Last Word

Twain: Really good books make all the difference

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

–Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Writers are often reminded that in order to write well, we must be diligent readers as well.

However, this observation by one of America’s most venerated authors offers an important distinction here that writers can apply to their own goals.

Read: Stumped? Banish writer’s block with books, lots of books

When is the last time you read a good book? A really good book? The kind that challenges you and makes you think?

Yes, we all love to dive into those easy, breeze-to-read stories that cost us nothing but a few stolen hours.

But, if we really want to grow as writers, we must reach beyond our comfortable boundaries and read things that force us to view the world and writing in a new way.

For me that book was William Faulkner’s “The Sound and The Fury.” Faulkner’s brilliant use of stream of consciousness and alternating perspectives throughout the narrative knocked me askew at first. However, with careful attention I was able to make my way through the novel for a powerful reading experience that remains with me all these years later.

Today, pick up a book that you have avoided. It may be a title that is considered a classic, but you haven’t had the courage or the time to invest in its pages. Or it may be a genre that you are typically not fond of.

Whatever it is, take advantage of those precious reading hours and make them count for better writing!

 Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

Leave a Reply