Thursday, July 21, 2016

Go Away, Non-Readers

There’s nothing for you here.

Some writers do their best to lure non-readers toward their books. They claim this will somehow convert them into becoming readers, and that this will make them better people. They resort to all kinds of trickery, such as writing heroes that are just average non-bookish people who like sports and have extroverted lives and would never read an icky old book, eww.

I’m not one of those writers. I write for readers. They don’t have to be the fastest readers, and they can use dictionaries if they want. They can even skip through the boring parts to get to the action faster, if it makes them happy, or peek at the end to find out which characters don’t survive. If you’re a reader, you can read however you want.

We readers conspire like mad. We have access to all kinds of secret knowledge, we exchange code words, sometimes we hook up and have romantic intrigue. We have all kinds of secret clubhouses and conventions, where we talk about books and hatch plots to change the world. When we see unfamiliar words we are intrigued rather than intimidated. Learning new things makes us happy.

Even better, we regularly simulate getting inside other peoples’ heads. Hearing their stories, sharing their adventures, seeing the world from their point of view. This ability can help us get through any hardship you might imagine, and it can help us form powerful bonds with people we never would have encountered, other than through books.

So if you’re a non-reader who wandered in by mistake, gedadda heah. Scram, vamanos, hit the road. Except … if you’re a self-identified non-reader who has made it this far, there’s a chance you’re actually a pre-reader. Maybe you just haven’t met the right book yet.

In which case, welcome, friend. Sit down and relax, make yourself comfortable. Let me show you where we keep the good stuff. 

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