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As crazy as this might sound: The president of the largest, 2nd oldest, most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by of for African American readers has not read a complete book in the better part of three months. It is not that I don't read. I read every single day. I spend more time reading and writing than I do watching TV or talking to other people. Of course part of the reason is that I'm busy. Virtually all of my time is spent doing something related to AALBC.com. If I'm not engaged in AALBC.com related work, I'm hanging our with family and friends or doing something to stay in shape. I'm never idle, you'll never be able to call me up, ask what I'm doing, and get the response "nothing". If I'm watching TV is is usually because I'm too tried to do anything else -- least of all read. Recently I've been on a rant about the rapid closing bookstores across the country, how important they are to communities and related issues. Part of my motivation is the knowledge that websites will follow the course of the stores and we'll, effectively, be back in "pre-Terry McMillian" days when there were less than a handful of popular Black novelists. Sure there will be more books published, each year, but it will be impossible to sort the good from the bad, and there will be no platforms to spread the work -- despite all the social media... but I digress. The last time I walked into a book store, purchased a book (Toni Morrison's Home), and read it from cover to cover, was this past summer. Now I've purchased books, in stores since, but I have not finished reading any of them. I've been "working" on Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns for 3 months -- that is if you count "working" on it as it sitting on my nightstand for 3 months with the hope of being read. Wilkerson's tome isn't lonely, there are 10 other books I'm "working" on to keep it company. This not is my 1st period of protracted non-reading and I'm certain it will not be my last. It is dry spells like these that I realize what a wonderful luxury it is to be able to sit down an enjoy a good book that you've selected for no other reason than pleasure or escape; a book that you can read without dozing because you're drained from a working all day. There have been times when I've been able to really immerse myself in the joys of reading. A few years ago I went to the Dominican Republic for vacation; between the beach and the flight I was able to read 5 books in two weeks. Unfortunately circumstances where I have extended periods of time, disconnected from technology and responsibility are increasing rare. Yes, reading for pleasure is increasingly becoming a luxury activity, even for a guy with a really big website devoted to the activity.
Please share the latest AALBC.com eNewsletter with anyone you think would appreciate (or need) it. This is the direct link: http://aalbc.it/augbooks or you ay click the image below. I really can use your support. Thanks!