With summer coming, newspapers and bloggers are starting to offer their favorite summer reads. 

Summer is a great time to read for pleasure.

On a hot afternoon, there is nothing more delicious than flopping on the couch with a novel and a tall glass of iced tea and getting lost in a good story.

If you’re traveling, you might choose a mystery or a thriller, something to absorb you on a long flight or layover.

Reading for pleasureyou pay attention to nothing but the movie playing in your mind.

Unless you’re a writer.

Then it’s hard to stop thinking about what you might learn from the books you are reading, even the light-hearted fare and froth.

You sense the elegance in a well-made story or poem, and you want to know how the author did it. 

Reading for craft can feel a little academic at first.

But reading as a writer can also be a deep practice, something you put your whole self into.

Reading deeply, opens your mind and your eyes. 

You read awake and it wakes you up.

I don’t want to imply should read like a writer all the time. I would never take away the pleasure of getting lost in a good beach read.

But sometime during your week, the more regularly the better, it is good to read with intention, with pencils and sticky notes at your side, noticing a writer’s skill as you would a good blend of flavors by a great chef or the formal elements of a painting.

Next week, I’ll share the way I set up my own reading practice, and in the following weeks and months, guide you through some favorite books and essays.

The more deeply you read, the more you digest the structures and stories you love. 


When the stories are inside you, you can never lose them. 

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