Oh, my god, you gotta read more. Like, seriously. And I say this to myself as someone who reads exponentially more now than I ever have at any other point in my life. There’s no upper limit. Just do it until your eyes fall out of your head.
Read fiction, read from all the genres, read authors you’ve never heard of, read the most popular books on the planet, read “literature,” read “classics,” read that weird paperback with the ten cent sticker on it on your grandma’s knickknack shelf, read the book your ex told you made her break up with you, read short story compilations, read poetry collections, read things that will make you laugh, things that make you cry, things that make you mad, and read things that have something to say, even if it’s just “and that’s what happened.”
Don’t decide what you like before you try it, but don’t be afraid to put down those books you’re just not into. Don’t let an unfinished book be your last book: move on to something new. Get a library card, wear it the fuck out, get a new one, get to know your librarian by name but never say it aloud because libraries are the last bastions of quiet and a polite nod will absolutely do. Fall in love with characters, hate their guts, shelve them away and forget how much you cared about them until you see the cover again ten years later. Revisit old favorites, be open to learning you’re a totally different person now, admit what you think sucks, admit what doesn’t actually suck, love what you still love despite all its flaws. Recommend books to your friends, give them as gifts, always carry one on your person, don’t be afraid to give away that book you’re carrying around, even if you’re only halfway through, because someone else might love it too. Don’t let the trees die in vain.
Just read more.