What books would you like for Christmas?
December 12, 2013
It is one of the great ironies of Indie writing that as a person becomes more deeply enmeshed in it the less he has time to read books.
I hate that.
All my life I have considered reading one of the greatest pleasures.
Now I am surrounded by books that seem just out of reach.
They are not out of reach because I cannot acquire them.
I can get them on my phone, on a Kindle, order a print book on line.
Books are everywhere.
Except in my hands.
Loaded on my Kindle I probably have at least ten books or so I haven’t read. Those books are ones I ran across when reading a blog by an author, researching some subject, following up on an interview I watched on TV.
I could start with those, I guess.
But what I really am hungering for is a great book, one I know I won’t be able to put down. One that will transport me to another world, provide insight into the human dilemma.
I know such books are out there.
But I don’t know how to find them.
In the old days the process of book discovery was simpler, if less democratic. A person learned about a book either as required reading in school, or by word of mouth recommendations, or because a book stood on a rack inescapably positioned by the front door of a brick and mortar store.
But how does that work in the digital age?
Digital is supposed to be all about social engagement, but it has produced insularity. The world is at our fingertips, but only virtually.
That’s a lot different than meeting someone on the sidewalk who says, “Have you read the latest book by X? I couldn’t put it down.”
I suppose what I am saying here is that book recommendations in the digital age have lost some of their impact because of their ubiquity. Everyone has a book to hawk now, and when everyone hawks a book, a reader hears a cry of wolf.
I am not bemoaning this state of affairs. I’m glad digital has opened doors for writers.
But as a reader I am adrift in a sea of books.
To remedy this situation, I would really like to know what books people want to receive as gifts this holiday season. Or, for that matter, the ones they plan to give as gifts.
What book is it that they have heard about, maybe even sampled, and know to be a real literary treasure?
Those are the ones I would like to discover.
So, if you have a book or two on your gift list this year, please drop a note in the comments and let me know.
Authors, don’t be shy. There is nothing wrong with listing your own book.
If it is a good one.
I look forward to your recommendations.
Who knows? I might even write a blog about those book jewels you point out to me.