Truthfully, I must confess, I am NOT as well read as I should be. Especially for being an aspiring writer and all.
In July of 2009 I officially stopped daydreaming about the story in my head and started typing. Even then I was reading mostly James Patterson. I joined one of those book clubs and snatched up some mainstream stuff. I remember getting one about a young woman helping her town after a tornado and an early reprint of a Sandra Brown. A student of mine gave me a Nicholas Sparks. I read his works off and on. Patterson kept me busy, as did some Dan Brown and Elizabeth Kostova.
But I write Love Stories and up until 2008 all I had was some Sparks and a single Sandra Brown.
I have an even worse confession. I am poorly read in the classics. In college I think I read Pride and Prejudice. The movies I remember more. I recall some titles from high school and college but vaguely remember most of them.
Does that make me a poorly trained writer? Does under-read translate into Book-Dumb? Right now I feel like I am in a place where I shouldn't write. Something inside me is unquenchable. All I want to do is read.
What should I be reading? What should I have read already?
What books do you feel all writers, at least of fiction, should read before typing a single word?