Reading books

magnifying glass on a book llustrating an article about writing booksReading books is, according to an article in the Huffington post, one of the habits that successful people have in common.

Successful people read more than average.

Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Stephen King and many others are among those listed as being avid readers.

Question is: does reading a book regularly make you successful, or do successful people read more?

Before I can answer that I have to say it depends on the type of success you want.

A reality star can become successful by displaying themselves, or at least a marketable version of themselves in a game show.

A lot of these game shows don’t allow their participants to read books at all. A whole lot of people sitting around reading a book does not make good television.

The producers want their participants to interact more with each other.

They know that personality clashes will create the conflict that viewers want to watch.

Conflict in all its forms is essential to drama.

For the participants success = fame.

Writers are different. Writers need to write books that people like and they need to sell those books to achieve success.

If a writer is very successful – fame can be a result. However, many writers want success without the fame.

In fact, of lot of us writers can be introverts, who, while wanting success for their work, still just want to left in peace to write.

Individual writers can view success in many different ways.

For some success is irrelevant. Like those who paint, or do handicrafts for fun, they do it for the pure enjoyment.

Some writers might see a published short story, or winning a prize in a competition as success and be happy with that.

Success is in the eye of the beholder!

Other writers may not feel successful unless they are on a best seller list, or have a film produced or have reached a certain income level.

But for those who do want to be successful, or to bring their writing to another level then reading books is vital.

I don’t just mean reading books about writing – although it is as important for writers to keep learning as it is to write regularly.

But, if you are not reading a wide variety of books regularly then you are unlikely to succeed with a career in writing.

Can you learn to ride a bike from just reading about it – without actually getting on one and practicing?

Blue bay with boats and mountains illustrating an article about reading booksReading doesn’t just bring you into another world, further your education, or provide escapism, although these are great benefits.

Reading expands the mind, increases knowledge and forces us to use our powers of visualization.

It is vital that writers develop the skill to visualize.

Visualizing is how we see when we imagine – when we read about an old steam train passing a snow-covered mountain we see it – in our minds eye.

If a writer cannot ‘see’ the world they are creating how can they make others see it?

This is why to be successful writers should read – a lot.

‘A book is a device to ignite the imagination’ – Alan Bennett

Happy reading and best wishes


P.S. To see some of the books I have read click here.













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