One of the greatest joys of being a writer is reading the first time for pleasure, then reading a second time to study the craft. For the longest time I’ve been adamant and pretty diligent about keeping copies of my favorite books pristine and spotless, free of those dreaded dog-eared flaps, pen/pencil marks, and spine creases. Now I’ve decided to adapt a new method in my journey to become a better reader and writer. I’m going to start annotating my books, highlighting/underlining words, phrases, or entire passages that strike me, and scribble on the margin why I think it works within or throughout the narrative. I find that the best way to get inspiration, and the best way to achieve strong writing, is to allow the influence of your favorite writers and books. So that’s what I’ll try to do. I can’t wait to revisit my shelves and get started.