Reading - It's No Longer Just for Cereal Boxes


Before getting to a great blog post by Lynda R. Young, I want to say I'll be back here on Wednesday for the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest!

Next, I want to alert you that if you prefer to follow Under the Tiki Hut by email, I have added the sign-up box in the right sidebar. You'll find it directly below the Join This Site box with your smiling faces. Melissa Maygrove earned a huge thank you for directing me to the proper gadget for this action. A few of you had asked me about this capability, and after reading Melissa's post last week, I took time to ask her.

Finally, I want to remind you that this is the last week you'll be able to purchase the Kindle edition of In Name Only for $2.99.


I'm happy to have Lynda R. Young blogging with me today. Since she's in Australia, and this is the Tiki Hut, that feels appropriate. Especially since it's coming up on summer down in Oz.

Lynda is talking about reading, which is also appropriate. I'm sure all of you love to read as much as I do.

There's a bit of a time difference between Australia and the U.S., so I don't know exactly when Lynda will be here. I'll do my best to keep things rolling along in her absence :)

Now I'll turn the Tiki Hut over to Lynda. And wait until you see the cover of her anthology (if you haven't already). Totally AWESOME!


6 Reasons Writers Should Read

Thank you so much, Carol, for inviting me here today. Lounging under the tiki hut makes me think of white beaches, warm sun, and reading. Yum! Reading is one of my favourite activities, and it's one of the more important activities a writer should do. However, the worth of reading is often underestimated, when it should be an essential part of a writer's daily routine. Because reading is such a pleasure, it's tempting to push it down the list of priorities. Below are my six reasons why writers should read as much as they can:

1. Reading is a learning tool. Reading regularly increases and maintains our vocabulary. Not only that, it shows us how best to use those words and so allows us to become better at expressing creative ideas and stories through those words. A deep understanding of the uses of grammar and the nuances of language will only come through reading other writers' work. Note: For writers to gain the full benefits of reading, we need to read with intention. Rather than switching off and just enjoying a good book, we should approach reading with an analytical eye. If you read like an editor, then you'll learn to be discerning about the words you use and the manner you use them.

2. Reading is inspiring. By reading books from a range of authors, we open ourselves to a wealth of possibilities expressed in those books. These possibilities can inspire and trigger new ideas for our own stories.

3. Reading keeps us abreast of the market. Before we pour our heart and soul into a novel, it's important to know the market. If your goal is publication, then there is no point spending time on a novel that's been done to death, or has no place in the market. Reading a plethora of books in the same genre we write will help us understand the market.

4. Reading is an affirmation. When I read a wonderful piece, I reaffirm how much I want to write something as wonderful. When I read a less than perfect piece, and am able to discern why the writing isn't working for me, then it's an affirmation to how far I've come as writer. Encouragement, wherever it comes from, is the food of life for writers.

5. Reading supports the book industry. With easy access to games, movies and other sources of amusement and distraction, the book industry has seen its greatest shake up. To counter this, we should be mindful that the more we buy books, the stronger the book industry becomes in this uncertain age of change.

6. Reading enriches our lives. This last point is relevant to everyone, not just writers. Through reading we are able to step into worlds we may never have had a chance to see, glimpse people we may never have had a chance to meet. Reading broadens our minds and generates imagination.

Do you make the time to read on a regular basis? Can you think of other reasons why it's important to read a lot? 

Suggested reading over the holiday season:

Make Believe, an anthology of fantasy and urban fantasy short stories. My short story, Birthright, is included in this collection. It's about Christa as she learns that running from her birthright is impossible, even when her life is at stake. The full description of all the stories can be found on the J Taylor Publishing website HERE.

You can purchase Make Believe here:

Lynda R. Young lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. She writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. You can find her here:
Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads


If you would like to participate in the
cover reveal
for my new book, 
on Monday, January 7,
please sign up here.
Thanks to all who help me get the word out!


It's 11.15pm here in Oz but I made it!! Thanks so much Carol for having me!!!
Yeah, Lynda!
Reading does support the industry, and one we are trying to be a part of. I do gain ideas from what others write.
Be back Wednesday!
Kittie Howard said…
It's about 7:00 a.m. on the East Coast in the States. I poured a cup of coffee, got settled, and opened my blog. What a lovely way to start the day, reading your post, Lynda. I couldn't agree more with all you said about reading. My favorite reason to pick up a book is simply to read for the joy of reading. I will add, though, that the setting attracts me more than the plot. I've always been eager to see what's behind that mountain. Reading takes me there.

After I finish my coffee, I'm going to take a look at your book. It sounds really interesting.

Oh, think I read where Australians top the chart as to number of books read in a year.
Tonja said…
Great post, Lynda.
Unknown said…
I can't go to sleep at night without first reading from a novel. And it has to be a novel. And beta reading doesn't count. :D

Reading both in and out of our genres is important for growing as writers. I'm gotten ideas for scenes in my stories based on books I've read outside my genre.
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Carol and Lynda,
Good reasons for reading. There are times when I seems that all I read is my own stuff. I aim to do some catching up in my down time during the holidays.

I hope the anthology is doing well.
so happy for Lyndy's book! She's been my official Australian angel for a few years now :)
Hi Carol and Lynda, excellent post.

Rula Sinara said…
Excellent points. Reading is therapeutic in so many ways.
Linda Kage said…
I'm going to have to print out this list and keep it with me always so I can pull it out of my pocket and flash it at my husband the next time he asks me if I'm reading AGAIN!!!

Lovely post! Thanks so much!
Hannah said…
I was just thinking about how reading helps me write more. When I'm writing, I try to limit my reading, but it always ends up being counter productive. I can't write when I don't read.

Great reminder!
Laura Eno said…
Absolutely. I can't imagine being a writer without also being a reader. Excellent post, Lynda!
Carol Kilgore said…
Lynda - A true night owl. Hope you're asleep now. We'll see you a bit later.

Alex - Looking forward to reading much about you today. See you Wednesday!

Kittie - Thanks for stopping by the Tiki Hut. Nice to meet you :)

Tonja - Nice to meet you, too!

Stina - I loved your comment about getting ideas from out of your genre. It happens to me, too. I got one really great idea while reading "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz a few years ago.
Excellent post!
I was a reader first... for decades... my writing journey has just begun...
Thanks Carol and Lynda.
Johanna Garth said…
Yes to all of those reasons, but in terms of getting better at craft, especially to reasons number 1 and 2.
Luanne G. Smith said…
Yay! Congrats Lynda. And wonderful post on the benefits of reading. There's nothing like reading a book and coming away inspired to kick butt on the page when you sit down to write again. :)
I make time to read everyday. It definitely relaxes me and helps build my imagination. As writers, it's essential to read. Great post!
Unknown said…
I agree with all your reasons and can't wait to get to your story.
Karen Lange said…
Great post, Lynda! I love to read, and as you said, you gain so much. Reading has been such a great tool for my WIP. Observing an author's style, plot, characters, etc. has enriched my writing. Thanks, Carol, for hosting Lynda!:)
Mark said…
Great post! I love all the reasons, but for me the most important reason for reading is...I love it:)
Carol Kilgore said…
Joy - I often don't get to read for as long as I'd like, but I try to find at least a few minutes every day.

Dezmond - Lynda is a sweetheart :)

Yvonne - Thanks for stopping by.

Rula - I agree!

Linda K - Great idea!
Sherry Ellis said…
I love your reasons for reading!
Emily R. King said…
You always have the best numbered posts, Lynda. You are amazing!

Hi, Carol!
Unknown said…
I love reading and I love this article. Perfect points. Thanks, Lynda.
Carol Kilgore said…
Hannah - I was so motivated by Lynda's post that I've spent time reading today, too, when I should have been blogging and doing other things.

Laura - Neither can I.

Michelle - Pack many books for your journey on the writing path.

Johanna - I agree, but I have much difficulty with #1. I'm not very analytical to begin with. Then I get caught up in the story, and the analyzing process is all over at that point.

Luanne - Yeah!
Alex, thanks for all your support.

Kittie, It's now 8.40am and I had a good sleep ;) Oh, and I love a good setting as well!

Tonja, thanks

Stina, I agree that beta reading doesn't count for night time relaxing reading.

JL, I know that feeling!! Have fun with your catching up reading in the holidays.

Dezzy, it has been a while now hasn't it! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and support.

Yvonne, thanks

Rula, thanks

Linda, lol! Do that!!! I'm lucky that my husband is a reader as well and he often reads a book before I do and tells me whether it's worth reading or not.

Hannah, yes exactly!!! Reading is so very important.

Laura, thanks

Carol, I used to be a better night owl. Not so much anymore. Thanks again for having me!!

Michelle, thanks. I was a slow starter in terms of reading.

Johanna, thanks

Luanne, yes exactly!!! When I didn't have access to the internet recently, I did a lot of reading. Now I'm so inspired to write again.

Melissa, thanks

Clarissa, I know that feeling. I have so many books on my kindle waiting to be read!!

Karen, thanks

Mark, thanks. And that's the best reason!

Sherry, thanks

Emily, it's because I think in lists, lol ;) Thanks so much.

Mike!! Good to see you here. Thanks.
Great reasons to read!~

I do make time to read...if I don't, I really miss it.
dolorah said…
Hello Ladies :) This was an excellent post. I don't know how anyone can be a writer and not enjoy reading.

Carol Kilgore said…
Oh, look! Lynda's awake already :)

Melissa - Thanks for visiting the Tiki Hut :)

Clarissa - I think Lynda's post is great!

Karen - Hosting Lynda is my pleasure. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Mark - I love reading, too. And I don't really know what I like most about it. Everything!

Sherry - Can't argue with that :)
Jennifer Shirk said…
Fantastic post! And so true! Yes, I read for all those reasons. :-)
Arlee Bird said…
These are all great reasons to read. I love to read, but I find it difficult to read as much as I'd like to.

Wrote By Rote
Helena said…
Lynda, if I couldn't read lots of books I couldn't live. And when I make myself have more time for reading, I'm always happier.
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi, Carol, Hi, Lynda,


Thanks for hosting Lynda today.

Lynda, thanks for bringing this subject up. I have been VERY lax in the reading department and need a nudge, and this may be it.

I couldn't agree more that reading is super important to a writer. All the reasons you gave a perfect and true. Reading also introduces us to so many different writing styles.

I, myself, started with m/g fantasy ... jumped to edgy contemporary y/a and now I am writing a film noir piece. Talk about jumping around... but if I hadn't been exposed to these different genres, I might not have the desire to write in them.

I have learned so much in reading and like you, I read as a writer. Sometimes it spoils the story for me, but I can't go back.

Thanks again ladies.
Elizabeth, it's good to make the time. I miss it too if I don't.

Donna, I totally agree!

Jennifer, thanks so much

Lee, oh yes, there isn't enough time in the day to read everything I want as well! I do wish I was a faster reader.

Helena, reading=happiness. Yes indeed!

Michael, um-ah! I hope this post does give you that nudge to read again. That's quite a range of writing you've been doing. I'm impressed.
Anonymous said…
Excellent post. I agree 100%!
All of your reasons for reading make perfect sense Lynda. I just wish that I could read faster. Best of luck with your book! Thanks for hosting Carol! Julie
Carol Kilgore said…
Emily - Hi, Emily :)

M.L. - Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Elizabeth - I miss reading, too, if I have to skip a day or two, which does happen from time to time.

Donna - I don't know either.

Jennifer - Same for me. And I just like to escape into another world.
Carol Kilgore said…
Arlee - I'd love to read all day, but that's impossible.

Helena - Some days I'm happy if I can read for only five minutes.

Michael - My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by.

Laura - Same for me.

Julie - I read so much faster on my Kindle than with a paper book.
Shelley Munro said…
Excellent post! I couldn't agree more with what you said. I'm always surprised by the writers I meet who say they don't have time to read. For me it's a no brainer.

Good luck with your new release!
Sandra Alex said…
Excellent post. I completely agree with all your points, except part of number 3. When you say that you should know your market, yes, that's true, but as far as not doing something that has been done to death, I disagree. Writing comes naturally to some, regardless of the genre, plot, etc. You shouldn't shy away from writing a good story based on what is popular or unpopular. In my opinion, if a good story comes to you, you should write it and hopefully you'll write something that is unique in its own way. I hope I haven't offended anyone :) My intentions are good! Thanks for sharing this, and all the best of luck to you!
Diane Estrella said…
Simple but beautiful cover. Congrats on the book! :O)
I agree with all your reasons for reading, but most of all I read as much as I do because I'm a lifelong word nerd addict. I can't imagine NOT reading. So many books, so little time...
Laura, thanks

Julie, I'm the same. I'm a terribly slow reader and can't seem to speed it up.

Shelley, yep they surprise me too. Thank you so much.

Sandy, yep, sometimes stories that have been done to death can be redone if it's unique enough. However, knowing the market will help to identify if you're writing a copy or something new. And I totally agree we shouldn't be writing to trends. The moment a trend is recognised it's usually over. I guess what I meant in point 3 is that knowing the market will also prevent us writing things like, for example, adult themes in a chapter book. Thanks for helping me clarify my point. I'm always eager to hear opinions.

Diane, Thanks so much.

Susan, three cheers for life long nerd addicts!! I'm one too. hehehe.
Jemi Fraser said…
Great post! I totally agree - can't imagine going more than a day without reading. :)
Christine Rains said…
Great post, Lynda. I think as not only writers, but as people, reading is important. So few young people I know read much and it takes a lot to stir their imaginations. Books help work that imagination muscle. I always make time to read.
Tess Julia said…
Two things made me hop on board your blog ASAP! Your animal shelter button and your mystery/thriller/romance genre. I'm so excited to find another blogger with these things in common and I'm on my way to check out your book :) Nice to meet you!
Jemi, thanks so much for popping over.

Christine, it's tragic that young people don't seem to read as much as they used to. I don't even see as many people reading on the trains!! Thanks for popping over.

Rose, Carol is definitely a writer and blogger worth following.
Anonymous said…
I can't believe it's 4:30 in the morning here in Florida and I'm commenting on a blog when I should be sleeping. :) I loved reading your six reasons, Lynda. So, so true, every one of them. Words also unit the world. I mean, this morning, I ready some beautiful heartwarming stories from around the globe that remind me we are all united and connected by words. What a beautiful thing, this internet. :-)
Tara Tyler said…
excellent advice! i get inspired every time i read!
L. Diane Wolfe said…
#3 is so important. It sounds harsh to tell a writer that what he or she is writing really doesn't have a market, but he/she needs to know that. It can be good practice, but if the goal is publication, then it's not the best use of one's time.
Julie Jarnagin said…
Great points. I read consistently, but with writing, it takes me longer than I would like to get through a book.
I never get tired of looking at the cover. In fact, I'd know it anywhere. If you hear a loud scream, it'll be me the moment I see it in the store.
Carol Kilgore said…
Shelley - When I first started writing, I had trouble doing both. But that soon passed :)

Sandy - It's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for commenting here today. I am one of those who has to write the story in her head.

Diane - I agree. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan - And double "so many books, so little time" when you both read and write.

Jemi - Sometimes I do...reading for pleasure, that is. But it's not by choice.
Sandra Alex said…
My pleasure. Happy to meet you too :) All the best!
Carol Kilgore said…
Christine - I know lots of people who don't read. Sad.

Rose - Thanks so much for hopping aboard! Animals are near and dear to my heart. I'm happy to know you like mystery, suspense, and romance :)

Tara - So do I. Thanks for commenting.

Diane - Writing to market is OK as long as you love what you're writing. If the writer isn't passionate about the story, chances are good the readers won't be either. At least that's been my experience.

Southpaw - I know. Lynda wrote a fantastic post!
Hi Lynda abd Carol!

Great post. I love reading and yes,it enriches our lives!

Congrats and all the best!

Gwen Gardner said…
I get so much out of reading, whether it's fiction or inspirational. When I read inspirational, I do it with a highlighter. I read The Power of Positive Thinking about once per year - you should see all the highlighting, lol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Julie - Same for me. The book I recently finished was read in mostly 5-10 minute reading sprints.

Joylene - I love the cover, too :)

Sandy - I tried to find your blog to leave a comment and failed. If you will leave the link, I'll visit.

Nas - Thanks for commenting!

Gwen - I use highlighters when I research.
Sandra Alex said…
All my blogs can be found at thanks for asking! If you would like me to link you to one in particular, I'd be happy to :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Sandy - Found it. I just read your Next Big Thing post, but didn't see a spot to leave a comment. Your book sounds good. Love Sandra Bullock!
Jenny, yikes, 4.30am??? Does such a time even exist? ;) You make a very good point about words uniting the world. Thanks for popping over.

Tara, thanks so much.

Diane, and we all know how much time goes into writing novels, so it's good not to waste any of it.

Southpaw, thanks

Julie, hehe it always takes me longer than I'd like to get through a book.

Joylene, I had the cover on my desktop for months!

Nas, thanks

Gwen, yes! Most of my non-fiction books have highlights through them.

Sandra Alex said…
Here's the link. I think you read from the main page instead of clicking on the title.

I need to change the options on my website so others don't do that as well. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I appreciate it!
Denise Covey said…
Hi Carol. Hi Lynda. Carol it is summer in Oz and we've had very hot weather to prove it!
All great reasons to read, Lynda. I know I read far too much, but it keeps me happy!
Hope Make Believe is doing well...
Carol Kilgore said…
Sandy - Thanks.

Denise - I'm so jealous. I want summer all year. Winter finally arrived in South Texas. It's supposed to be 27F tonight. And I was wearing shorts on Sunday!
Carol Kilgore said…
Lynda - Thanks so much for blogging with me. I think everyone enjoyed your post. I know I did :)
Melissa said…
Thanks for the kind mention, Carol. I was happy to help. :)

Great post as always, Lynda. :D
Carol Kilgore said…
You're welcome, Melissa. Well earned!
Misha Gerrick said…
So true Lynda.

I don't read as often as I used to before I wrote, but I'm trying to read as often as I can.

Carol, I'd love to help, but I'm already doing another cover reveal on my blog.

However, anything else short of a review, anytime else next year, I can help. Please contact me at mishagericke(at)gmail(dot)com if you're interested.

Patsy said…
Apart from actually getting on and writing, reading must surely be the most important thing for a writer to spend time on.
Anonymous said…
I know you already have a ton of comments, but I wanted to throw mine in. I'm always surprised by writers who say they don't read. I just can't see how that's possible.

I attended a booksigning once where the author said he didn't read much. Later, the organizer of the event said he was an insult to writers.
Susan Fields said…
I didn't used to make time for reading until I talked to another writer who explained to me how important it is for writers to read. Now I make time to read every night and have a TBR pile that's probably taller than I am.
Unknown said…
Great post. God, I love reading. I can't imagine anyone NOT loving reading, much less writers. Is there anything more perfect than a great book with a hot chocolate on a winter night? I think not. In addition, the added plus of all those benefits-- inspiration being my personal favorite-- I have to confidently announce that I am and will always be a reader.
Denise, come down to Sydney. It's not so hot here ;) And I don't think there is such a thing as reading too much hehehe.

Melissa, thanks

Patsy, I totally agree!

Linda, wow strong words from the organiser. I think it only harms the writer if he or she doesn't read.

Susan, yeah my TBR list is at least twice my height ;)

Raquel, oh my gosh you nailed it!! Hot chocolate on a cold winter night and a good book. The definition of perfection!

Carol, again THANK YOU for having me!!! It was so much fun being here.
Carol Kilgore said…
Silly me ... I didn't check this post for comments yesterday.

Misha - Thanks! I'll be in touch :)

Patsy - I totally agree!

Linda J - I've heard some name authors say they don't read while they're writing the first draft and others that they don't read in the genre they write while writing the first draft. But it's only when they're directly focused on their own story and words that this occurs. And it escapes me which authors this applies to. I think I read it a few years ago.

Susan - My Kindle is so loaded with books I'm surprised I can still pick it up, LOL!

Raquel - I love reading, too :)

Lynda - My pleasure. I'm glad you had fun, too!
I agree with your list. I read on a regular basis and juggle a few books at once. Even then, I never read enough!
Carol Kilgore said…
Theresa - I know that feeling of not reading enough.