I love to read literature, but I don’t always understand it. How many times have I sat down with a dusty classic and a hot cup of optimism only for the cup to grow cold by chapter three? Sure, I get it at some level. Characters, plot, symbolism. Even a blind squirrel finds a metaphorical nut from time to time. But if you catch me reading Faulkner or Dostoyevsky, expect to see a copy of SparkNotes nearby.
I also love to write literature. Call me cynical, but that seems problematic. If I can’t understand it, how on earth can I expect to write it? Maybe that’s why so many accomplished writers insist on a habit of constant reading. Could it be that before I learn how to write a book I should learn how to read a book?