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
Published by Larada
Larada Horner-Miller is a poet, essayist and accomplished multi-genre author who holds a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Spanish and a master of education degree in Integrating Technology into the Classroom. She is the accomplished author of six award-winning biographies, historical fiction, memoir, and poetry works plus three self-published cookbooks.
Her sixth book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better?, is available in paperback and four e-book formats. Larada offers the reader the opportunity to look back at 2020 and the global pandemic through her prose and poetry through reading, then reflecting and responding. She addresses all the emotions she felt during this overwhelming time and leads the reader through to a self-access: bitter or better?
Her fifth book is the authorized memoir and biography of world-renown square dance caller Marshall “Flip” Flippo. Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo is available now in hardback, paperback and four e-book formats. Recently Just Another Square Dance Caller won two awards: Book Excellence Awards Finalist and Silver award for eLit. Book Awards.
Another recent book of hers, A Time to Grow Up: A Daughter's Grief Memoir has won many awards including being a 2018 Book Excellence Awards Finalist in the Memoir category at the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and a 2018 Independent Press Distinguished Favorites Award in the Memoir category. Horner-Miller has also been a past national presenter at the Women Writing the West Conference and is currently the creator of Memoir Workshops for others who want to share their family’s legacies through words.
Larada and her husband, Lin, enjoy being nestled in the mountains above Albuquerque, New Mexico, near the village of Tijeras. When not writing books, this passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic woman loves to spend time kicking up her heels at square dancing gatherings, traveling, knitting, and reading.
As co-manager of her family’s southeastern Colorado ranch, she enjoys spending time exploring her family’s historic ranch and reminiscing with her brother and his children about their mom, dad, and granddad.
View all posts by Larada
9 thoughts on “Am I Invisible?”
Thanks for a thoughtful piece on the way people react to books. I’m like you and alays gravitate to books – bookmarks too for that matter.
We are readers for sure!
I’m a book-lover too. My childhood nickname was “bookworm” since I preferred the company of my books to people, every time. It saddens me to see most students’ loss of interest in reading. I believe the misuse of technology is to blame for a lot of it.
Yes, I agree. I spent many afternoons outside on a swing on our front porch reading—fond memories.
Some of my most precious memories are of reading and when I imagine my favorite get-aways or quiet me-times. I have a book/tablet in hand and I’m reading, curled up in a nice, big, cozy chair. You’re definitely not alone in this one.
I’m glad we’re in this together.
They could be like me- I read voraciously. But, I shy away from places that push books. I’d rather choose the ones I read. (Unless I have nothing else around- and then I read what surrounds me- including cereal boxes or ingredient lists.)
Yes, that is a possibility for sure. Thanks so much.