The other night I ran into a guy on Vine who is obviously a reader. They are out there and they are among the most interesting people you could ever meet. Here’s the thing: when you read the Buzzfeed article at the link below, if you’re so predisposed, you may feel a stress headache and depression settling over you like a shroud. The news for books does not look good in many ways. The economy still sucks, millions of distractions pull at our time and eyeballs. The world of entertainment is a fractured mosaic.
Resist that depressive impulse. Facts are facts and they are interesting facts delivered in an entertaining way on Buzzfeed (with pictures because who reads anymore?). If nothing else, the next time somebody hits you with the Big Five’s awesome power to curate important books and direct our culture from Central Command, you can smack them right back with Snooki and Justin Beiber. But there’s more to the resistance than schadenfreude and a debate point.
The readers that are out there? They are a dedicated cult. They love good books. They love discovering new authors. They appreciate a rainy Sunday afternoon so they can pull a book over their heads and be transported. They turn off the TV. They read beside forgotten cups of cold coffee. Deep readers get comfortable on the couch as they settle into another world. As they read, they forget this disapoointing reality and invest themselves in fiction. They know books are time machines that can slow the Earth’s spin with a well chosen phrase or even make their doctor’s office wait or subway commute whiz by. The characters may not be real, but they feel real and books make people feel emotions like no other medium. Good readers know the regretful joy of immersing themselves in a great story and purposely slowing down so they don’t finish the book too quickly.
Authors are in the brain tickling business. We don’t need everyone on Earth to feel this same rapture over books. Sure, it would be great if they did, but what I’m looking for is a cult. A small army would be fine. I’m looking for a group of people who dig my take on existence. People who like my books are interested in questions that don’t necessarily have answers. My readership doesn’t have to be "5 Billion served". A dedicated following is all any author needs.
The readers are out there. I’m sure of it. Believe. I’m one of them, too.
Oh, and the guy I met on Vine the other night? He’s interested in This Plague of Days. He spread the word to his followers so more people would give my books a chance. He could be one of the Chute Book Cult priests. Or a captain in Chazz Army. Or a new friend.
"We are strong.
We are coming.
You deserve us.
The chaos in every day you have left will be so scintillating.
We make history and a new future."
~ from This Plague of Days by Robert Chazz Chute
See on www.buzzfeed.com