For the Love of Reading


It’s no secret that I love to read. Last year I read 184 books. I’m convinced that anyone interested in writing needs to be reading.

It reminds me of Richard Wright as he recounts falling in love with books in Black Boy:

“Now it surged up again and I hungered for books, new ways of looking and seeing. It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling something new, of being affected by something that made the look of the world different. … Reading was like a drug.”

Richard Wright

It’s even more impactful when you consider the context of Jim Crow Memphis, a time when Wright as a Black man couldn’t check books out of the library and had to forge a note from a white friend and use their library card.

Reading gives you new ways of looking at the world, helping you understand other perspectives and viewpoints that you might not otherwise ever encounter.

That’s vital for a writer.

I don’t expect most people will read 184 books a year like I do—it’s admittedly ridiculous. But you need to hunger for the written word.