This question actually perplexes me.
Who reads our books? Not only our blockbuster, publishing-house-backed books, but our little indie books.
Have you ever looked over your fellow citizens, wondering who reads?
Those heavyset man-children who wear flipflops and a ballcap into restaurants?
The arrested youth who define our movies as simplistic drivel requiring only minimal attention to follow and only a touch more to predict?
And desperately unhappy political worrywart? That Walmart black Friday pre-dawn shopper? The self-proclaimed over-stressed working mother?
There is a 90% illiteracy rate in the poorer district in town.
The bookshelves (limited as they are, pressed on all sides by neo-entertainments) are packed with Harry Potter young-adult rubbish.
Do people read anymore?
I’ve met so few readers. My father. Marylyn on our river cruise. Karen who runs the book club in my mom’s condo. The guy minding the counter at Slightly Foxed Used Books. So few people read, and those that do stick in their narrow selections – thrillers, action, and young adult (rather a self-insult if you are an adult habitual-offender here).
Who reads the older books, classics from times long ago? Who reads the new books, stories from new writers with fresh voices and interesting takes? You just don’t meet people who know Huck Finn, Long John Silver, d’Artagnan. Not many people read and reflect upon the work just finished with others who’ve read it prior. So few have a home library.
I remember being told that I should write to an audience. In a spirit of pessimism, I’m really not sure what that audience is anymore. Have they all died out?
Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep the spark alive.