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Be a Reader

Learn to read as a writer. Some fear that attention to style and construction will take away the pleasure of reading, but that needn't happen. As you read either fiction and nonfiction books, short stories, articles, or poetry; as you watch a movie or television tale--look for the craft. What makes something work--or not work? 
Read widely, not only in your own field, but in others. There's much for fiction writers to learn from nonfiction, and for nonfiction writers to learn from fiction. Moreover, don't neglect to look for the poetry in fiction and nonfiction. 

Read critically, but with an open mind. The best-seller you hate must contain some impetus that speaks to millions. What is there in it from which you can learn? 

All reading is learning. From academic to professional--from literary to newspapers, from sublime to ridiculous--from one word to the next--if you would write--READ.

-  © Gloria T. Delamar 
On Books and Reading

"All books are divisible into two classes; the book of the hour and the books of all time."
- John Ruskin 
"Books still offer the most complete kind of understanding, and they last."
- Rob Woodward 

"Books are the main source of our knowledge, our reservoir of faith, memory, wisdom, morality, poetry, philosophy, history, and science."
- Daniel J. Boorstin 

"I have always come to life after coming to books."
- Jorge Luis Borges 

"A book ought to be an icepick to break up the frozen sea within us."
- Franz Kafka 

"A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life."
- John Milton 

"Books think for me."
- Charles Lamb 

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end."
- William Styron 

"Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply in ways which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting."
- Aldous Huxley 
 

And about writers . . .

"No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader's intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing."
- E. B. White 
"A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits."
- Edith Sitwell 

"Perhaps the reason why the U.S.A. lags behind other nations in book-reading is that there are so many people trying to write and have no time left over for reading."
- Editors of J. B. Lippencott Co. 

"Those who write clearly have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators."
- Albert Camus 

"I think the writer ought to help the reader as much as he can without damaging what he wants to say; and I don't think it ever hurts the writer to sort of stand back now and then and look at his stuff as if he were reading it instead of writing it."
- James Jones 

"The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book."
- Samuel Johnson 

"No writer who rarely reads can write well; the writing mind must be stimulated with words from outside the self."
- Gloria T. Delamar 
 

 

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