Absolutely! It is one of the crucial ways to improve in writing. It is an art and the skill in it can only be honed and crafted by what you are exposed to. A limited selection or none at all of reading that you experience limits yourself as a storyteller. My English teacher always tells us that what we remember most are stories in presentations and that’s how you captivate an audience. Throwing a bunch of information will just ricochet off of somebody, but telling a tale is truly a unique way to share something.
First of all, let’s start with the techniques and grammar and such. Reading a variety of materials will help you absorb the different structures of sentences, uses of vocabulary, syntax, and unique ways of punctuating and the reasons behind it. It helps you learn the language and word choices.
Reading will only expose you to more modes of voices. Your creativity in forming new worlds and characters will only become easier reading different genres. The choice in genre is not important because when it all comes down to it, every single one of them is trying to tell a story. You notice how the world is described, how the character develops, how the plot thickens, and how the story concludes. You can feel the tension, see the characters, and be right there in the setting. When you’re limited to a few select books, you start imitating them and mimicking their style. You either try to write like them or you don’t and so you don’t formulate your own style. When you read a variety of material, it becomes easier to not just follow one way. Instead you draw them all in and create your own atmosphere that is unique to you.
When you read a book, you draw in everything that you love about it but also those that you don’t. Learning these things that draw off readers is crucial to developing a fan base and ensuring that you get the reader hooked. Only by reading books can you find out what you hate and in turn what readers in general hate. What is so bad that made you put the book down? Was it the characters? The plot? Learning this helps you avoid it in your own writing and get readers to continue reading. If you don’t read then you won’t really know what readers hate.