Write With Me Study Hall, Monday, September 14:                            Why are these books so sad? 


Author Harvey Mackay (The ABCs of Success, etc. ) provides the statistic that 73 percent of all books in libraries are never checked out. Imagine that–so much time, effort, and public funds wasted on books that aren’t read. If this stat is true, one wants to ask, should they be read? Perhaps they are simply awful tomes on the the naval history of Britain (yet surely someone is interested in that, if not me) or perhaps they have unappealing covers? But knowing that most public libraries have acquisitions managers and being acquainted with a few of those folks personally, I can tell you that they take their work very seriously and also want to respond to public interests. So why? 

According to the Pew Research Center (pew internet.org), as of January 2014, some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year. So if all those readers are not reading all those forlorn library books, what are they reading? Not just e-books, perhaps the most likely culprit, because Pew also reports that adults are not abandoning print books for e-books in any hugely substantial shift. Many adults read both formats. And it’s not because nobody goes to libraries any more, because Pew also reports that among those ages 16-29, 50% reported having used a library or bookmobile in the course of the past year in a September 2013 survey. Some 47% of those 30 and older had done so.

So why so many sad, lonely books across America? Do you know why? Maybe Harvey’s stats are just wrong? I’m betting that’s the case, but right now, I don’t have time to find out, because it’s time to write! And, yes, ironically, I am writing a novel that possibly could become one of those never-read books, but Monday morning is no time for pessimism. It’s time to march forth and conquer that page! 

Today, I’m writing more interweaving of the character, Ruth, into my second novel. What about you? 

And, yes, this week I will try to find out if Mackay’s stat is true and also why, if it is. Because I’m compulsive that way.

Bon voyage! 

4 responses to “Write With Me Study Hall, Monday, September 14:                            Why are these books so sad? ”

  1. Roberta Bear Avatar
    Roberta Bear

    Just getting started–things about to go topsy-turvy for Randi, w/ Dad’s promotion, move to a new home (local, don’t want to interrupt her new relationships so soon!), and family conflict. Randi exercises her new adolescent rebellion and high emotions. [When I was 12 or 13, my mother said one day in the middle of yet another argument about something innocuous: “Where did my good little Bobbi go?!?”)


    1. Glenda Bailey-Mershon Avatar

      Oh, remembering those torrents of emotion I could hardly identify. How lucky you are to be recreating the feeling of youth. I am about to launch into the third chapter redraft of Chocolate Man. Fingers crossed!


  2. Roberta Bear Avatar
    Roberta Bear

    Someday would like to continue discussion of rewriting and polishing. Also formatting. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this Monday thing, so I have 6 separate wrongly-formatted chapters, now going back and both rewriting and reformatting, then one day will have to tackle merging into a single MS. Oh, bother, said the bear, can’t I just free-form write?!


    1. Glenda Bailey-Mershon Avatar

      I wouldn’t worry about it now, as long as you can find all the pieces. It’s pretty easy to format a single manuscript. We should all get together again. Let me get over this sinus thing that’s been killing me for six weeks. It’s all I can do to get bits of writing done and wash my clothes. Soon! Keep going, Girl!


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