Am I invisible as an author to the world? Do books scare people so much? Where have all the readers gone? Are you out there?
In 2017, I am sitting at a craft fair in a small rural town in New Mexico. The subjects of my books are ranching, history and recipes—topics I thought dear to this population’s hearts. So I felt this would be a good place to sell my books. I came here the year before and did pretty well on sales, but this year I feel invisible.
I love to people watch, and country folk are my people, so seeing them is like looking in a mirror. As I sat there with my booth near the front door where everyone has to pass by, most people walked right on by like I’m not there—invisible. I offered free bookmarks to many and only a few refused, but I have to get their attention or they would walk right on by.
One young woman refused the free bookmark, then came back a few minutes later and looked at my books—I think she felt bad in refusing it.
It’s amazing to me to see how people ignore books. Any time I can, I gravitate towards books, but that’s the nature of a reader. I like paperbacks and hardbacks I can hold in my hands, turn back a page or mark up. I enjoy grabbing my iPad and reading on Kindle or iBooks. It just doesn’t matter. An enticing book comforts me in a way nothing else can. The pages transport me from the here and now to some other world, and time stands still!
I taught Language Arts and Literature for fourteen years in a middle school, and the decline in the ability to read and interest in reading broke my heart. Every year I taught, it worsened to the point I had to teach phonics to sixth graders.
What do you think? What is your experience? How do we create more readers?
Visit my website to find out about my six books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com