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Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks

Mmm...I can almost smell the turkey roasting, taste the warm stuffing, hear the glasses clinking together, and feel the love of family and friends enjoying a delicious meal and the company of one another.  Yes, Thanksgiving is only three days away.  It is a time to give thanks.  I personally am thankful for many people and things in my life but I want to take this opportunity as a writer to thank readers.

I use the term "readers" to mean those people who don't just read books; they devour them, ingest them, and savor them long after the last page.  People who love a good story, appreciate beautiful prose, and are never satisfied with just one book.  A true reader goes back for seconds and thirds while thinking about the next book they will read.  Readers are not merely important to writers--they are essential to our survival.  Much like the philosophical question of whether a fallen tree makes a sound if no one is around to hear it, does a story exist if no one reads it?

Well, perhaps that is a bit dramatic.  But what are we writers if not dramatic?  I think the more significant point is that writers exist because of readers and readers exist because of writers.  In my opinion, we symbolize the perfect symbiotic relationship, feeding one another what the other needs.     

I write because it is my passion to do so but it is the readers who make that passion possible.  I write because I love to tell stories but it is the readers who make the stories matter.  I write because it's my dream but it is the readers who help me to realize my dream.  So to all of you I say thank you not just today or on Thanksgiving but everyday.

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention and thank a subset group of readers--reviewers.  Reviewers are those people who don't just love books, they also love to evaluate, study, and interpret what they've read.  Readers form opinions and thoughts regarding a book but reviewers want to share those opinions and thoughts.  Their enthusiasm for literature and their willingness and ability to communicate it with others doesn't just benefit readers but it also benefits writers.  A good review inspires others to read an author's book and many reviews can help a writer to become known.  So to all of you, I say thank you and a special thanks to Bookshelf Central, a reviewing organization launched on Facebook in March 2010, who has written a guest blog for my next post, which will be posted at the end of this week.

So this Thanksgiving, after you have stuffed your belly and rested your head, give thanks to those who really matter and who make what you do matter.

Happy Thanksgiving!