Do People Read Anymore?

I’ll admit it: I used to hate to read. Back in high school, I would skim through books and only read the bold sections in textbooks. It wasn’t until around age 20 that I fell in love with reading. I have a heavy religious background and found my love for reading in theological books. Many of these were people’s journeys, their stories.

But now, as my second book has been published, I find myself wondering if people read anymore. Book sales have been fine, don’t get me wrong, but it amazes me how many people simply do not read. The excuses are endless: no time, too much work, family stuff, etc… The fact is, however, that we make time for what we want to make time for. We make time for those things that we truly care about.

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It’s a shame that reading is no longer one of those things for the majority of people. Reading opens up a new world that otherwise would not exist. It allows us to create and explore. It expands our imagination and enables us to escape from reality. How many writers out there have family and friends who have never read their books? I’d guess that the majority of family and friends have not read them.

Why?

It’s not because they don’t like you or because they don’t care about what you do. People have forsaken the art of reading. I say art because it is an art. It’s a special gift that we have, one that lights up a child’s face when they discover how to put letters together and make a word. Sadly, many people would rather sit in front of a TV than open up a book. I watch TV, and enjoy it, but nothing compares to a good book.

So, how do we encourage people to start reading again? I’ve got one idea, though I’m not sure it’s the best: buy someone a book. Pick a book that you’ve already enjoyed, one that has stuck with you, and give it to them. A few books I would consider giving to people would be….

Them, by Joyce Carol Oates

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

The Shack, by William P. Young

Indian Killer, by Sherman Alexie

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain

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Not So Happy Endings…

I’m close to finishing my second novel, and have been going back and forth with how to end it. It’s a psychological thriller called, “The Lights Will Never Fade.” What’s it about? I’m glad you asked.

Peyton just graduated high school in Jenks, Oklahoma, only to find that her entire family has been murdered. Left alone and without any family nearby, she moves to New Milford, Connecticut to live with Aunt Charity. The only problem is that damn shadow. It’s been visiting her since, well, that dreadful New Year’s Eve, nine months ago.

Trouble seems to follow Peyton as she adjusts to life in the Northeast. Aunt Charity has a secret of her own, one that won’t go away. The problem for Peyton, and Charity for that matter, is that the shadow gets what it wants. The bodies begin to pile up, and New Year’s Eve has come again, as sinister as ever.

Okay, so now that you’ve got a little background on the novel, what kind of ending do you expect? I’ve got a semi-happy ending in mind, and and not-so-happy ending in the same part of my mind. Most people like happy endings, but I’m not writing for most people. When I write, I write what has to be written. A friend of mine said that happy endings are nice, but they fade off into the sunset. Tragic endings stick with people.

As I finish the book over the next week or so, I’m curious to know what you think when it comes to the ending of a novel or a movie. Do you like them happy or sad? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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