7 books every writer should read

Behind every good writer is a good reader. To take your writing up a notch, pull inspiration from one of these classic page-turners.

Ragan Insider Content

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” — Stephen King

To be a good writer is to be a good reader.

I am amazed at the number of people I meet who have no education or writing background—let alone reading experience—who think they can write a book. Most talented writers are talented even without an education, but I have never met a good writer who wasn’t also educated about, and addicted to, the written word.

Are you an aspiring writer with no major reading behind you? Here is your primer. (That said, there are hundreds—even thousands—of other books you can read to expand your vocabulary, mind and general knowledge.)

1. “Pride and Prejudice”

Nothing irks me more than when men scoff at the idea of reading this revered piece of English literature.

Yes, it’s about a rich aristocrat and a young woman from a mouthy, lower-middle-class family. Yes, there is a famous BBC series that tells the story of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and yes, it features Colin Firth in a wet, 18th-century button-down shirt after a quick dip in the lake.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.