Last Friday, two of my favorite authors Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon read from their books then answered questions from the audience. You might know Chabon's young adult novel Summerland or his recent novel set in South Berkeley and North Oakland, Telegraph Avenue. He's also the screenwriter of John Carter and Spiderman 2. Junot Diaz wrote the amazing The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. One nugget of wisdom I took home from the conversation was Chabon's comment that reading, especially for kids in schools, can't just be class texts that require some kind of deep moral thinking or are guided solely by the agenda of the curriculum or the teacher. You have to read what inspires you even if you love comics or horror or some other entertaining genre rarely taught in schools. Chabon says he reads to feel bad enough about his own writing that he is inspired to emulate a writer he admires. You young writers need the freedom to read and discuss what inspires you to write.