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Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

I don’t read.

I tried not to squawk or burst out laughing or stare. But as I sat quietly, my head shot up and I did stare. And I’m almost sure I shook my head, rolled my eyes and in some other way, incriminated myself, as I gawked in total disbelief at two women having conversation in the local hair salon.

I fidgeted in my chair and attempted to look normal, crossing and un-crossing my legs, wanting desperately to stand up and say: “What do you mean, you don’t read? Are you INSANE?” But I didn’t do that. No, I did what any other respectable writer would do, I yanked out my iPhone and began filling my notes app with their conversation.

“Oh gosh no, I just can’t concentrate for that long. I mean some books are 500 pages! Who has time for that?” She went on. “Really though, even if I did have the time, why would I want to read a book that long? I’ve got better things to do.”

WOW.

Even if I wasn’t a writer and a voracious reader, I still would have been speechless. Seriously? Reading is a waste of time??

It got me thinking.

The perception of reading is a varied one. One that is generally learned from childhood. If you are introduced to reading in a positive way as a child, you are more likely to love reading as an adult. If not..well, you’re missing out on a truly incredible part of life.

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason I read so much, is because of my mom who ALWAYS reads. She recommends books, passes them down to me and had me reading novels at a very young age. I was taught to love books by example. And what an important example it was and continues to be. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t have a genuine love for books.

So although it has been said before, I have to say it again, hats off to JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for gaining an enormous wealth of young readers. Regardless of whether you are or aren’t a Harry Potter or Twilight fan, these authors both did something very special.

They got millions of kids to read. Millions. And they changed the view of reading from something kids thought was a boring waste, to something they thought was cool and important and fun.

They changed the way generations of kids view books.

And thank goodness for that because as writers we need as many readers as we can possibly get.

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9 responses

  1. Oh wow. This reminds me of a time when I worked for a library and a patron called in about an overdue notice she’d received. She told me over the phone that it was “impossible” that she had an overdue book because, in her words, she “don’t read.” I was incredulous.

    I said, “Well ma’am, you do have a library card-”

    “Yeah but I use it for the movies. I don’t read.”

    I lost hope in humanity that day.

    July 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    • wow…hard to fathom that kind of thinking. And unfortunately a lot of people feel that way. You have to teach kids at young age to love it.

      Thanks for stopping in!

      July 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      • I agree totally! My 3 year old has her own little bookshelf. She loves to read. And no problem! @lisakilian shared this post, so that is how I found it if you’re wondering. Great stuff here. Thanks!

        July 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm

        • Ha! Love Lisa, she’s great. My kids are good readers too. Again by example.
          They are already asking to read my book. Maybe not ready for all that yet;)

          July 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

  2. A co-worker told me that reading took too much time. His theory was that he could watch tv, and do two or three other things at the same time. Another looked down on my reading fiction stating he only read non-fiction. I couldn’t think of a thing to say to either of them except to shake my head as I walked away.

    July 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    • Sometimes all you can you do is shake your head.
      Thanks for commenting!

      July 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  3. wow, it does make you stop and think about what they must do in their spare time. Does it make you lose motivation what you are writing, when there are people out there who don’t read at all?

    July 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

    • They watch TV…pretty sure about that one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
      No, it doesn’t dissuade me in the least. At the end of the day, I’m still writing for me.
      And it’s unlikely I’ll be changing anyones opinion when it’s already ingrained as a truth.
      How’s the book coming along?

      July 4, 2011 at 9:15 am

      • I think that some people just refuse to read, as they are worried they can’t connect with the story and find it boring. They need to stimulation from the pictures to allow them to picture the surroundings, rather than use their imaginations to build the environments the characters are in.

        July 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

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