Uncategorized By Jules Clancy Share37 +110 Tweet14 ShareShares 61 There are many rules of good writing, but the best way to find them is to be a good reader. Stephen Ambrose We’ve all heard accomplished authors say that the best thing for writers to improve their craft is to read widely. When deadlines loom and life gets hectic, reading can be one of the first things to fall off the radar. Especially reading for pleasure. Recently, I stumbled upon an online book club of fellow food bloggers and jumped at the chance to join them. And the thing is, I’m finding there are so many more benefits than I had originally hoped for. If you’re find you aren’t reading as much as you’d like, here are 7 reasons to get out there and find yourself a book club virtual or otherwise. 1. Read more. Most of us need a push to get motivated and joining a book club provides clear deadlines on a regular basis. I’m finding that making the time to read for my book club has also opened windows in my day for other reading as well. It’s a bit like the more I read, the more I remember how much I love reading. And the more I read. 2. Read things you wouldn’t normally read. We all know that it is more beneficial to read a wide variety of styles and genres to help your writing grow, but it can be difficult to push yourself to pickup books outside your comfort zone. Book clubs are a great way to expose yourself to variety. We writers can learn from both the good and the bad. 3. Meet new people While making friends is always good for the soul, a book club gives you a chance to meet people from different walks of life. This has the added benefit of opportunities to observe new people – great fodder for your writers observational brain. 4. Experience books in a whole new way. Reading alone is wonderful. Sharing a book with others who have followed a similar solitary journey brings a whole new perspective on the experience. It can open you up to different explanations and insights you may have missed. 5. Gives you insights into the minds of other readers. As a writer, having a glimpse into how readers react to different topics, styles and techniques can be very enlightening. Seeing what works and what doesn’t is invaluable for learning what invokes strong reactions both positive and negative. 6. Learn new techniques and approaches. Having the opportunity to analyze writing with fellow authors can only help you gain a greater understanding of the writing process. Likewise, explaining your own observations to others will cement the lessons more firmly in your own mind. 7. It’s fun. Taking the time to enjoy yourself and have some fun with books and other people is reward in itself. Don’t forget that it also helps inspire and recharge your creative juices and that alone wil If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Stephen King Jules Clancy is a qualified Food Scientist and the creator of The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School. She blogs about simple 5 ingredients recipes that can mostly be prepared in 10 minutes over at Stonesoup.