Why I read..

I know when I moved this blog to WordPress I said I would write about subjects other than writing…

Today, I’m going to talk briefly about writing’s symbiotic cousin, reading. This is because I am of three firm persuasion that to be a truly good writer you have to read as much as possible. Sometimes for inspiration, sometimes for research and sometimes for the simple pleasure of enjoying a bloody good story. Sometimes you’ll read something and know you can do better.

I’ve always been something of a voracious reader, well before I ever wanted to be a writer, and I was trying to figure out why.

Cast your mind back to the early 1980s. Reagan was President, Thatcher was Prime Minister and the threat of nuclear annihilation hung heavy over the earth. Little six year old Lost Limey was unaware of all that and only knees that the Russian man had a funny red spat on his head. Back then my primary school teacher (that’s basically Elementary school in American terms) gave us a typical end of week assignment. Write a sentence on something we liked and one on something we didn’t, explaining why for each. While the one on my dislike is list to my memory (I suspect a green vegetable of some kind), I still remember the like, to whit:

“I like reading because it can make you feel anywhere.”

Looking back two and a half decades later, I think that sentence is crude, basic and a grammatical mess. But I’ll be damned if I can think of a better way to express the idea.

That’s why I read. Why do you?


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