We've heard it before; in fact, you've read it here. Reading is essential to writing. You'll never be a good writer if you're not an avid reader. It's that simple. You can't sit down to write if you haven't taken the time to read -- a lot! Reading helps you identify a skillful turn of phrase, or out-of-the ordinary but effective word usage. It broadens the mind and sparks creativity. And the best part is: it's fun! Who else but writers get to read for fun and call it work?