I may not know you personally, but chances are we have “met” through our shared love of books. You know me in a way few friends ever will: through my stories and my characters, the themes with which I grapple book after book, my running “lover’s quarrel” with language and the prose that somehow flows from it.
You are the reason I write, the invisible presence that keeps me company as I face the blank computer screen. I catch glimpses of you in libraries, bookstores and trains. I read over your shoulder.
You accompany me on journeys beyond the page, into the hearts and minds of people we may never meet face-to-face but whose hopes and fears mirror our own. This takes empathy. You suspend judgment long enough to allow me to spin my tale. This takes generosity. You absorb tens of thousands of words to follow a story to its resolution. This takes time and effort that is seldom acknowledged.
Reading is not passive. You fill in what I leave out; you probe, interpret, challenge, feel and forgive. Occasionally, you leave a comment or review so insightful it reminds me why I chose to become a writer, and why I persist despite all.
Thank you for every moment you devote to books. Thank you for your concentration, discernment and selfless tenacity. Thank you for reading.