- Inspire you to write your own.
- Take you in to a world far beyond any we know and it will seem as real as daily life. My best examples of this are Middle Earth (LOTR) and Discworld.
- Make you understand why the characters act the way they are. A really good book will make you see why the villain is behaving badly and even encourage some sneaking sympathy.
- Help you see where you need to develop your own characters more.
- Give you a complete break from what you're working on (which is why it is a good idea to read in and out of your genre, fiction and non-fiction). You come back to your own writing refreshed and raring to go.
- Take you back in time and/or see our own world and/or history from new perspectives.
- Leave a lasting impression on you. I can recall strong impressions left by novels I read when studying English at school umpteen years ago and I haven't re-read them since. (This hasn't been a deliberate thing. A couple of those books I've meant, and still mean (!), to get around to buying my own copies. It's just a question of getting around to it).
- Encourage you to read more in the genre and around the subject of that story (especially true, I find, for historical fiction).
- As you write more, you will pick up even more from a good book. You will realise why the author did things the way they have. I've developed a deeper appreciation for what seems like "easy" writing. I'm absolutely certain it would've taken the writers years, and lots of editing, to get to that point but I've only appreciated this because I'm writing myself.
- Increase your vocabulary and grammatical skills.
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.