Encouraging children to enjoy reading - Nikki Young

Is Reading Just As Important As Writing?

I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember and it comes as no surprise that my love of books and reading is what inspired me to want to be a writer myself.

Reading is important if you are a writer. You can find ideas and inspiration from other books. You can identify the genre you enjoy and would like to write for. You can find what works and what doesn’t work, what tense you prefer and how to craft your own story.

I try to read every day. It’s part of my wind-down time before I go to sleep, so you won’t find me reading literary classics or contemporary literary fiction. For me, reading is a form of relaxation and an opportunity to escape to another world for a short time, but we take from books what we need. There is something for everyone out there.

I used to do a monthly review of the books I’d read. I haven’t done that for a while, so I thought I’d catch up by sharing what I have read recently.

The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks
I turn to Nicholas Sparks’ stories when I want an easy read, a bit of a romance and a solid story. I haven’t been disappointed with any of his books so far, and this one is no different.

The story follows the separate lives of ninety-one year old Ira and student Sophia. Ira is stuck in his car, injured, after he skidded on some ice and his car went off the road. As he struggles to stay alive, the image of his long-dead wife, Ruth appears, urging him to hang on. Together they look back on their lives together.

Sophia is a college student whose privileged life is thrown into disarray when she meets, Luke, a boy with a secret that could potentially destroy their relationship.

Fate brings the lives of Sophia and Ira together and the result is a lesson in love, friendship and respect.

After I Left You – Alison Mercer
A chance meeting with an old flame brings back memories that Anna would rather forget. She’s put her Oxford University days well and truly behind her and hasn’t spoken to or seen any of her friends since.

No one else knows why Anna cut them off. It is a secret she has carried around with her since the last night they were all together. As she begins to rebuild her relationships with her old friends, the story takes us back through Anna’s time at university and the events leading up to that fateful night.

Without You – Saskia Sarginson
Seventeen year old Eva goes missing at sea and is presumed dead. No body is found and the strain of being unable to find their missing daughter is taking its toll on her mum and dad. Eva’s younger sister, Faith, refuses to believe she is dead. She believes Eva has been taken by the wild man to the island that sits just off the shore where they live. Everyone knows the stories of the wild man are just that – stories, so they won’t take Faith seriously.

The reality is, Eva has been taken hostage and IS being held captive on the Island. Her fight for survival sees her develop a relationship with her captor that is based on mutual respect and dependence. Being taken away from her family and everything she holds dear, forces Eva to come to terms with a few things in her own life. She realises that if she ever gets to go home, she will never be the same person again.

The relationship between Eva and her captor is fascinating. His volatile personality means that you are never sure which way it will go and this brings a level of suspense to the story that makes it a gripping read.

The Last Day – Emily Organ
Fifty three year old George believes that the 12th September 1985 is the day he will die. He has dreamt about this day since he was twelve years old. The story takes the reader through this day, as George looks back on his life, the mistakes he has made and the regrets he holds.

The big question is, will George survive and will he get the chance to make amends with his wife and daughter? The author keeps you on your toes throughout this entire story, as George makes his way through the most eventful day of his life. I had no idea which way it was going to go. I can’t really say anymore than that without giving it away!

I would highly recommend all of these books. If you read any of them and enjoy them too, please let me know.

Sharing this for What I’m Writing.

Writing Bubble

Comments (0)

  1. maddy@writingbubble 28th October 2014 at 10:46 am

    I love reading too – it definitely helps with writing. I also enjoyed Emily’s book but I’ve not read the others so I might give them a try! i’ve just started ‘The love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy’. Have you read ‘The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry’? It’s the sort of sequel and I can already tell it’s going to be another blinder by Rachel Joyce! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting xx

  2. mytravelmonkey 28th October 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Most definitely. I am really annoyed with myself for having let my reading slip this year – but mainly because I started the blog and because my husband ‘borrowed’ my kindle. I have asked for a new one for xmas and am determined to upload it with lots of fab new books. I know I should just buy some, but it’s hard finding the time at the minute. But will definitely make more of concious effort to read before I sleep in bed. Ps. I’ve read The Unlikely Pilgrmage of Harold Fry which is a good read, but not as good in my opinion as The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of A Window

  3. Emily Organ 28th October 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I wasn’t expecting a mention of my book! Thank you : ) I think reading is really important for writing, the more I’ve written in the past few years the more I’ve read. I’ve also been trying some genres I wouldn’t usually read such as romance and horror and I enjoy finding out how authors tackle storyline and characters. I think you can subconsciously pick up tips for better writing by reading more too. I’m going to try out some of your recommendations!

  4. deskmonkeymummy 28th October 2014 at 8:12 pm

    More books to add to my To Be Read. I bought The Last Day yesterday on Maddy’s recommendation. Now I can’t wait to sink into it.
    Reading is definitely an important part of writing. As you said, it can inspire and lead you to answer questions about what does and doesn’t work.
    Do you find yourself being quite critical?

  5. Mummy Tries 28th October 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I love to read but must admit it gets shafted and ends up at the bottom of my priority list. I always have a little read before bed but sometimes don’t manage more than a page! Great recommendation list, I bought Emily’s book today – just need to find the time to read it now 🙂 #whatimwriting

  6. Nicola Young 28th October 2014 at 9:11 pm

    If you are tired by the end of the day, all you need is a page of reading and your asleep! But I also find that I miss reading when I have a gap. I enjoy that escapism that reading brings.

  7. sophieblovett 29th October 2014 at 12:11 am

    I’ve said this way too often recently, but I really need to find the time to read more! At the moment my literary diet mainly consists of picture books for the toddler and books about depression as research for my novel. I have Murakami’s ‘1Q84’ trilogy in hard copy and on my phone but I’ve only got a few pages in! They’re a good first few pages too. Must persevere…

  8. Rachel Bitmead 29th October 2014 at 8:47 am

    I too am a huge book worm! I’ve not heard of these Authors but after reading your blurb of the books After i left you by Alison Mercer and The last day by Emily Organ. I think i’ll be looking for these books.

  9. Emma T (@ETusty) 29th October 2014 at 9:16 am

    I love reading. Last year I did manage to read alot but I’ve struggled this year, and only recently got back into it again. My belief is that my reading lots as a child really helped my english knowledge and ability vs school which at that point wasn’t really teaching grammar as part of the curriculum (or if it was I was bored and totally ignored those years of lessons!).

    There look like quite a few books in that list I’d like to read, so I shall try and look out for those. #sharewithme

  10. Morgan Prince 29th October 2014 at 11:34 am

    I do enjoy reading but often get put off by a bad book. Well not a bad book but one I didn’t enjoy quite as much. At the moment I’m so tired at the end of the day that I find it difficult to keep my eyes open long enough to read one page. I’m trying though and intend to read more. I do think it’s important that writers read, as well as inspiration it gives us a look at what’s necessary. 🙂

  11. pamelasthibodeaux 29th October 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Great post Nikki! I too love to read and gain so much from the books I treasure! I’ve tweeted and pinned to: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/blog-posts-by-authors-i-admire/

  12. Sarah Doyle - let them be small 29th October 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Reading is the one thing I miss the most from my pre-children life; my to read list is ever growing!

  13. Joanna @mumbalance 30th October 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Nicola. It’s my first time on your blog. I think I could definitely share some of your reads!
    I love writing and I agree that reading is crucial. As a part of my OU degree I done a year of creative writing and since then I have picked up a habit of taking books at random from the return pile in my local library. You end up with a mixture of books you would probably never pick otherwise. I read them all (well, I try) and even if I don’t like them all that much at least I can look at how they are written and why is it I don’t like them. There’s always something to learn.

    • Nicola Young 30th October 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. I admire you for reading such a variety. I have a post prepared for next week that explains why i often have trouble finishing a book and why i dont persevere!

  14. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) 30th October 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I have been thinking a lot lately of how I am so dry in ideas and creativity. It is for the lack of reading I think. Before after reading a book my mind just want to create something be it an essay, or a bag or a dress or to draw. Thanks for sharing this. I am in a middle of a book (for the longest time) and I would probably try any of these when I have a chance. #sharewithme

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  16. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy 2nd November 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Oh yes reading is just as important as writing. I think so for sure. I have long been a bookworm and try to read as much as I write these days. I think it helps stay creative and thinking in various ways too. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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