I’ve always been an avid reader. I have a small scar on my forehead from where I walked into a tree as a kid while I was deep into a book. When I gave birth to our daughter, I promised myself two things: she would never be a bully and she would always be a reader. These days, the former is easier than the latter, but I’m proud to say that I accomplished both.
We started young. I read to her pretty much out of the womb. She quickly developed her own reading habits. (Sorry about the funky pictures. I had to scan ones that date back sixteen years to pre-cell phone and SIM card days.)
And of course I introduced her to Nancy Drew as early as possible…
As she grew up, she devoured series like Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. She also became obsessed with Greek myths and Jane Eyre. We set a limit on how many toys she could own. If something new came into the collection, something else was given away. But that rule didn’t apply to books. To this day, when she asks for a book, be it hardcover, paperback, or e-book, she gets it.
I often worry about the aging of the mystery genre’s readership. Will there be enough future readers to keep it alive and thriving? But readers aren’t born… they’re made. It’s up to one generation of book lovers to beget another.
Little gives me greater joy than seeing my daughter pick up a book. Sometimes we relax on my bed and read together. It wasn’t easy pushing back against the lure of Snapchat and Instagram. But somehow, in the twenty-first century, I managed to create a reader. And I’m damn proud of it.
Current readers, do you worry about where future readers are coming from?