A Fresh Coat of Moss

You should embrace the visceral quality in reading. Read mostly fiction. Read slowly. There is a kind of marinating that happens with very good works, they are always more than their story. The goal is not to digest information, but to layer over your reality with a fresh coat of moss. Your own world becomes colored by these stories, so it is worthwhile to spend time seeking the excellent works from across cultures and history.

You should have a goal, in some sense, to be influenced by the works that you read. All stories influence you, regardless of how they get to you. A person who reads no great stories will be influenced by the few stories he does come across in life, for better or worse — and I think mostly worse.

—Simon Sarris, from Reading Well