Uniquely Portable Magic

When we thumb through a compilation of quotes from great writers we always find comments from them about the importance of reading as a basis for writing. Those of us who write, or who want to write better or more, must have a goal of reading more.


Most writers agree that what we read is not as important as the reading itself.  Truth, and writing skill, emerges from immersing and considering the written word in all its forms.


“Read, read, read,” Faulkner said. “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it.”


Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx gives this advice: “You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”


For the writer looking for inspiration, Victor Hugo says that ¬†“to learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”


Anne Lamott observes that “writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”


Eudora Welty, that great southern storyteller, answered this when asked advice on writing: “For all I know writing comes down to a superior devotion to reading.”


And, the final word in this piece comes from Steven King: “Book are uniquely portable magic,” he says. “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”