The Stockbridge Library

Is Reading a Must for Writers?

Cynthia Herron Books 5 Comments

The Stockbridge Library

Image Credit: Matt Hintsa/PhotopinCC

In addition to family time and some much needed R&R, something else I appreciate about the holiday season is the opportunity to read.

As you might expect, most writers are avid readers, too. The sad reality is I don’t get to read near as often as I used to. My TBR pile is overflowing and my magazine baskets are stacked to (and beyond) the brim.

I could barely contain my giddiness this week at the prospect of playing catch-up. (Currently I’m reading A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley, which, so far, I’m loving! There’s the promise of romance with a touch of mystery. Check out the book’s intriguing premise at Meg’s website.)

Of course, I can’t think about reading without remembering the small town library of my youth where my love for the written word was fostered.

My childhood library was a magical place. It was a quaint structure, renovated from an old house and an eclectic mixture of charm and nostalgia. I could linger for hours there!

Today as a writer I still read for pleasure, of course, but also to stay current in my craft. I adore reading!

I cringe when I hear folks say, “Me—read? Oh, I haven’t picked up a book in years.

I just shake my head and think how very sad.

Reading takes us to exciting, new places. It challenges our minds and expands our knowledge. It also enhances our creativity and kick-starts those feel-good endorphins. What’s not to like?

Though I don’t get to visit the local library in my area as much as I’d like just now, it’s still a favorite hang-out spot. Sometimes, I’ll take my laptop and escape to one of the cozy niches there.

I’m blessed to have a lovely home office, but there’s something about changing environments occasionally that’s conducive to the writing process. I suppose because there are no outside distractions. (Unless… you count the mouth-watering scent of coffee wafting through the aisles. And then I’m distracted by the aroma and the thought of something chocolatey to go with it.)

Speaking of libraries, did you notice today’s post image?

This photo of the Stockbridge Library in Stockbridge, Massachusetts fascinated me so I did a little investigating. Apparently, a renovation began on the library in February 2014.

It has an interesting history and you can read more here.

Stockbridge is more than a stone’s throw from the Ozarks, but I think you’d agree the library would be a reading buff’s dream. (See this link to the chamber of conference for a variety of info.)

I’ve decided I’d love to visit!


What fostered your love of reading?

Do you have a favorite reading go-to spot?

What do you think—is reading a must for writers?


See you back on Monday for a brief pre-Christmas post!

Be well, my friend…

Blessings Always,

Comments 5

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I think reading is a must for everyone; it’s the best way to exercise the imagination, and without imagination, the seeds of intolerance and didacticism can easily take root.

    What I find interesting is the degree to which we’re influenced by the books we read at the beginning of the writing journey. Mine were novels of the 40s and 50s, which are very different in tone and craft from what’s written today.

    They had an unhurried quality in setting the stage and developing characters that made them much richer than much of what’s being written now.

    And – horror of horrors – they use ADVERBS!

    Many people feel that the craft has “developed”, that writing today is better. It’s not. It’s different, yes. Better, no.

    And that is what reading can do – it can give a wider perspective of what this profession is about.

  2. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Andrew, what a wonderful comment and so insightful. I agree!

    One of my favorite books is The Gauntlet by James Street. I have the 1945 first edition given to me by my father many years ago. The Gauntlet is a wonderful, classic novel thick with adjectives and vivid description. It was indeed written in a different time, but the story (about a young, coming-of-age preacher) is sublime. The High Calling is Street’s follow-up to The Gauntlet. I loved both.

    Those books transport me to a different time. The writing’s different, yes. But the story still resonates and is unforgettable.

    Great thoughts!

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    One of my traditional Christmas reads is “The Left Hand of God”, by William Barrett.

    Aside from being a great story, and evergreen, it is a writer’s reality check that SMS doth not a novel make…no matter what the experts say.

  4. Shelli Littleton

    Cynthia, when I was young … it didn’t take long to link reading to oral book reports. I was terrified to do an oral book report. Getting in front of a crowd was so out of my comfort zone. It was nice when that fear no longer existed, and I was able to discover my love for reading.

  5. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Shelli, ahhh… I feel your pain. Oral book reports didn’t bother me as much as a kiddo, but in speech class as a college freshman—that was a heady combination of excitement and stark terror.

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