When I am chatting with people, I often ask what they are reading. The answers never cease to entertain me, and give me things to think about. I am frequently told, “oh, I’m not a big reader.” I have been told this by people I’ve interviewed for advanced jobs, students who wish to apply to grad school, supervisors, team leaders, middle managers, sales people, customer service reps, teachers, and more. It always strikes me as a poignantly sad although there was also an instance where a young woman who reads a lot was being teased for it by her coworkers. I found the teasing equally sad.
As independent bookstores continue to lose ground to big box stores, and those mega operators give up more and more book space to sell greeting cards, stuffed animals and super sized cups of coffee, I see fewer books on the shelves. Determined readers have to turn to websites to find their new literary gems, as neighbourhood libraries head into states of neglect or are simply forgotten (great pictures here of haunting library ruins in Detroit http://bit.ly/hrtwpG ).
We’ve got to get more creative in getting people to read. They’ve got to be engaged as children, because the challenge gets harder as they grow up. There is an ongoing effort required to encourage readers to get excited and pick up a book. I'm working on a series of stories for young readers, but it takes a little longer to get done than I want it to.
Libraries are will have to change, and I know that librarians are up to the task. There’s a great article on Seth Godin’s blog, here, if you want to read more about the challenge. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/the-future-of-the-library.html
So, what are you reading?