Writing, Readers and Reading

One thing I like about my life as a “famous” author is that I have personal relationships with many of my readers, however briefly. I chalk this up to social media making it easier to promote a book and living in a remote valley which is — in spite of the widely strung towns — a close community. This past year — after reading at the Narrow Gauge Book Coop in Alamosa — I came to understand the relationship between a writer and his/her readers.

I guess I should have figured this out before, but with the exception of my thesis advisor, Robert D. Richardson Jr. who has written beautiful biographies on many writers (Thoreau, Emerson, Omar Khayyam, William James), George Schaller (featured photo), Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, I never saw any of “my” authors read. None of those were situations in which the audience had a lot of contact with the writers, could find them later or meet them in a remote town to make a book deal.

I’m in this photograph… Outside D. G. Wills Bookshop in La Jolla CA, 1994, listening to Allen Ginsberg who’s inside reading into a microphone blasting the sidewalk.

7 thoughts on “Writing, Readers and Reading

  1. I’ve been reading more since retirement. I think I’m up to 3 a month… That isn’t near a book a week but I’m a bit compulsive so I find it hard to start a book and then set it down to do things – like cook, clean, laundry, eat, sleep… so I try not to over do it!

    • I was an avid reader once upon a time. I’m not any more. I think 30+ years of teaching writing and reading papers for 7 classes a semester changed the way I read. I only occasionally get into a book and enjoy it, but when I do, it’s great. 🙂

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