If you’re a writer, I recommend reading a lot. I might not recommend reading this article, but I do recommend reading literally anything else. I recommend reading books especially, though I also recommend reading journalism, short stories, and really long essays. As a literary agent, I often recommend my own clients’ work and the work I use as reference points to develop my own taste.
I love to recommend books to people—it’s my job but even if it wasn’t I would still do it. I recommend asking for recommendations and really wondering what the response will be. I recommend asking people what they like, to get a sampling of their taste, before offering your own recommendation. And I recommend sharing recommendations with the hope they will be heeded, and loved, and maybe even discussed someday. I recommend asking people you trust for their recommendations. I also recommend not heeding the recommendations of people you don’t trust—filter them out.
I recommend continuing to interact with what you’ve read somehow—writing about it, reaching out to authors, posting about it, asking questions. I recommend buying those books from local bookstores, subscribing to and reading publications, and supporting the criticism, livelihood, and industry that makes up writing culture. I recommend wanting those things to exist, and not just for yourself.
—Monika Woods of Triangle House Literary