The Basic Qualification for Writers

An email friend pointed me at an article at

“In essence, 77% of UK readers reread books they like. Compare that to the US where the average reader only reads four books a year, and one of every four Americans admits to not reading anything in the last year. They don’t just read UK material, either. The list of the most reread books follows the article to include many US authors.

According to another report from the Jenkins Group, 33 percent of American high school graduates do not read another book once they leave school. The same for 42 percent of college graduates. Fifty-seven percent of books, per the same report, are not read to the end.

However…80 percent of Americans want to write a book.”


Have you ever heard of a professional musician that never listens to music, or a chef that only eats at McDonalds?

If you want to write you’re going to have to read, and read voraciously. I’m currently reading:

“R is for Ricochet” by Sue Grafton (re-reading it, actually).
“Cities of te Red Night” by William Burroughs
“Writing Crime Fiction” by Lesley Grant-Adamson
and a bunch of old New Scientist magazines that a friend gave me.

Oh, and my own novel’s reached 69,000 words.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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