Sunday, July 21, 2013
Why Do You Read? (Sequel to Why Do You Write?)
Just a quick side rant on why you SHOULD read, and read a lot!
1) You get smarter. Yes indeedy, you do.
2) You write better. Yep, it's osmosis of a sort.
3) You relax.
4) You escape from the rat race.
5) You become enlightened on multiple plains.
Which brings me to YOU. Why do YOU read. You might not be a writer. Just think about being one of the millions out there, seeking a book to read. What draws you to reading?
I speak to many groups, from small book clubs, to library events, to bookstore signings, to writer conferences. Of course most (not all) of those people are avid readers, and you'd be surprised at their comments about what and why they read (or don't). Don't assume that everyone you see in this business is a serious reader. I've heard the following:
1) I don't read anything with murder in it.
2) I don't read anything with animals in it.
3) I only read positive books.
4) I only read nonfiction.
5) I only read biographies.
6) I read young adult, it's easier.
7) I only read series.
8) I love a good new author.
9) I read to kill time during my commute.
10) I read to go to sleep.
11) I read to escape the day.
12) I read when I'm caught up at work.
13) I read in the summer when the kids are out of school.
14) I don't have time to read and write, too, so I rarely read.
15) I never buy books. I check them out at the library.
16) Who has time to read?
Why do you read? That usually drives what you read. (It often defines what you write.) You might not buy Dan Brown's complex mysteries if you only grab a chapter here and there while waiting in line at the bank. You might read cozy plots if on vacation at the beach. You might read romance on your e-reader so your husband doesn't know (love that one). You only read books that you want your children to be able to read. You only read mysteries because you love a challenge and guessing the end.
Bottom line, the world is filled with any type book you need to read, and no two readers are alike in their quests. So . . . WHY DO YOU READ? And if you are a writer, WHAT DID YOU JUST LEARN ABOUT HOW TO TARGET READERS?