I sometimes take it for granted that everyone loves reading (and books) the same way that I do; that they all share the excitement that comes with choosing, smelling (yes, I smell my books) and buying them. The sheer enjoyment of browsing round a bookstore for hours on end; the thrill of starting a new journey into the unknown, and the excitement of knowing that when all duties required for the day are complete, continuing reading. Then there is the mix of joy, sadness and the return to reality that is felt when you close a book for the final time, only to discover that the real world has continued turning whilst you were engrossed.
Not everyone does read though, and they can come up with some pretty creative excuses to explain away the reason they don’t. They could be too tired after a long day or, and this seems to be the most often used one, they don’t have enough time; if you have time to tend your Facebook farm or cook in your Facebook kitchen, you have the time to read even it’s only one chapter. I often wonder if it’s because they never had someone to nurture their love for reading, and encourage them to explore the written word for themselves outside of a school setting.
This led me to think more about how people can encourage a love of reading, and I strongly feel it is something that can begin at home and from a very early age. I always read with my own children, and then my Grandson, I’ve shared books with them since they were babies in fact, and we read a lot even if they didn’t understand the words they were getting a feel for books, and the seed of becoming a reader was being planted. Unfortunately this love of books died a little as my children grew, but with the advent of audio books and e-readers, it is making a return to their lives. We even swap books, and ask each other for suggestions, so I’m taking this as a good sign
As a reader, our love of books can be a terrific way to encourage others, and as an Author your work can open up new avenues for readers to travel down that may otherwise not have existed for them. No one can be forced to read, but openly showing your enthusiasm for reading can be infectious. Consider many people pick up books because of word of mouth, or read something because it was bought as a gift for them something that is a tradition in our house at Christmas. Sometimes sharing a book you’ve loved with a friend or a stranger you meet in the library or bookstore could open them up to a new genre. It could even ignite their passion for reading.
I’m terrible when it comes to sharing about books, if I see someone with a book I’ve read and enjoyed, whether I know them or not, I share my thoughts on it. Sometimes they say it’s not for them, other times they will clutch it to them, and thank me for my help. So in this increasing digital age we live in, where it seems easier to sit in front of the TV or computer than it is to actually pick up a book, how do you encourage a passion for reading in others?