I have a confession to make. Though I call myself a writer, I feel like a fraud, and I need to get this off my chest, unburden my soul and move forward.
This month, the Pew Research Center reported that 23 percent of American adults did not crack open a book last year, either the "e" kind or the dead-tree kind. That's nearly three times as many nonreaders as in 1978, the year The Stand, The World According to Garp and Clifford the Big Red Dog were published.
Guess what? I have to count myself as one of those nonreaders. To make matters worse, last year I purchased several books, signed by their authors, and they are just sitting on my bookshelf. I feel like Jay Gatsby. (And, yes, I did read that one, years ago.)
So what's worse than that? I participated in World Book Night in 2012, picked up a case of 20 copies of Dave Eggers' Zeitoun and distributed them. You guessed it: I didn't read that one either.
It really hit me when John Green was a guest on WFYI's No Limits last week. No, I haven't read him yet. Yes, I really like his videos. Here's a critically acclaimed writer who lives in the same city as me, and I haven't read a single word he's written. What if I bump into him? I can picture a scene similar to college where I didn't finish the reading assignment, went to class and had to talk in depth about the first 10 pages.
I hate making excuses for things, but when you read, write and edit online stories all day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is read a book. "Hogwash!" I then tell myself.
So, lucky for me I always start my New Year's resolutions on Groundhog's Day. (I figure it gives me a chance to ease into them, and it gives the gym a chance to clear out from the hordes of over-exuberant former high school jocks.)
I also have motivation from two sources. First, Indianapolis Star reporter Michael Anthony Adams issued his #Read26Indy challenge, encouraging us to read a book every two weeks throughout 2014. Next, my friend Abraham Benrubi started a book group to share our love of reading. So, no more excuses.
Here's a list of 10 books to start on the path back to regular reading:
So that's 10 books to get me going. What are some books you're itching to start or finish?
Now, that I've begun reading regularly, my next resolution is to work on regular creative writing.