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Can You Be A Writer Without Being A Reader?

Reading and writing go hand in hand, so it seems strange that some young writers don’t want to read books. Isn’t reading the easier part of the equation?

Recently Macy Halford posed the question at the New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog: “What is wanting to write without wanting to read like?” She was inspired by novelist William Giraldi, who noticed that his writing students wanted to write without having to read.

What do you think?

At Print Magazine’s Imprint community, Buzz Poole points out that reading is often more enjoyable than writing: “While the moments of magic happen, writing, for me, is hard work and at times incredibly frustrating. Reading, on the other hand, is not a struggle. It is an utter pleasure. And it is in this pleasure where I first took up the challenge of writing, in trying to emulate the wordsmiths whose stories possessed me so completely that the rest of the world would fade away so long as I kept turning the pages and allowed their words to fuel my imagination.”

Poole’s argument raises the issue, why would you want to be a writer if you don’t even like to read? What do you think?

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