Whether you’re a young, budding writer or an older, experienced author, reading is an essential part of your craft. Reading is a critical habit to form as a writer and cultivate your empathy as a human being. A Discover Magazine’s article on reading notes how consuming books from diverse writers can foster a greater understanding of other people, cultures, and experiences — which plays a vital role in developing a broader worldview of different realities and perspectives.
Aside from better understanding other cultures, writers must read to go beyond their comfort zone and explore other topics. Through reading, writers can grasp different ideas that may drive their work further. Listed below are some tips to expand your reading tastes:
Try a new genre
While many tend to gravitate toward their comfort genre when choosing books, it’s important to read beyond what you know to become a well-rounded writer. Different genres can allow you to see fresh insights or approaches to the craft that can inspire your future writing. One way to start reading a new genre is to read a book alongside your favorite genre. You’re most likely going to finish the book you like faster, but you can build up the discipline to read through the new book. A key part of choosing a new genre is to ensure you find relatable work; for example, instead of jumping from rom-com to horror, you can try action and adventure that has some romance to move you away slowly from the genre.
Subscribe to a reading platform
Some people limit themselves based on what materials they can access physically. Still, technology has made it possible to read more broadly — even works that aren’t readily available in your area. The selection of books and audiobooks on Scribd provides you with an entire library at your fingertips, allowing you to read off your computer or mobile device. Digital methods also make it much more convenient to read, be it scrolling through pages during your daily commute or listening to an audiobook on Spotify while doing the dishes — eliminating the excuse that you’re too busy for books. Furthermore, a subscription-based platform allows you to read new books at a discounted price.
Seek out recommendations
Many people, including researchers from Boise State University, note that one of the best ways to discover new books is to get book recommendations. While their literary preferences may differ from yours, you can get a better direction and pick up inspiration from different authors and titles you’re unfamiliar with. Aside from recommendations from peers, book reviews can give you better insight into a book’s content, style, and tone. Upon finding a book description that piqued your interest, online reviews can help you assess if the book is worth reading. By getting suggestions from different avenues, you can ensure you’re making the most out of your time.
Give non-fiction a chance
Fiction and novels are great, but non-fiction lets you delve into various subjects that can inform you about the world. If you have a specific topic you want to learn about, you can start with reading materials to educate yourself and then branch out to other related topics. For instance, you may be interested in improving your personal finance — reading can boost your awareness and interest towards investments. Moreover, you can look for specific writing styles that can better keep your attention, such as a conversational tone or books with many graphics. Non-fiction can provide you with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, expanding your talents beyond writing.
Although growing your reading tastes can be a great way to develop as a writer, our post “The Writer’s Struggle to Read for Pleasure” reminds writers that it’s also important to read for pleasure. When you read for fun, you can better relax your mind without stressing yourself over the mechanics of the writing — giving you time to reset for when you actually write. By taking ample breaks and expanding your view on books, you can work towards being a better reader and writer.
For more tips on reading and writing, check out other articles here on the Lindsay Schopfer site today.
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