Everyone has a secret or two, some sordid, some harmless. And everyone has a reason for keeping them. Although some of these reasons are completely acceptable, there are secrets that should be kept and then there are those you should tell.
Which secrets are those? They are the ones that are unnecessarily closeted—information about the newly discovered hairdresser, the delicious coffee shop, and the amazing, couldn’t-put-it-down book.
What? These are secrets? They can be. Sometimes people unwittingly keep a great new find to themselves.
As a reader and a writer, I’ve wondered why people often don’t tell others about a great book they are reading or have read. Although I concede that there may be a multitude of reasons, I have deduced that the following are the most prominent factors for keeping a great book a secret.
· Reading is a private experience: Unlike watching a movie or a television show, reading is typically done privately. You alone hold the book, read the words and slip, by yourself, into a world that feels created for only you. Because it’s a personal experience, many keep it that way. Therefore, the moment and the book remain a secret.
· Books don’t go pop in pop culture: Unlike Game of Thrones or the YouTube video of the moment, books don’t always have the same sexy, street swagger that gets a mention. Maybe it’s marketing. Perhaps it’s a new generation. It is often easier, however, to find people who can debate the nuances of the squirrel chasing cat video than those who want to discuss the subtext of the latest award-winning book.
· There is no one to tell: Hey! Some of you are shouting. I’ve told people. I’ve enthusiastically, wholeheartedly endorsed my latest read only to have a small group of people stare blankly at me. It’s true. It’s happened to me. Unless you frequent places populated with book lovers, there is the risk that your happy proclamations of your latest, greatest read will fall on deaf ears. But you still must tell people about your exciting new book discovery.
You must keep telling people about the books you’ve read and love for several reasons.
The first is because you, with each declaration, you are giving someone a gift. It’s the gift you’ve been given—the awareness that the ability to slip, privately, into a variety of worlds and experience wonderful adventures is easily had by reading. This is knowledge to be shared.
The second is that just like a good T.V. show or movie, you open up someone’s world when you introduce good literature to him or her. Sure, the experience may not be as flashy or fast as a three-minute video, but it will be well worth it.
Lastly, every time you tell someone about a great book, you are encouraging someone to read. And reading, well, reading reduces stress, increases mental stimulation, provides knowledge, expands vocabulary, improves memory, increases empathy, and helps us to feel connected to one another.
On a personal note, as a writer, sharing your latest read with others opens the opportunity for there to be a larger audience which to welcome into the worlds we’ve passionately and lovingly created.
As always, Thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments. Please feel free to share your favorite book so others may enjoy what you’ve experienced.