To write better, read more, advises blogger Mike Hanski, who provides an intriguing infographic showing the bookshelves of prominent people. Is your reading taste more like that of Marilyn Manson or Vladimir Putin? Margaret Thatcher or Bill Clinton? Now you can find out! (Apologies that I cannot show the infographic directly. It becomes too narrow on the page.)
Scanning the fictive shelves of these celebs, I see I’ve generally read 1-2 books on each, but have the most reading in common with Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway (5-6 books each). Two books that appear on multiple shelves are Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and the Bible. There’s food for thought.
Hanski includes this quote from King: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” And how to cobble together that reading time is explored here.
Hanski makes a strong case for why reading is so important to writers—for both building skills and inspiration.“Can you imagine a musician who does not listen to music?” he asks.