March 3, 2014, was National Education Association’s Read Across America event, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on Seuss’ birthday. To quote President Obama, “When parents, educators, librarians, and mentors read with children, they give a gift that will nourish souls for a lifetime.”
Because of television and the Internet, many people spend less time reading. Readers, who put these aside to open a book, experience one of life’s rewarding pleasures. Reading improves your knowledge and sparks your imagination in history, novels, or Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies.
Where would authors be without readers? Readers of all ages take time out of their busy schedules to buy our books, attend conferences to meet authors, review books on Goodreads, Amazon, and DorothyL. They spread the word about their favorite books and authors. Many libraries have book clubs, and I’ve been invited into homes to meet my readers and discuss my books. Yes, sales are important if authors expect to make a living writing full time, but it warms my heart when someone who likes my work takes the time to write a review or send me an email. That said, I also learn from reviews that are not all that great. I often write reviews on books I love, but if I am disappointed in a book I still try to find something positive to say about it.
To show their appreciation for readers, authors often offer free books or gift certificates for Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (Note: Special thanks to my critique group for reading poor drafts of my books.) I’ve given Advanced Reading Copies to a book club and a retirement home. Every day for over a year our newspaper has mysteriously appeared on the table on our porch. To show my appreciation, I wrote a thank-you note and attached it to one of my ARCs. The next morning, the book was gone. A few days later, a thank-you note was slipped under the rubber band on the newspaper. I learned her name was Joan. In a few months, there will be an ARC on that table for my next book. I see a story here.
Do you have an all-time favorite book that’s influenced you?