Samuel Johnson once wrote (or said, Google didn’t really specify), “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.“
More perfect advice I have yet to hear!
I’ve always worried that reading too much would take away my creativity, and that my anything I wrote would be influenced by the books I was reading. It’s easy to be inspired by what we read, and I was afraid I would start to copy it.
But, I’ve recently realized that is just not the case!
Reading doesn’t lead to copying. Instead, it inspires better writing. Reading the classics like Austen and Dickens challenges me to write better. And, reading as many books as I can helps me see what I like and don’t like in novels. Even the books I never finish have a purpose.
Authors always have a way of teaching us something through their books. We only need to dive in to learn more.
Now, who’s this Samuel Johnson that I quoted earlier? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Samuel Johnson wrote plays, essays, poems, biographies, and even literary critiques. So, we can assume he knows what he’s talking about here. He’s perhaps most well-known for completing A Dictionary of the English Language after seven long years of work.
Some 170 years before the Oxford English Dictionary, Johnson revolutionized the English language with his own original version.
I’ll admit, I knew nothing of Samuel Johnson before writing this, and you can thank Wikipedia for all of this valuable information.
I hope you learned something new today. And, if you’re feeling a little stuck, maybe pick up a book?
– Aubrey Alene