Photos of Famous Authors Reading Famous Books


“If you want to be a writer,” Stephen King tells us at the beginning of his classic craft book On Writing, “you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” We think it’s pretty fair to say that King has done both — and so have most other famous authors. After all, that’s how they got there. But what do they read? We scoured the web to find pictures of a few of our favorite authors reading — and from what we can tell, they spend a lot of time reading their own books (or at least a lot of time being photographed reading them). After the jump, check out a few famous authors reading, whether their own books or other writers’, and if you have a cool photo we missed, add to our collection in the comments!

William S. Burroughs reading Vents, New York City, 1950. Photo by Allen Ginsberg, via Awesome People Reading.

William Faulkner reading The Silver Treasury of Light Verse. Photo via Word Painting.

Patti Smith reading The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.

Stephen King reading Tripwire. Photo via Awesome People Reading.

Ezra Pound reading The Scrolls and Christian Origins, Venice, 1963. Photo by Walter Mori via Panorama.

Anton Chekhov reading The Seagull to the company of the Moscow Arts Theatre. Photo via Idle Superstar.

Zora Neale Hurston reads American Stuff. Photo via Awesome People Reading.

Italo Calvino reading Palomar, 1984. Photo via Panorama.

Nick Hornby reading. Photo via Awesome People Reading.

Joan Didion reading Honey Bear to her daughter Quintana. Photo via Awesome People Reading.

Vladimir Nabokov reading Pnin. Photo via Awesome People Reading.

J.D. Salinger reading The Catcher in the Rye. Photo via Awesome People Reading .