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“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”(Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)

‘I used to love reading, but I just can’t find the time anymore.’ I hear this a lot. So many of us were lost in books as youngsters but as life takes over it drops further and further down the priority list. It’s seen as a luxury or something that we ‘treat ourselves’ to on holiday.

What a load of rubbish.

Reading isn’t a reward, it’s a necessity. If we can’t make time for reading then we definitely can’t make time for writing. The two are intrinsically linked.

Reading teaches us about the intricacies of language, what works, what we enjoy and it inspires us to write. Whether we enjoy a book or we don’t, we’ll learn something!

Reading outside of our preferred genres is a great way to explore new ideas. When I started researching the genre of teen fiction for my trilogy, it was just that; research. Now, I’m addicted! A teen fiction novel called The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas was in my top ten books of 2017.

Reading both fiction and non-fiction, regardless of what you’re writing, is important too. Something that I try and do is just read one book at a time. I know plenty of people who have lots of books on the go and rarely finish of them. I think the commitment to one book is similar to the commitment you’ll need as a writer. There are always new books to read, new ideas or that friend who sends you the link to the latest ‘must read’. We lead busy lives, flitting from one thing to another, multitasking and feeling pressure to do everything and then some more. Reading and finishing a book can offer a sense of accomplishment. If the book you’re reading isn’t worth finishing, close it and put it in the charity bag. Just because it’s not for you doesn’t mean it’s a ‘bad book’!

I thought that ‘Read In The Bathtub Day’ gives the perfect reason to read AND tick today’s ‘self-care’ box. As a writer, you need to read and you need to make sure you’re taking time out. Today offers a win-win situation.

So, grab a book and run the bath. You could go all in and light some candles but be careful!