How to Read a Book as an Author, not a Reader

By Team Azuni

As an author, reading is an essential part of your craft. It is like food for your mind and creativity. But, have you ever noticed that as your writing becomes more intense, your pleasure in reading often dwindles? This is a common problem among writers. We switch from reading for entertainment to reading for research and analysis. However, if we don’t approach reading in a different way, we may miss the benefits of reading as writers, such as learning how to structure dialogue or build character arcs. In this blog post, we will explore how to read a book as an author and make the most of your reading time.

Choose Books that Benefit Your Writing

Before you start reading, decide what area of your writing you want to improve on, and then choose books that address those areas. For example, if you want to improve your dialogue writing skills, consider reading books with strong dialogue scenes such as Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms or John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Practice Active Reading

When reading a book as an author, you are not just reading for entertainment, but analysis. As you read, take notes on what works, what doesn’t work, and why. What is the author doing differently from what you do? What literary techniques are being employed? What viewpoint is used? Taking notes on this helps you breakdown and learn from successful writing practices of others.

Read Widely

To be a good author, you need to have a wide range of knowledge, including topics you wouldn’t normally have an interest in. So, make sure you read a variety of genres and subjects, even if they are not your personal preference. Explore and learn from different framing and storytelling techniques, and use these to improve your own writing.

Read as a Writer

Treat each book like a lesson on writing. Study how the author creates tension, how they build their characters, and how they handle the pacing of the story. Think about what you can learn from each book, and how you can use that knowledge to improve your own writing craft.

Take Breaks

Sometimes, too much analysis can cause burnout. It may be good to let yourself delve into a book merely for entertainment without taking notes every now and then. This way, you take a breath and recharge your batteries so that you don’t lose your love of reading.

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