Growing up with BOOKS and the first week down!

Blog tour kicks back up on Monday, so today I’m taking it a little easy.  🙂

THE REASON IS YOU has been out in the world for one week now, and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s everything I hoped it would be like, seeing it out there, hearing from readers.  Of course I’m told this is Week One Euphoria (see Roni Loren’s post in January about the stages of a book release…it’s hysterical…lol).  And that’s okay.  I’m aware that there won’t always be people loving my book–right now that’s all I’m hearing from–but it will come.  The bad reviews and negativity.  I know.  And I’m prepared with my big girl armor to shake it off when it happens because this industry is brutal and you never please everyone.  But right now?  I’m floating with the chirpy birds and rainbows.  Even problems like local bookstores not getting my books in and late shipments–it’s okay.  It’s all good.  🙂

On another subject, I wanted to talk about something that came up in an email loop I’m involved in, on the number of Americans that had never read a book.  Ever.

From the Pew Research Study on ebooks vs print:

However, 19% of respondents aged 16 and over said that they hadn’t read a single book in any format, over the previous 12 months – the highest since such surveys on American reading habits began in 1978. If this figure is accurate, that means more than 50 million Americans don’t read books at all.

I can’t even begin to comprehend that.  And it stirred up a great conversation on how we grew up, whether we were introduced to books and what our children do now.  I personally was in our town library more than anything else as a child.  My mom and I went every single Saturday and sometimes more than that, and I can still remember the smell of that tiny old library.  It’s been replaced now, but I remember it being a magical place.  My mom would go one direction and I’d go another.  I went through all those red hardcover books about Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket and Pocahontas…lol…and all the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews.  I won the Summer Reading Clubs every summer, having to staple extra pages to the forms.  And I remember the sound of the card puncher when I’d hand it up to the librarian to check out my books…the kachoooga…of it.  LOL!  I thought she was the luckiest person in the world to be in such a place all day long.  I even remember her name.  It was Miss Virginia.

How on earth do I remember that?  Because reading was a staple activity in my home.  I don’t remember being read TO, but I’m sure I was, because I was hooked on all my Little Golden Books stacked deep on my bookshelf when I was little.

I’ve read ever since.  I owned an indie bookstore for a couple of years when we came back to Texas, and it was heaven on earth to me and to my daughter.  See…we read to her since she was an infant, and before she could really read, she was “reading” by memory, turning the pages and repeating the words she’d heard day after day after day.  I brought her to the library every weekend, too, and later when she was in middle school, she’d walk there after school till I got off work, and sit and read whatever struck her fancy that day.  She’s seventeen now, and has read more in her life than I ever have.  She reads 4-5 at one time, and her most precious gift is a Barnes & Noble gift card where she can go get lost in the magic of the store.

So I can’t imagine never reading a book.  Can you?  Tell me your experience.

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About Sharla Lovelace

Writer of romantic women's fiction. Wife, mom, and wonderwoman...without the boobs. National Bestselling Author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Lover of anything red.

Posted on April 7, 2012, in Sharla Lovelace and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. lorriethomson

    I remember going to the library and taking out B is for Betsy, and One of A Kind Family. Later, I loved those edgy YA books, The Outsiders and The Late Great Me. Two of my three kids are voracious readers. I always made a big deal of bringing the kids for their library cards. I’ve great photos of my daughter wearing her American Girl velvet dress, and signing her card behind the circulation desk.

  2. Sharla, even today that loop subject keeps turning out stories about how we began to read, how much love it and what do we as book lovers, see as the future? I was read to by my an older brother, grew up surrounded by books, music and art. My father was literate in four languages and as an “feisty old broad” my mom decided to read Harlequin books I bought for her in bulk through Publishers Clearing House.

    My first trip to the library for Story Book Hour got me hooked. I love libraries, librarians and most of all, indie bookstores where you can talk books, find owners who are like librarians and help you find new books … and like everyone in our group … it is unthinkable to visualize a world without them.

    My father was born in 1904 and has been gone for a long time. His favorite activity each day was reading four newspapers. NYC had five major newspapers at that time. Now there are three. Every major newspaper had a separate book review magazine on Sunday. Now only two exist in the entire country (NY & San Fran.) … the library is where I did research in high school and college. Now I do most of my research on line. The digital revolution will not decrease our grandchildren’s desire to read but like it or not … it will change how they read.

    Oh, brave new world what shall we do?

    AND on another note … CONGRATS on your first week. I am so happy I belong to a group where I can share in these moments … I toast to your second and third printing and to your next release … write on !!

  3. Reading, I can’t imagine being without that magic carpet ride as a child when I climbed up in the dusty hayloft of our barn with my library books, my dog Tuffy and a jug of Mom’s homemade lemonaid. I was content to stay all day. Living 60 miles from the closest town, made getting to the library difficult. Mom only made one trip a week to town for the essentials and she’d drop me at the library. The rules of the library was that I could only check out 10 books each week but I soon learned I could manipulate the system and use my brothers card as well and select 20 books – that was the beginning for me. I can still smell that hayloft, the zingy taste of mom’s lemonaid and an occassional homemade cookies thrown in for good behavior. But Tuffy, the books and I–we were content with our reading and birds eye view of the world.

    • OMG, Sheri, I totally want to go be up in that loft with little-girl-you!!! I love that image. Mine was usually whatever tree I could find. But I love the thought of the dog and the lemonade…too cute!!!

  4. Carla Craddock

    Going to the library (especially in the summer) was always a big deal. I loved to go. I went with my son when he was little and continue to go with my daughter. They both loved/love the summer reading program here. Funny thing is (and I can relate to your memory of the smell of the library in our little town) the library here has that same smell. I don’t know if it is because of my memory or if it is just because all libraries have that ambiance. My kids have a love of reading; my daughter because she is like me and my son because he thinks it is a ‘chick magnet.’ LOL!

    As a school teacher, I try to pass on a love of reading to my students. My best week is when the librarian comes from our Parish library for book talks. I rack up on the new stuff and share with my students. I love it when they get jazzed up and recommend books to me. I read them all and we strike up quite a dialogue in class. It gets others reading. I feel they are so lucky to have the authors that are out there. There are so many books that kids relate to and enjoy reading. I praise those who are gifted enough to share their talents with the readers of this world.

    While I read any and every genre out there; I think my favorite is historical fiction. I still have my set of Little House books (the whole series I got for Christmas when I was 8 years old). I still read them too. I thank my local librarian each time I go because she knows my passion for Civil War Era pieces and always has a recommendation for me.

    Thanks to wonderful writers and great librarians for help keeping the reading infatuated filled with awesome works.

  5. We always had books around our home, too. It was fun to “shop” the shelves for the next book to read. We were fortunate to live just a few blocks from our local library, so I could walk or even better ride my bicycle…it had a basket on the front and I could load it with all my treasures. I always enjoyed looking a the card in the front inside cover to see how many times the book had been checked out. I often wondered who the others were that had chosen the same book I did and what their thoughts about the book were. When my boys were young, I took them to the library as often as possible. What a wonderful place to spend a Saturday morning!

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