Why have I constructed these pages? Why have I devoted so much time and effort--and space--to reviews of books of genre fiction? Why have I worked so hard to seek out, contact, and interview authors and labored to transcribe the interviews for posting to the 'Net?
If you're looking for some high and lofty motive, you won't find it here. I won't deny it: I'm hoping my book reviews and authorial interviews will attract visitors. However, I also hope that my reviews will help visitors target new books to read, and that my interviews, by introducing visitors to authors, will encourage them to seek out more about the authors via their literary works.
You see, I think that literacy is an important cause to support, and I'd like to inspire the visitors to these pages--that means you--to sit down and read. Read by yourself, read to your children, read to the dog, I don't care. Just read!
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I've probably spent more hours reading books than watching television, though that might be hard to believe. I can remember going to the library almost weekly to check out new books...or old books I wanted to read again. That, of course, was before I discovered bookstores and book clubs. Since then, I've probably spent upwards of five hundred dollars annually on my various "tomes." It's gotten to the point that I have books packed away in crates that I still haven't read and books stacked in mini towers that I still haven't read and books in the stores' plastic bags that I still haven't read while I continue buying more.
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, yes...but it's cost me more than money. During my intermediate and high school years, none of my friends shared my enthusiasm for reading. To them, reading was synonymous with literature, and literature meant English class, and that meant hard, tedious work which they didn't want to do. It's not their fault, yet it isn't the fault of the English teachers either. It's just that somewhere along the line reading became a chore to do.
Those were depressing years for me. I couldn't share my thoughts about the books I read with anyone because no one cared to listen to them. Most of my friends were in the band, as was I. We often went to Zippy's--a local restaurant/coffee shop chain--after football games or marching band competitions for a late dinner or a very early breakfast. We could talk about a lot of things: school, work, cars, politics (sometimes), our classmates, and our ambitions, among other things. The one thing we didn't talk about was reading.
I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through, but I don't believe that not reading is the answer to the problem. I think we need to inspire people to read--read anything--and inspire that value in others. I hope that these pages--the reviews and the interviews--will encourage you, my guests, to pick up a book when you log off. Of course, if you're visiting my pages, you probably already enjoy reading, defeating the purpose. Still, maybe I'll inspire you to inspire others to read.
Comments? Suggestions? E-mail me with your words of wisdom. Maybe together we can help bring more people into the fold. Maybe together...we can make illiteracy a thing of the past.