For a writer, there’s nothing sadder than meeting someone who says, “I never read.” A close second is, “I only read magazines. I never read books.”

This is depressing!

If I could say something to these non-readers it would be, “Read something! I don’t care what it is, but if you look around you are going to find something, some genre or another, that you are going to like.”

I’m a slow reader so I understand the “commitment phobia” that sets in at the prospect of 300, 400 or more pages. But with ebooks no one knows how long it took me to read ‘The White Queen’ this summer (I loved it) or that I flipped back and forth between an Agatha Christie classic and a new indie mystery on a recent plane ride, because one of them was crawling and I was itching to land.

With short story collections, novellas, ‘standard novels’ and behemoth sagas that roll from volume to volume, to choose from—length shouldn’t be an obstacle.

Then there’s non-fiction…. Yes, non-fiction. I read it. I sometimes even love it. And, although I’m fiction-inclined, if someone tells me they prefer history or biography or philosophy to mystery, fantasy, romance and the rest, I’m fine. It’s just the NO BOOKS at all that makes me cringe.

Do you have any thoughts about this? Please share.

2013-12-18 11.02.37


  1. When I read something like this I always wonder about parents. Did they stick their child in front of the TV to keep them occupied and quiet rather than feeding their imagination with books?
    I’v met quite a few sporty people who never have time to read, fair enough if they’re too busy but sport and reading should not be mutually exclusive.The quiet times and the contemplative times in our life are perfect for reading and becoming involved in the lives of the characters on the page.
    Before my grandson was One, his mother and I started building him a library of books to keep him going until about age 10 and he loves them even though he doesn’t read yet. Pictures are good too and very educational.
    I think feeding a child’s imagination gives them a better chance in school because of what they’ll have got from the printed page. Don’t let the art of reading die, keep paper books alive.
    xxx Massive Hugs Candy xxx

    • Candy Korman

      You’re right. It does start with kids and parents. My dad read to us every night and I think there’s a direct road to a lifetime of reading—and writing. My parents also read—modeling reader behavior.

      As for the busy ‘sporty folks’ … They could read about sports heroes and get inspired.

      I know a few magazine/tech journal-only readers. They are smart, accomplished, busy and I feel like they are missing a piece of life. It’s the piece that’s “pointless” and concerned only with stories and storytelling. Of course, that’s my favorite part so I want them to wake up and smell the stories!

  2. My favourite contemporary Indie sci-fi writer, Hugh Howey, wrote something about growing readers, and he made the point that we turn kids off reading in the very place where we should be firing their imagintations – at school.
    I have never taught at the primary level, but I remember reading the Daughters books at that age and thinking how boring they were. These texts follow the same rationale as ‘studies’ in music – i.e. they are pieces written to teach and repeat a particular skill. Good idea, in principle, boring music/story in practice.
    If I had my way I’d fill school libraries with comics and divorce the pleasure of reading from the skill of reading.

    • Candy Korman

      I’ve always wondered why Shakespeare was introduced with ‘Julius Caesar’ and not one of the comedies. By the time we read Julius, I’d seen ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and was already in love with the language, but I know I was in the minority.

      With so many wonderful books—why do school reading lists feature boring stories? That’s a mystery that needs to be solved.

      Still, the ‘I’m too busy to read’ people are the ones that make me nervous. Read on the toilet if there’s no other time… LOL

      Just read something—anything and eventually you’ll work your way around to reading a great book and THAT will change your life!