Saturday, October 8, 2022

Readers in the Wild


Scott D. Parker

I have long admired sportswriter Peter King’s Monday morning recap of the weekend’s NFL games. The NFL weekend is never complete until I read his column. He ends every post with a 10 Things I Think I Think, so in lieu of a single item today, I’m offering up ten…er, two shorter observations.

Still with the Girls?

A week or so ago over on the The Rap Sheet, J. Kingston Piece listed the winners of the inaugural Fingerprint Awards presented by the Capital Crime Festival. Congratulations to all the winners—including S. A. Cosby who can’t seem not to win awards in 2022—but something jumped out at me as I read the book titles. Half of the eight entries featured the word “girl” in the title.

Look, I know it can be good marketing to have girl in the title, but are you looking forward to the days when that is rarer than it is now?

Readers in the Wild

I know if you head out to a coffee house for a cup of java you will likely catch a glimpse of someone reading a book, but for those of y’all who still go to an office, when was the last time you saw a co-worker reading a book? Up until 2022, it was years. Lots of them.

I work in the office the middle three days of each week. Every day at lunch, I find an empty conference room, open the blinds, and settle in for sixty minutes to myself. I typically bring a book or my iPad and I’ll read for about fifteen minutes. The next thirty minutes involve my own fiction writing on my personal Chromebook. The last quarter of the hour usually involves me going back to my darkened office, sliding the door closed, leaning back in my chair, and napping. Yeah, really.

Anyway, one of my co-workers is an avid reader. In fact, she’s a member of the Book-of-the-Month club, a group I used to be in but stopped sometime in the 1990s. To be honest, I didn’t even think that was a thing anymore.

How do I know she’s a reader? Well, on her lunch breaks, she stays at her desk, but shuts off the monitors and brings out her book. Since her desk is on the way to the kitchen, I can’t help but notice. We’ve chatted numerous times about books, reading, and the like. Yesterday, after numerous discussions about the benefits of an ereader, I saw she had a brand-new Kindle Paperwhite.

A reader is gonna read, right?

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