I wanted to address something with you today that has been bothering me. Maybe you’ve seen it or maybe you haven’t, but an industry lawsuit that was publicized over the past few days called you out as — and I quote — “Unsophisticated consumers.” Actually, the full excerpt was “Unsophisticated consumers aggravate the likelihood of confusion, Hasbro, supra.”
In short, the Plaintiff is essentially calling her readers stupid. Unintelligent to the point where they are blinded by the bare-chested men and attractive women gracing a cover and therefore unable to determine WHO the author is. Because they don’t read the byline. They simple see the word “Cocky” paired with glistening abs and one-click without second thought.
That’s what she’s getting at.
I can’t make this shit up.
(But I digress.)
But you’re smarter than those pathetic claims. You, dear reader, are anything but unsophisticated.
In fact, by simply picking up a book and reading the words inside, your brain connectivity improves, positively altering brain tissue. Your attention span improves. Brain capacity increases. And your memory is augmented. You start to feel and understand emotions on a completely different level because you experience them through a character’s eyes. Not only does reading inspire creativity and make you more empathetic, but it has a multitude of physiological effects on that “unsophisticated” noggin’ of yours.
Did you know that 42% of college grads won’t read a book after graduating? How sad is that? But you, dear reader … are far smarter than that 42%. And my heart breaks for that 42% who are missing out on some truly amazing things in the literary world.
But no … you are smart. Open-minded. Curious. By holding a single book in your hand you are empowered. And I hope you hold more than a single book. Because that’s the beauty about being a reader. You don’t read one book and never read again. One book leads to another which leads to another, opening you up to an infinite amount of worlds. Reading perpetuates reading. It’s truly magical.
And I hope you have the opportunity to read any and every book that you’re interested in. But if by some freak chance you accidentally grab an unintended title, my wish for you is that you give it a chance. Because you very well could be looking at the cover of a soon-to-be favorite author.
So read a book. A cocky book. In fact, read EVERY cocky book. And then read another trope. Explore a new genre. Devour something outside your comfort zone … MM, reverse harem or regency. Discover what happens when Ellie allows herself to love again after devastating loss or when society allows post-birth abortion for organ harvesting or when a mother’s love is so suffocating its impossible to live.
Read a banned book. A popular one. And one your friends hate, because you just might realize that you, in fact, love it. Read a book from a new author and a new-to-you one. An established one. An indie author. And a world-renowned one.
And when you find yourself on the last page of a book that you love, tell a friend. Because books are meant to be loved and shared.
But in spite of all this, never forget that you don’t owe anything to an author. You’re not obligated to leave a review on a dozen different websites. You’re not required to go shouting the book from the rooftops.
Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely love it when our words resonate with a reader so strongly and they become so passionate that they want everyone in the world to read the book, too … but it’s not expected by any means (nor should it be).
So read because you love to.
Read because you can’t live without it.
Read because you want to experience as many lives and worlds and situations as possible through the pages of a book.
Read because you crave that escape.
Read because it enriches your mind and soul.
Read because you’re sophisticated and intelligent and smart AF.
And never stop reading because you want that kind of infinity in your life.
Like this post? Feel free to give it some love. Share it with your bibliophile friends. Post it in your reader group. Forward it to your book club.