When asking popular writers for advice, most of them remark the act of reading as a must. A duty for every aspiring author to acknowledge. Read, read, read. Read and don’t cease to do it, even if you have published more than a hundred books.
At the very least, that piece of advice is ambiguous. It seems like reading is the first step of a great writer. A first step to the perfectly crafted artwork.
Most people are not aware of the power of reading. To read (to read well) is sometimes— with due respect to writers— more critical and more creative than writing. Many authors have a single idea in mind when they write (even if good literature implies many interpretations, metaphors, and allegories) a story, often plainer than what readers theorize about.
Readers dissect, analyze and comment in ways that enrich the writing universe. They have the audacity to unveil hidden truths, some of them harsh and disturbing for the upcoming readers. To uncover the political meaning, the many clichés of a passage. To create new unseen shapes for the original story. That is, by far, one of the most compelling creative ‘jobs’: the reader.