Writerly Wednesdays

The Well-Read Writer Becomes an Author

What tools are vital for an author? Mine are a laptop, headphones, caffeine, a canvas grey jacket with a white T-shirt, faded jeans, Olukai Hawaiian shoes, and two-day stubble I’ll shave soon. I can’t write without them.

However, no tool is more essential than my writer’s library. 

Every great writer has curated a personal library. Their library is so valuable that when they die, people take down the titles and publish the list so we can read what the author studied.

So, as a famous writer, you must collect books and be the curator of your library. Need better justification?

Ten Reasons Why You Should Have An Extensive Home Library

1 —As you read, you can wrestle with the ideas in the text, write your thoughts in the margins, and quickly flip pages back and forth.

2 —When finished, the covers remind you of the moments you shared with the story or information.

3 —The thoughts of dead humans are valuable, at your fingertips, and the more minds on a subject, the better.

4 —Your recall of what you read is better when you have a physical copy of the book, even better if you wrote in the book.

5 —A publisher can send an update and change words in a digital copy. Not so with your paper copies. 

6 —A well-read writer is usually a published author.

7 —Loan a physical copy of the text, and the borrower makes notes in the margins and creates an ongoing dialogue about the material. Giving away a copy of a book that meant something to you, a physical copy, is a deeply profound way to deepen a friendship. You must have many copies of your favorite books.

8 —Those in your household and those who visit will be inspired to read.

9 —You’re going to hoard something. Hoard books.

10 —A bookcase that opens to a secret library is essential for every writer. Make it happen.

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Peter Leavell

    Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

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