'd say it's almost like Bon Jovi. :)
  • Haven't seen the doctor so drunk...was he reciting lots of poems being under influence?
  • Nope, he's reciting the poetry of Bon Jovi and One Republic. Of course, it goes without saying, that he prefaces each reading with a plug, " po!"
  • I swear by Michael Crichton's sci-fi thrillers. The two books that I always recommend are Sphere and Timeline. Both have been made into into movies, but they miss out too many details from the books. The author was known to have spent decades on writing certain novels just so he could get his history and physics facts right... May he rest in peace.

    James Patterson's Alex Cross series would also please the crime/action thriller fans. I'm definitely a Cross fanatic!

    When you mention "magical words", I think of the TV show Criminal Minds. Every episode begins and ends with a great quote by someone famous and it is always thought-provoking.
  • Yeah, I enjoy Crichton's sci-fi thrillers, too. But in this case, I've seen more movie adaptations than the books themselves. He's brilliant though - that much is very apparent.

    Yay, I have yet to sample J. Patterson's books. So many goodies I've to read and so little time!

    Thanks for this lovely comment, Veron. ",)
  • I don't read as much quality fare as I should. When I do, though, the quality of my writing increases exponentially. Also, when I read before bed, as opposed to watching TV, I feel much more creative the next day. Good article!
  • Steven, that's a great insight you've got for us here. Why, thank you! And I thought it was because I was a semi-genius. LOL. All along the great masters had all conspired to make me more creative!

    Thanks a lot, Steven.

  • elizabethwestmark
    Being "in community" with my blog friends feeds my creativity, too, but is the ice cream sundae of my day. The whole grains and veggies are Annie Dillard, Joseph Campbell, Kathleen Norris, fine stories from a myriad of literary journals, the "Best American" series for essays, short stories and spiritual writing, Chekov, and some craft books (like Natalie Goldberg's Old Friend from Far Away). It helps my writing to get next to great brains, words, styles and manners of thought.

    Thanks for a cogent post. I am pleased to have found you via Meredith Bell.
  • Love your food metaphors, Elizabeth. What's great about talking about books in general is for the happy chance we get to discover new delightful reads from what friends and readers have shared. Will check out your fine recommendations. Thanks! :)
  • I also used to read a lot, but then there comes blogging. I actually bought two seemingly good reads from a book sale, but all that I've read is what's written on their covers. But I really would want to re-visit my old collections. Hmmm, I'll probably start with R.L. Stine. hehe
  • So you've got a collection! I knew it! Why? It shows in your writing that you're a reader, Badongskie. Hays, I wish there are more book lovers like you. Although of course you can be hailed to court for abandonment. ahahaha. Joke!

    Suggestion: why not give away some of the books you cringe at reading? Give them to your top commentators. Ahem, ahem.

    Or the reader who has the most first comment for a given period. Let's see if there's a stampede like in other blogs. "Base! I'm first!" I've seen a lot of those lately in Pinoy blogs and they're a funny lot. Can you make a post about that? You're a naughty boy. It's right up your alley. LOL
  • Give away my books? Nah, I don't think that would be possible. I love all them, even those cheesy ones. My books are my children. I'm not open for adoption, even if you put your comment 5 seconds after I publish my entry. Try to go to Deejay's place. hehe. Mr Sentimentality here.
  • Books as children. I stayed in Antipolo City once. I've got lots of books there. Unfortunately, a freak fire gutted down my sister's house along with my books. It was a sad day for me - I've lost two-thirds of my collection of fave authors. Don't say I'm a bad parent. It was a freak accident. LOL.

    I know how you feel, Badongskie. If there's a small claims court for unreturned books, I'd most likely hail my friends to court. And this goes way back to college days.
  • Roy
    I used to read a lot... not just books, but everything!

    Graffitis, signages, even menus lols, seriously (but I really do that), back in the days, I read a lot of mystery books - alfred hitchcock, sci-fi, detective stories, and more sci-fi. No mushy romance novel for me. Romance is innate to me, I don't need motivation lols

    Then I switched to inspirational, personality development, self-improvement, and technical books... no obvious effect, but the stock knowledge do come in handy from time to time.

    I really would love to read books again, I still have a lot I haven't read. I don't know why, but it seems I got a shorter attention span these days... or maybe because I haven't myself reading eyeglasses yet :)

    but if I do get that chance, I'd love to get more sci-fi

  • Really?! Me too! One of my favorites are graffiti on public restrooms. Aren't they amusing? Some are full of rage. Some are so emo. Some are pitiful scrawls to signify they've passed by, "I wuz here! [put alias here]" Say what? Do you have to do that? You're in a restroom - not exactly Mt. Everest, right?

    Yeah, technical books. I'd read them when I really want to hurt my brain. LOL.

    Hey, Roy! Great books are online. A lot of them you can read for free. The classics are already online. This makes a perfect excuse - if you can find the classics online then there's hope for online reading. Maybe sci-fi books are already here. I will check. By the way, do you like Isaac Asimov books? They're great!
  • Roy
    hehehe... not familiar with Isaac Asimov (or O. Henry as you posted in my blog) because most of the times when I read book, the name of the author is the last thing I looked at lols

    "I was here" has already become a cliche... one rare graffiti that I get to read on restrooms was "I know what you're holding right now!" lols

    Oh yeah, I've heard about books online, haven't seen anything free so far though

  • Roy
    Of course I know Edgar Allan, he's my son, remember? lols

    honestly, if it weren't for the sweating I experienced during a class recitation on The Cask of Amontillado, I might not be able to recall him either lol

    I looked up O. Henry on wikipedia - William Sydney Porter, now that name sounds familiar ;) read about The Gift of the Magi, and I think I remember that story.

    it would really be a delight if I can be consistent and adopt "O. Henry endings" ;)

    now I want to read his works Jan!

  • I love the short stories and poems of Fernando Poe...ay...Edgar Allan Poe pala ehehhe!

    hey, what is this, is this for real??? 32 Retweets???!!! Holy Cow!
  • Really? O. Henry, Edgar Allen Poe, etc, are standard reading fare for high school. Oy, your high school literature teachers slept on the job. Or you were out in the rest room conjugating graffiti. ahahaha.

    There are free classic books online. And you can read them for free. Some websites even read and look like books. You click something to turn the page! :) I'd look for them, Roy.
  • I read loads. I read lots of books on personal development and leadership development because I'm a life and business coach so I am constantly developing and growing. And I read lots of fiction for fun and to relax.

    I also joined a local book group as a way of broadening my horizons and reading new things I wouldn't normally look at and it's great to talk about the books because we learn so much by discussing things together.

    I've had writer's block all week with my blog. I've started several posts and given up on them all. Thanks for making the link between writing and reading (doh!) I hadn't realised that the reading I do enriches my writing. Off now to write my next post.
  • You've a balanced fare - now, that's rare these days. A local book group or its online counterpart is a great idea. Hmmm. Will take note of that, Jude. Thanks!

    It does help our writing. So many great things are distilled for us by the masters. Our only role is to partake and make them a part of our system. I hope you've not erased those posts so you can get back to them when you find a new approach or insight how to tackle them. :) Thanks for your wonderful comment, Jude.
  • Tolkien's books have become a decoration on my bedside table. I fear the Elves will not let me read another lest I finish the whole trilogy plus the prologue, The Hobbit. :p

    Lined up - a couple of business book. :p Haha!

    I insist I need a two-seater couch and a floor lamp before I can get into the reading groove. Until I can afford these two luxuries, I might have to stick to reading bloggies, Facebook updates and Tweets... lol.

    Just kidding. ;)
  • I'm intrigued, Rey. So which is better: the book or the movie version? I always find the original the best. Of course, there are exceptions. What comes to mind? The Godfather the movie! I prefer that to Mario Puzo's book.

    Para naman kukunan ng footage for Cannes Film Fest ang reading set up mo. LOL
  • Haha! I liked the movies a whole lot. I liked the HP movies too almost equally as much as the books. I'm not one of those pulling their hair out crying over movie producers for tweaking the storyline or the characters. I just mark it as an observation - like "oh, they removed Doby altogether" and not "OMG! They should be BURNED AT THE STAKE!" lol.

    I like my imaginary reading setup, although I can imagine I would spend more time sleeping there than actually reading. ahaha!
  • That's a great observation, Rey. Movies = different medium. That's why it's called adaptation. A book becomes a different beast altogether. Can't help that although of course we often times compare the original source with that of the adapted work.
  • damn! i'm guilty for doing such... i mean not reading books... sorry friend... i havent finished the two novels that you gave me... i am such a dimwit when it comes to reading...
  • The accused is hereby sentenced to two months incarceration in Palawan. He will not be handcuffed, no prison bars to confine him day and night, but no internet for him and no access to mobile phone. This sentence might be cut short provided the accused has come to his senses earlier. Next! Otherwise, he will serve the full two- month sentence.

    Ahahahaha. Kumustamos!? Sabay ganun eh noh? :)
  • Me, I am by nature, has love for reading. I like books by Elizabeth Peters, mainly because it focuses on Egypt and Egyptology, and I like those topics. I also like mystery, horror, and courtroom drama. I am currently reading "Death on the Nile" by Agatha Christie.

    To round it up, I'm looking forward to reading The Lost Symbol, the recent novel by Dan Brown.
  • Wow, courtroom drama. Before John Grisham, there's Perry Mason. I devoured those in high school. But of course! Agatha Christie - an all time favorite. Ahehehe
  • Good thing Julius is here! Yes, John Grisham!!!! I love that one.

    The last book I read was the book you gave me Bro, that of John Grisham.

    Hay, no time to read....
  • Lots of free books to read online, bro. Perhaps I need to write a post about this.
  • Dee
    Hi Jan. :)

    Oh, I love Perry Mason too! Super! Used to collect books of him. Earl Stanley Gardner, right? Just don't know if I spelled that correctly. Anyway, I'd like to re-read them again. I still do watch shows of Perry Mason on TV, though. I used to like Grisham too, before he went somewhat drama. Right now, I'm looking forward to reading Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol". But that won't be too soon, I guess, because I'm waiting for the paperback; hardbound is so expensive.
  • Hi Dee,

    You got it right, Dee. And now that Perry Mason's name came up, I kinda miss Della Street, too. Ahehehe. Grisham has gone emo? That's funny - but what's wrong with drama, Dee? As long as it's happening on the page and not in our life, I'd say bring it on! ... Yeah, I know what you mean, of course. Just kidding you.

    I've only read one Dan Brown book. I maybe wrong and a fool for saying this, but I find his Da Vinci Code sucky. It's a page turner all right, but I found it lacking in passion. A very mechanical book. Well, there's that... But I'm glad you're here. But how is Luke - my primus inter pares? :)
  • Yes she is... her first novel that I've read was Murder at the Orient Express, and I was instantly caught up with her narrative, particularly her fictional character - Hercule Poirot.

    Let me tell you, there's nothing like exercising the mind with the cases of M. Poirot. It kept me on guessing who's the culprit... hehehe...
  • Anybody who reads Agatha Christie and loves Hercule Poirot is a cool guy! And you're cool, Julius. Of course, a bookworm can also be an ax murderer, but! Ahehehe. Murder at the Orient Express? I read the book and I saw the movie, too.
  • greenandchic
    I am not very consistent with my reading. I tend to read a lot of health and technical books and not much else. This is a good reminder for me to read more for pleasure!
  • Yeah, it's difficult to keep a healthy balance. I find this a challenge since I started blogging. Thanks for dropping by, Carla. :)
  • There is this big script written in our library, a quote from Socrates that goes like this:

    Books are your best of frieds, counselors, etc...oooppsss, I totally forgot the next lines which means I have not been to the library for a very long time, a place I used to frequently spend my whole day looking for good books. Holy Cow!

    Well, my favorite book...hmmm...books written by Nick Joaquin, ahm, poems by Pablo Neruda and Jose Garcia Villa, ahm...sometimes that considered a book? Wahahha!

    I like of course novels by Tom Clancy, and that one you gave me, who was the author again? Ooouuchh! I haven't opened a book for a century now, my memory does not serve me well!

    Can we now call the ambulance?
  • Great! A balanced reading fare. Speaking of Socrates, he's a great quote on reading too:

    "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."

    No need for an ambulance. I'm no Doc Z but I recommend IV therapy to keep you recharged and up and running. :)
  • I think it was another quote I was referring, but anyways, indeed I need some IV....

    Do you have a hot nurse here on your blog on stand-by for commenters who are not feeling well? Wahahah!
  • You're not feeling well? What a coincidence! Same here, bro.

    You were surprised I got 32 retweets (currently 34) for this post. I'm a member of Daniel Scocco's Retweet Club. So don't be surprised.

    Daniel said he might be accepting more members. Email Daniel to let him know you're interested so he can put you in his waiting list. The requirement is that you have at least 500 Twitter followers.
  • kaylorraine
    WHAT? No time set aside for LinkedIn? I used to read at least two books a week for fun. The book I am currently reading is up to page 61 after three (3!) days because all of my time is spent on the %$@* computer. It's 12:15 p.m. and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet. This is insanity.

    Jan, I'm onboard. I am going to close my laptop, make myself some lunch, pick up my current dead tree and see if can make it to at least page 250 before I do another thing. You have inspired me. (Also, I'm getting pretty hungry.)
  • That's funny. Maybe because we're all guilty - most of us are, anyway - of being too caught up in the hive. Can't unplug for our own good.

    My stomach, however, is a tough taskmaster. Unlike yours, I can't function running on empty. :)

    Thanks for sharing, Kay Lorraine.
  • Jan, You have nailed it. It is impossible to become even a halfway decent writer without reading brilliant writers. Some of my favorites: G. K. Chesterton, Paul Bowles, Ray Bradbury, Gustave Flaubert, Michel Tournier, Anne Rice, Robert Graves, Thomas Merton, Philip K. Dick. One day I hope to write 1% as well as any one of them.
  • Fell in love with reading in high school. That's already a tad late. I wish I had started a little earlier. Gustave Flaubert - now there's a writer. I'd check out your other reading fare. Speaking of high school, I think it's John Steinbeck who launched me into a full-scale pursuit of reading good books.
  • I'm a binge-and-purge reader. Basically, I inhale books. I might go several weeks without reading, but then I'll plow through a few novels in just a few days. I believe reading is the key to better writing, and I thank you for sharing my article from Writing Forward on reading and writing ("The Only Two Writing Tips You'll Ever Need").
  • Your post is a great read, Melissa. That research finding you mentioned in your post is awesome: putting in 10, 000 hours of writing to hone one's craft. And I love that video of Stephen King giving writing advice. I've saved it in my YouTube account. :)
  • “The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”

    I like that quote from Ms. Elizabeth Hardwick. :D

    When I was still in grade school until high school, you can ask me to do anything from writing, drawing, coloring, posting, etc. but not reading. I really get bored and sleepy as I started reading any book.

    I truly appreciate reading when I already graduated from college. I became a learner and believe that learning shouldn't stop after graduation. I became thirsty for more knowledge, and books have been my quencher ever since.

    Today, I always bring one book with me. What I'm reading now is "The Purpose Driven Life." -- Thumbs-Up!

    I believe books won't just affect your writing, but also affect how you live.
  • I must check out The Purpose Driven Life then. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Jed, are you married already? I've read somewhere that guys who have books with them instead of laptops are considered more sexy or attractive by the ladies. True? ahehehe. Is it hearsay? You find for the defense? lol
  • LOL! That's a good one. No I'm not yet married. I'm very much single. ;P
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