Why ‘read a lot’ is bad advice if you want to write

Books

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

One thing I didn’t explore in my previous post is probably the most common piece of advice given to aspiring writers: ‘If you want to write, you must read lots.’ I actually don’t think this is very helpful advice in its current form. Read what? Read lots of books? Read lots of plays and poems? Read lots of magazines and newspapers? Read lots of tinned food labels? Read the IKEA catalogue? And what do you do after you’ve ‘read lots’?

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