Sadly, people often tell me this when I'm out selling my books. Are you one of those people?
In the book, Isasnora Snores, do you notice anything missing? Cellphones? iPad? Televisions? MP3-players?
“Of course they're missing,” you’re thinking. "These are modern devices that were only invented within the last 50 years (maybe even 20 years)."
How about books? Were books invented in the 1200s?
There were books, but not everyone owned one. Most books were handwritten and painted by monks – men who lived in monasteries or abbeys. It could take them years to complete one book. They did not have computers. Once the book was finished it was often chained down so no one would steal it.
Since it took so long to work and copy books, they were not widely distributed. Kings, nobles, and bishops were usually the only people who owned the limited number of books. In Isasnora's time, she probably would not have owned any books, but authors have a little creative leeway. I wanted her to have books and to be educated.
Are books important?
Obviously, as an author I believe books are important.
They fly you to faraway lands or planets. They stir your imagination. They teach. They entertain. They change hearts and minds. They inspire.
“But I don’t read. Why should I care?”
Why don’t you read? Is it difficult for you to read? Are you easily bored? Do you have a lot of pent up energy? Are you too busy? Do you spend a lot of time on your computer or video games? Are you stalking celebrities on Instagram? Is reading in your mind equal to school work? Do only nerds read?
Then I guess your doctor, dentist, mechanic, restaurant owner and favorite actor are all nerds. They all have to read a lot for their jobs.
As an author, I have to read, too. It all began in my childhood. When I was growing up, we did not have a library in our small town. We had a Bookmobile. It was a large bus-type thing with shelves and shelves of books. Its arrival was as wonderful as Santa Claus bringing presents. I could even place orders for books.
The idea of a library in my own town was strange to me until I married and settled down in a small city. It has its own library - and so do all the other cities surrounding it! Today you can order your books online and pick them up.
Some of my favorite children's authors were Richard Scarry, Betty MacDonald (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle), and Peggy Parish (Amelia Bedelia).
The book that fascinated me the most was, The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller. I checked it out from the library several times a year. My family teased me about reading it so frequently. I was drawn to the story of Helen Keller, who became blind, deaf and a spoiled brat. Her parents did not know what to do with their child so gave in to her every wish. Then Anne Sullivan arrived, a young woman who had vision problems. She was able to tame and teach Helen. Ms. Keller eventually became the first blind and deaf person to graduate from college and ended up becoming an activist and writer.
Two books that positively impacted my life as an adult are The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. They're non-fiction books, not my usual choice for reading, but sometimes you have to venture out from your normal genre to grow as a person.
There are many types of books out there - with flash fiction and graphic novels the newer relatives to books. Do you know of all the types of books available for you to read? Do you know the difference between fiction and non-fiction? When have you last strolled through a library? If you're looking to find books that you might like, a serious visit to the library is a good place to start. You'll need more than five minutes. A chat with a librarian might help give you ideas.
Sometimes I get into a rut especially when I'm done with a series. To find a new author I rely on advice from my daughters and good friends. They know me and know what I like. I do not use recommendations from online sites or magazines because they often promote what is popular at the time yet does not fit my personality. However, some people love getting those recommendations. They also love their book clubs' suggestions. It is up to you. I also do Google searches and enter the type of book I like. "Clean, mysteries." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The Little Free Libraries are fun places to find books, too. You may have to experiment a bit, but you'll land on something.
If you've reached the bottom of this blog post, you are ready to read a book. Cookbook. Picture book. Early chapter book. Graphic Novel. Biography. Spiritual. And on and on...If you bump into me, tell me what book you're reading. BUT, please do not tell me you don't read books!
Thank you for spending some time with me.
Click here for the latest Isasnora Snores YouTube. She is in the Forest Petiole. What kind of trouble can she get into?