Ask DN: How important is reading as a creative person?

2 years ago from , Product Designer

I believe reading is very crucial to fuel one's creativity. Be it design or business books, articles, case studies or novels, it's important that you pick something and keep learning.

Wanted to gather your thoughts and reading habits around it.


  • Tanner ChristensenTanner Christensen, almost 2 years ago

    Reading is certainly a powerful way of gathering knowledge and insights from others, most importantly reading can expose us to diverse perspectives. But that's only really true if you read broadly.

    If you read the same types of material on the same subject simply to confirm your perspective of the world it won't do much in the way of adding fuel for creative thinking.

    But this is true of most activities which expose you to new perspectives. Read if you find that enjoyable, yes, but you can also be creatively energized by traveling and talking to new people, picking up new and different hobbies, trying to learn almost anything new (programming, mechanical engineering, knitting, a new language, etc.).

    Better yet: don't limit yourself to simply reading a lot, but indulge in diverse experiences and open yourself to opportunities in different ways to truly build up a creative reservoir.

    11 points
  • Andrew C, 2 years ago

    Reading as an activity is wonderful for enhancing focus and relaxing away from the stress of everyday life. I wouldn’t read in the sole purpose of curating ideas. That seems to me to make reading a chore at the behest of your ambition rather than a hobby you enjoy in and of itself.

    I read business books and recently got in to fiction. Business books are mostly fodder. Fiction is a lot of fun.

    2 points
  • D G, almost 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I did a story about this on Medium and also featured some of your replies.

    You can read it here.

    1 point
  • Marilyn Wo, almost 2 years ago

    Absolutely! :) I chanced upon this Quora answer, on reading fiction: https://qr.ae/TWNinZ

    Hope this helps! :)

    1 point
  • Matthew O'ConnorMatthew O'Connor, almost 2 years ago

    Depends on the person.

    I'm dyslexic and have only ever read two books in my life. I've never felt the need to read to learn, I do most of my learning by watching people or by doing.

    1 point
  • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, almost 2 years ago

    I believe reading is very crucial to fuel one's creativity.

    That's like, just your opinion, man.

    I feel the premise of this is a bit too black-and-white. It's not crucial to fuel your creativity, but it does help certain designers. Other people find creativity via the screen, others through music, some through being active in their world, some merely through conversing with their peers.

    Personally I love reading when I have the time, of course.

    1 point
  • Nicole S, 2 years ago

    I started a challenge on the first day of this year to read a book every week. I was curious to see how my life would change by the end of the year. I didn't think much of it at first, only that it gave me a deadline to finish a book.

    It's been 5 months and 21 books. I'm almost half way through and I think the greatest thing that this challenge has taught me so far is allowing my brain to get more and more comfortable with the notion that it's okay to be uncomfortable. Even more than okay actually - invigorating.

    To be met, daily, with ideas, perspectives, viewpoints that I may have never been confronted by before carves a space in my mind to be less fearful.

    For what is creativity anyway if not for the lack of fear?

    1 point
  • Numecca .Numecca ., almost 2 years ago

    It's actually a hole. Get smart friends to do the curation for you. I used to sit in front of Google reader when that was still a thing and I read everything.

    You will become the information Don and everybody will use you. Take it from me, stop this stupid habit; it is a time vampire.

    I'm sure you have ideas about why it's not. Not here to even have a discussion about it. I'm 36 now. In my experience, that one thing you read will not change a thing. Just do. Stop reading. You have enough.

    1 point
    • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, almost 2 years ago

      What on earth did I just read

      4 points
      • Nicole S, almost 2 years ago

        I thought the same thing

        0 points
        • Numecca .Numecca ., over 1 year ago

          I see you got listed in this article.

          You want blow your brain out? The old shit is still the most relevant. Johnathan Beller: Cinematic Mode of Production

          Will explain what's happening to design for you. Why all siloed experiences are blending. Bigger and better attractions to capture your gaze and hold it. And turn that into dollars. That's why games are not games, movies are not movies. The confluence of media is happening because all we do is optical labor. and attention is capital. Even if Verge says the attention economy is dead because of "the immersion economy." You know what that is; a buzzword for somebody's career. Attention is the gateway to discretionary dollars. It's the first and last part of every transaction, and the game now is how to hold it long enough to give you a transformational experience that goes beyond the products and services they sell to make the brand indispensable to your life so they can maximize LTV. You know all of this.



          A macro trend is driving this. That's a good book that nobody cares about. It's still an augur.

          0 points
      • Numecca .Numecca ., over 1 year ago

        Good advice. From an information Don.

        0 points