How To Improve Your Writing By Reading Great Books

Reading is one of the easiest ways to improve your writing. It’s also one of the most rewarding because it can help you improve both your style and substance as a writer.

The best books will make you think more deeply about yourself as well as other people, but even if you just want to hone your technical skills, there are plenty of novels that can help. 

In this guide, we’ll go over how reading works for writers and why it’s so effective at improving their craft!

How to Improve Your Writing By Reading Books – YouTube
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1) Read A Lot

Reading is a lifelong skill. It’s the most important habit you can develop to improve your writing, and one of the best ways to learn new things. The more you read, the better writer you’ll become and reading can be fun!

Reading will help you increase your vocabulary, which means that when it comes time for an interview or pitch session, your words will be at their very best. 

It’ll also make sure that your writing never sounds boring or stale by constantly exposing yourself to new ideas and perspectives. Plus reading is relaxing!

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2) Take Notes While You Read

Do this by using a highlighter to mark passages that you want to return to, writing in the margins to make notes, and using a notebook or reading journal. 

These are all great ways of interacting with the text and will help you develop your style of reading, which is essential for improving as a writer. When you’re finished taking notes, use them as inspiration for future writing projects!

3) Make A Habit Of It

Make a habit of it. Reading is not just for writers, but for anyone who wants to improve their writing. If you’re going to be successful at improving your writing through reading, you need to make it a habit.

Set aside time every day or week (or however often) and read your selected book(s). This might mean that you read before bed each night, during your lunch break at work, or on the bus home from work. 

Set aside time every day or week (or however often) and read your selected book(s). This might mean that you read before bed each night, during your lunch break at work, or on the bus home from work.

Make reading a priority in your life if it’s important enough to be one of our most commonly shared pieces of advice about improving as writers then we think it should be high up on our list too!

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4) Read Good Books, But Also Read Bad Ones

Reading good books is easy. Reading bad books is harder, but it’s worth it. Why? Because the best way to improve your writing is by reading widely and deeply in a variety of styles and genres, which means you’ll need to read both good and bad books.

Some people will tell you that reading only great works of literature will help you become a better writer and these people are partially correct! 

But if all you did was read award-winning novels by award-winning authors, your writing would become as stale as their prose (which most often has been heavily edited). 

So don’t just pick up the latest Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction; also explore some lesser-known works from authors whose names might not be familiar yet but have tremendous talent.

5) Be Open To New Genres And Topics

Read about topics that interest you. To expand your mind, it’s important to read about things that are of interest to you. For example, if you like cooking and baking, try reading books on those topics. 

If the topic of the book is something with which you are unfamiliar (e.g., quantum physics), then it will be easier for you because there won’t be any background knowledge involved in understanding what is being written about within the book.

Read about things that interest *you*. The best way to improve your writing skills is by reading content that interests *you*. 

This way, when writing new content or revising existing content based on feedback from others, their suggestions will resonate with how they see things and thus make better sense instead of sounding foreign or difficult to understand because they don’t know what “motivates” certain ideas behind those ideas exist at all!

Be open-minded enough so as not to bother arguing against something just because some person told them so; 

Instead, consider using their advice as a starting point rather than stopping at where one ends up having realized its limitations/limitations without considering potential other ways around them first.

Before making decisions themselves even though what might seem obvious now won’t necessarily work out later either due mostly because people tend to forget much easier than computers do (or vice versa depending on who’s doing what).

6) Choose The Classics Carefully

Now, I’m not saying that you should read every book ever written. You can only spend so much time reading before your eyes start to fall out of their sockets and your fingers are worn down to the knuckles from holding a book open. 

Instead, focus on classics that have stood the test of time because they were written by great authors who were able to use language in innovative ways.

When you read these books, think about how their authors used words and sentences differently than what was typical at their time. 

Then try applying those techniques in your writing! Reading classic literature will help expand both your vocabulary and style by exposing you to different writing styles from all over history and even across other cultures!

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7) Read The Right Book At The Right Time

In this final tip, I want to talk about how you should read the right book at the right time. 

Reading a book that doesn’t match your current state of life can make all of your other reading more difficult because it will disrupt your flow and distract you from something that could be more helpful.

Here are some ways to determine if a book is appropriate for you:

  • Read about what you know about already; don’t try to learn too much at once! This will give you confidence in what you’re reading (and save you some frustration).
  • Have realistic expectations don’t expect too much too quickly!

8) Know Your Purpose When You Read A Book

Know your purpose. When beginning a new book, it’s important to know why you are reading it. Are you looking for entertainment? To learn something new? To find inspiration? How will this book help you get what you want out of it? 

The clearer your purpose for reading is, the more powerful the results can be, and if nothing else, having a clear idea of where your reading fits into your life helps keep things in perspective as you start reading.

Understand the author’s purpose. To find out what kind of experience a book offers and how well it delivers on its promises (or not), it can be helpful to understand why the author wrote their book in the first place and what they hope readers will get out of it.

And how they see themselves contributing to their field or genre as a whole and within their particular niche within that genre. 

Knowing where an author is coming from will help keep things clear when they’re writing about topics close to your heart or experiences similar ones like yours; 

If possible, even go back through earlier works by them so that when they refer back later on in their current book (as many authors do), there won’t be any surprises!

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9) Learn From The Greats

To truly master the art of writing, you must read great literature. The classics are a good place to start, but only if you’re comfortable with them. If not, then go ahead and pick up whatever new book has been on your list for ages (or just go back and re-read one of your favorites). 

It doesn’t matter what genre or style of writing it is; just try to find something that speaks to you. If there’s an author whose work always leaves you thinking about how he or she writes so beautifully, then try reading more of their books! 

And don’t be afraid to branch out into other genres I’m sure there’s at least one genre out there that catches your interest somewhere along the way.

10) Pay Attention To Setting

The setting is the time and place where the story takes place. It’s an important part of storytelling because it helps you understand both the characters and the plot. Setting can also help set mood and culture, too. 

If a character is in a certain type of setting, this will help you understand their personality better than if they were in another kind of environment. 

For example, if they spent their childhood on a farm with lots of animals around them then it would make sense why they might have an affinity for animals later in life when they are not living on that farm anymore!

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If you want to improve the quality of your writing, there’s no better way than to read good books. The key is choosing the right ones and being open to new genres and topics. 

But don’t worry you don’t have to become a literary scholar overnight! Just make reading an important part of your daily routine and keep practicing until it becomes second nature.

Further Reading

MasterClass: Become a Better Writer by Reading
Enhance your writing skills by delving into the world of literature and learning from the masters.

Routledge: How Reading Will Help Your Writing and Add Pleasure to Your Life
Uncover the symbiotic relationship between reading and writing, leading to both improvement and enjoyment.

Buffer: 5 Ways to Be a Better Reader and Improve Your Writing in the Process
Discover techniques to become a more effective reader, ultimately benefiting your writing skills.


How can reading help me become a better writer?

Reading exposes you to different writing styles, ideas, and perspectives, helping you develop your own writing skills and creativity.

Can reading enhance my vocabulary?

Yes, reading introduces you to a wide range of words and expressions, expanding your vocabulary and making your writing more varied and expressive.

What genres should I explore in my reading journey?

It’s beneficial to explore various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and even different writing formats, as each offers unique insights and techniques.

How much time should I dedicate to reading to improve my writing?

The amount of time you dedicate to reading depends on your schedule, but setting aside at least a few minutes each day can make a significant difference over time.

Can reading for pleasure also benefit my writing skills?

Absolutely! Reading for pleasure can relax your mind, stimulate creativity, and inspire new ideas, all of which can positively impact your writing.