In the course of many years of reading, I have frequently been impressed by the amount of influence writers have on those who follow them–or conversely, the extent to which authors are influenced by the books they have read. Although a writer’s style is completely his own, there will always be a certain spice, if you will, of the authors he has read that seeps in and pervades his works. I find it particularly enjoyable when authors openly acknowledge the writers who have had the greatest influence on them. For one, seeing the principle of influence at work is fascinating; it is often possible to see clearly the colors of the one author in the other’s writing. In addition, I have discovered numerous excellent writers in this way. I find that I frequently will like the books that are liked by the people whose books I like. I would encourage readers to pay attention to this influence as they are reading and to investigate the books that have influenced their favorite authors. It’s an exciting way to expand your library.