We writers hear a lot about reading widely. We're supposed to read a lot of our genre, but also a lot of everything else. We're supposed to read great stuff, mediocre stuff, and not-so-mediocre stuff. We're supposed to read literary and commercial.
Read, read, read.
Well, I'm not arguing with that.
But I'm here today to make the case for reading up more often than anything else. And by that, I mean read the books that are so well-written, they leave your ego in tatters. Read books that are so amazing, they make you want to slip inside them and live among their post-apocalyptic pages. Read books that, in one way or another, are so far beyond what you are writing that you have to stop yourself from actually screaming with the knowledge of it.
Because if you're like me, noting forces you to up your game more than the realization that you haven't broken through the ceiling of what is possible yet. Read books that show you where the ceiling really is.
I've been reading books by John Green and Tahereh Mafi. What have you been reading?