I'm a member of a book club and we read a variety of books and genres suggested by the members. It's fun and exposes me to books I never would have picked up otherwise. Now, I must admit, I don't finish all of them. Time is a valuable commodity and why read something that is REALLY not your thing for a week. But, I finish probably 75% of the books.
Recently, I got to thinking about a children's book club. Wouldn't it be fun to read picture books and discuss them once a month? Then it hit me, I do that all the time with online critique partners, forums, editor/agent blogs, etc. I read some books I am surprised by and others that leave me giggling.
As a picture book writer, I go to the library every Saturday and check out 7-12 picture books from the new book shelf or on display in other areas. I pour over the formats and make note of what fits with my style. Definitely learning made fun. I read and finish 100% of the books I check out.
What ways do you further your skills as a children's writer? -Q