Read like a Writer

posted Dec 27, 2017, 2:21 PM by David Alan Binder

Read like a Writer

An anthem that can’t be said enough to writers is read like a son of a gun.  Read as if your life depends on it.  Read like successful 

people.  Read actively, with brain and heart engaged.  Read for profit.  Reading for entertainment is a sideline.


Paul Sohn states and descriptively shows how Mark Twain and David Foster Wallace read.  They are so engaged in reading that the 

margins and pages are filled with notes.  See the actual picture.  It is astounding.

When I read, I am reading for fun, I am reading to learn, I am reading to make myself a better writer.  My wife can attest that any 

book that is read by me is marked up with “corrections”.  This spurs me to read.  When I worked at a nuclear plant and had to read 

the updated procedures and policies it is very dry reading.  Extremely and excruciatingly, dry. 

So I read to find mistakes.  Finding or trying to find a mistake would keep me completely and actively engaged.  It would enable me 

to read the whole thing.

And when I submitted to the writer, my list they were surprised by how much I was able to catch.


Warren Buffet reads 500 to 1000 pages a day and he reads things that help him to learn and think and build upon his already 

considerable knowledge.  Bill Gates did not graduate college but that does not mean he is not a learner, he reads 50 books a year.  

(Incidentally, I just saw a mug shot of him when he was arrested at the age of 17 for driving without a license.  Just a bit of trivia 

there for you.)

Keep reading, Dear Writers and Dear Readers, I try to teach or give you something to think about every time I publish.