Read because you love stories. Read because that's what made you want to write in the first place. Read because you absolutely have to read. Read for inspiration. Wonderful books will inspire you to step up your game, and write something just as wonderful. Crappy books will inspire you to stop making excuses and just freakin' churn out some crap, because reading garbage will inevitably make you think if this shlock can get published, I can sure as hell get published!
Read vs. Remote. Keep a book right next to your television remote. Or your Xbox controller. Whatever your timesuck might be. When you reach for the remote, and then see the option to read instead - let reading win out. We all know that video killed the radio star (and then YouTube devoured them all). So now, let's put books back in the arena and coach 'em to win back the heavyweight timesuck belt.
Read on the go. When waiting for your food to arrive, or while eating at your desk, or while sitting around at someplace awful like the DMV - wouldn't you rather be instantly transported to Oz? Always have a book in your purse or in your backpack or on your person. (This is even easier if you have a Kindle or some other fancy e-reader.) Remember when you were that nerdy bookworm kid who refused to get into a car without grabbing her current trusty book? I do, and I'm reviving her glorious bookwormy spirit.
Read in the bathtub. And remember to be thankful that the world isn't all Kindle yet.
Read before bed. Keep a bedside space for your book, and make it sacred book space, so there is ALWAYS a book there for you to grab. This book location is also handy for when you can't sleep, and much better for you than that midnight snack or The Real Housewives of a Gated Community Near You.
Remember, we must never choose between reading and writing. Make time for both. Each enriches the other. Getting lost in someone else's story is just as important as getting lost in your own. It helps you remember what you love so much about stories in the first place.
And after all, how can we expect anyone to read what we write, if we're not reading what other people are writing?
A Fellow Writer & Reborn Reader
PS Readers, keep reading, too! We love you and need you and want to make you happy. XOXO