The importance of reading

I may not have a book published or be an experienced writer but if there is one that I know will help you with your writing (and your life) is reading.

Every craftsman has to have a passion for their craft. A mechanic is a car enthusiast; a chef loves food; a musician loves music. So wouldn’t it make sense that a writer therefore has to be a reader?

To be a good writer you have to be a good reader. How can we improve on our own writing if we don’t read the work of other writers? Other people have had the same struggles that you have had with writing and they have found a way to overcome. There is nothing wrong with learning from what other people have learnt.

I think that everyone should be a reader but for some reason it’s becoming less and less popular. I support other mediums such as movies and gaming as well but reading will always give you a different experience that movies or television will never give you.

Everyone can relate to different books and movies for their own personal reasons. For example, you might be able to relate to the characters or you might find that the story is relevant to your life. Whatever the reason is, being able to relate to a book on a personal level is one of the greatest gifts that reading will give you.

Personally my favourite book over the years has been ‘Day of the Triffids’ by John Wyndham. There have been countless other classics that could be on that list, Lord of the Rings; I, Robot; The Chronicles of Narnia, but no book has stood out to me like Day of the Triffids has. I don’t know why but the fifties sci-fi novel has always stuck with me and I think that that’s the greatest trait of a book. You can’t explain why but it automatically sticks with you.

John Wyndham has a similar writing style to what I’m trying to achieve in a lot of my writing, so I read a lot of his writing. All of my writing has been influenced by what I’m reading or watching at the moment. I finished reading the maze runner and had an idea for a young adult novel. I’m watching 11.22.63 at the moment and had an idea for a story with a similar concept. This isn’t plagiarism though, it’s just inspiration from a great piece of work.

In today’s digital age, reading is easier than ever. Just like with everything else, I can be slack on my reading but I always try and read a book a month. These are three different methods that I use to keep up with my reading:

  1. Audiobooks

Audiobooks are great! Depending on the story and who’s narrating but I think they are fantastic! Imagine being able to close your eyes and still read a book! That’s exactly what an audiobook will do for you.

You always see people walking around or riding the bus with their earphones in. Imagine being one of them but instead of some crappy band playing some drab pop song you are listening to the latest Stephen King or Tom Clancy novel!

I use Audible for my audiobooks. $15 per month and you can have an audiobook to listen to anywhere!

  1. EBooks

Do you carry a smartphone on you? IPad; Tablet; IPhone etc. Chances are you own one or more of those devices; If you do then you are in the possession of an EBook reader!

Being able to carry books anywhere with you on a phone or tablet is incredibly convenient! You miss so many chances where you could be getting some good reading done! Waiting in a line; riding a bus, there are so many missed opportunities!

I use the IBook’s app on my IPad for my EBooks. The store has relatively cheap books but the convenience of having a book at your fingertips just like that is priceless! Nothing will beat a good hardcopy novel though.

  1. Online shopping

Have you ever searched high and low for a book you’ve been after? Ever spent months trying to find the right copy of the book? I don’t; at least I don’t anymore. Not since I learnt where to buy books online.

You can find anything on the internet you just need to know where to look. I do most of my book shopping online because I can always find the books that I’m looking for; sometimes cheaper too.

Most bookstores offer online shopping nowadays but I prefer to use Book Depositary for my literary needs. With their extensive range of books and free worldwide shipping, I haven’t found a better site yet.

I can’t emphasise how important reading is; not only for a writer but for everyone in general. Without literature our society would be a dead and lifeless world with no imagination.

Being able to personally relate to a book is one of the greatest benefits of being a reader! Without that gift then we’d be no better off than the people living in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Orwell’s 1984. Living in a dull and lifeless society.

I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way about reading so please, tell us what your favourite book is in the comments below.

-Chris Gutteridge

 

6 thoughts on “The importance of reading

  1. Tania says:

    Good article Chris, well done

  2. She Who Reads says:

    I totally agree with you, reading is so important. It’s this amazing thing where everyone can read the same story, but translate it in a different way. Envision their own characters, perceptions, ideas, instead of being shown a single persons perspective on a TV screen. My favourite book would be Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda, but I also love Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I read the latter in grade 3, and have read it again about 6 times since, and every time I find something new about it.

    1. Chris Gutteridge says:

      Reading is definitely important!
      Eragon was one of my favourite books too
      Thanks for sharing

  3. Michael says:

    Definitely lord of the rings, read it every year- once a year. Although Geat Expectations by Charles Dickens is an excellent book reflecting on social class and standards in a Victorian era that can still be applied to today’s society.

    1. Chris Gutteridge says:

      Definitely agree with Lord of the Rings! One of the best books written!
      Great expectations is still on my to read list though

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