You heard me - THE EVER-LOVING WORLD
I want to encourage everyone to read - not just the already bookish (although I want you guys to keep reading, ofc; but at this point, I don't think anyone could stop you anyway.)
But how do I do that?
Well, for a start I blog about reading and books almost every day. (By the way, don't panic if I don't post every now and then - I need a day off sometimes!)
But I'm not naïve, I know that the vast majority of people who read a blog called 'Diary of a Reading Addict' are going to have some sort of interest in reading to begin with. It's a bit of a no-brainer.
I reckon I'm going some way, though, to preaching to the non-converted by sharing my blog-posts to Twitter with non-book-specific blogging hashtags, and RT accounts. Of course I always follow the rules of the hashtag or the RT, because that way people don't get pi*sy at you ;)
So yes, I think I gather a very few non/occasional-readers slowly but surely into the fold that way. That's something at least. We'll call it progress ;)
BUT I'M ON A MISSION
Which means that I can't rest on my little proverbial laurels, I have to be doing stuff - encouraging reading whenever and wherever I can.
The best way to lead is by example.
As the peculiar little species that we are, we love to copy each other in an attempt to fit in.
A lot of this is a subconscious following of the herd (not the worst thing in the world so long as you're not following others right off of a cliff, and don't think that you always have to follow others. You don't.)
So, for something to be deemed to be cool and/or worth-while, a lot of people have to think that it's cool and/or worth-while. (I know - it doesn't make any sense, does it? But that's how human society has worked for aeons. We may as well use it to the advantage of doing something good.)
So I have a cunning plan...
I'm going to read in public. Whenever I can. Wherever I can. I'm going to be seen reading beyond the confines of my own home.
Sure, I already read while I'm waiting for doctors' appointments, but the very fact that I'm usually the only one in the waiting room with a book in my hands gives me a clue that I'm on to something here.
I'm going to make sure that, at least once a week, I'm spotted with an open book in my hands somewhere out in the wilds of the world (OK... so it'll probably be on a bench of the local shopping centre... same thing, right?)
But what difference will that make? I hear you cry! (I can't really hear you... that would be weird.)
Well, ye blog-readers of little faith and happenstance (OK, there may've been coffee, but can you blame me?) if people see me reading then, somewhere deep in their complex brains, they will think about it.
They might be attracted by the shiny cover. They might wonder what my book is about. They might look it up on the Internet.
Or it might spark a million other thoughts related to that book. They might end up talking to a friend about it. They might end up reading that book.
Plus it will make reading the thing that people do.
Everyone checks their phones in public. Lots of people play music. Lots of people faff about on their laptop, iPads, whatever...
Some people read in public, it's true. But less. It's not as normal to see someone reading in public as it is for people to be doing all of these other things. And why the hell not?! Reading is awesome.
I'm gonna need help, guys.
Join me in my crusade to get every person in this world into the magical and wonderful world of reading!
GET OUT THERE AND READ!
Go out and read on a bench. In a café. In a coffee shop. At the dentist's.
Reading a paperback or hardback is more likely to have the desired effect because people can see that it's a book as opposed to a tablet, but if there're no physical books to hand - then read e-books.
If you decide to take my advice and go off into the wilds, book in hand, then I'd love to see a pic - if you Tweet me one (my Twitter is @CeeArrBookNerd) then I'll re-tweet (...or put it in a blogpost, or maybe both... haven't really decided yet. I suppose it depends on whether anyone actually sends a pic.)
Also, if anyone else has any other ideas on how I can spread reading like an ever-loving plague across the face of the earth? I'd be much obliged. ;)