Reading as a Writer

Most writers will tell you that they grew up as avid readers. Not all, of course, but a lot of them. I am one of these writers. My parents were diligent. They’d read to me before bed, and I’d spend Saturday mornings wandering the stacks of the Hawaii State Library before my weekly ballet class.

Reading has always been a touchstone for me. The Harry Potter series was my first true love. I’d devour Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury to soothe the anxieties that made it difficult for me to go to class or try new things. When something hard happened, I’d find a story that could help me feel my emotions and sort through them. The 9/11 Attacks, death, disappointment, broken hearts, every difficult thing that I went through, I had words to help me figure it out.

But when you decide to be a writer, it’s a good idea to sometimes approach reading with a slightly different mindset. It’s not that you should stop immersing yourself in books or stop enjoying your books, but you should think about them, too. Pay attention to books, especially books you enjoy and authors that you admire.

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