Do you think you have to be well-read in order to become well-written?
I don’t consider myself well-read if it means having read classics beyond what we were forced to consume in high school.
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book on world issues. They remind me of university text books and then I get sleepy and can’t stop staring out the window and thinking about all of the things I could be doing in the fresh air.
Nor am I a prolific reader though I go through binge phases. I’ll read multiple novels non-stop for months but then not pick up a single book for many months more.
I like a well-developed novel with depth and a point. I crave well-rounded characters that I love and hate, including some that I can love and hate all at once, and the book is all the better if placed at a time in history that was real or is still unfolding.
I suppose you could say I enjoy delving into world issues through novels because they feel more personal. Novels can stretch the truth though. I understand that so, if a book touches me, I’ll often spend countless hours on the Internet searching for the factual aspects of a situation, place or person and people in order to ground what I’ve just read for interest sake.
I very much enjoy memoirs. Travel memoirs, stories of survival in harsh environments biographies and the “find myself” genre sometimes has a great read.
Truth is I am a dabbler. I like newspapers, Twitter links to articles, radio news and current issues programs and television news feature shows. I suppose I am a well-meaning-ed, hopeful-to-be well-read person and there are a few (what I’ve been told are) “must reads” sitting on my book cases that I never pick up and dust off.
Is this laziness or should I accept that this is the kind of reader I am?
Will this style of readership doom me to be a poor writer?