Some explanation of why I ask members this question is, I believe, both appropriate and necessary to the understanding of why it is being asked. I was born, raised and educated in England and attended a good grammar school in the 1950's. In English literature we were required to read a plethora of works which were representative of what was then considered to be 'good' literature. Good, in this context, meant critically acclaimed literature by such authors as Joseph Conrad, Dickens, Shakespeare (of course!) and a whole slew of other authors whose works seemed, at least to most of us, to be both overly dry and rather boring. Reading, per se, should have been a pleasure but it wasn't at all so since we spent as much time doing précis, critiques and comprehension exercises on the books as we did in actually reading the material through as an actual story. After five years of this, reading English literature became a dreaded chore even though we all understood why we were given those additional and necessary tasks. Fast forward a few years (a variety of jobs intervened) and now I am at college studying chemistry, physics and biology at GCE Advanced Level. Text book after text book to digest. Then on to university to become a dental surgeon which was a 5 1/2 year long course. If I thought A levels required a lot of reading I very quickly learned otherwise. The number and variety of books one had to read and mentally digest at medical school was unimaginably enormous but one quickly realised that in order to commit so large a volume of information to memory it was necessary to learn the process of underlining key words, sentences and often quite long paragraphs whilst still reading through the entire volume. Thank goodness for the skills learned in doing what seemed to be a googol of précis at grammar school. Post grad orthodontic studies followed resulting in more to read and remember and finally, a few years later (due to an admixture of sincere interest in the subject and sheer stupidity on my part) I had a bachelor's degree in fine arts from a university in the USA which meant . . . uh huh, more read, remember and regurgitate during finals. I'm long retired now and getting on in years (75 in a few months time) and have been occupied, more off and than on, in writing a novel for a number of years. In all fairness to myself it is necessarily a very long story (currently 160K words) that will in the near future be converted/translated/transposed or whatever the correct term might be, into a screenplay for a television series. The few people who have seen the drafts of my work have all, without receiving leading questions from myself, independently commented that it is very easy to visualise the characters and events as they read the draft and all have remarked that it 'reads' more like a movie than a book. I hope that makes sense to you. Now, and finally if you are still reading, on to the meat of my question. I have read at most only a dozen or so books of fiction and skip-read perhaps a hundred or so more in the many years since I finished school. I really don't get any pleasure from reading general fiction although I must admit that I did enjoy reading John le Carré's novels Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley's People (though not so much The Honourable Schoolboy) and a few others of that genre. So, is it really necessary to be an avid reader in order to develop into a successful writer, or not. Or maybe. Unapologetically but assuredly without arrogance let me add that I am satisfied with the standard of my writing. Any and all reasoned comments will be welcomed.