Do People Want to Read and Talk Books?

You Betcha! BOOKS! Hits Radio

A bookseller friend was lamenting the latest reports about how people don't read. I disagreed. We live in a text message world. People read all the time. However, I argued, folks are busy. We rarely have the opportunity to just wander anywhere let alone a bookstore searching for something we don't know we want.

The good news, I said, is that books are the best entertainment a person can find for less than a twenty, and, if you hit the library, it's free. How cool is that?

I theorized we should make it easy for people to find the books they want to read and that's how the radio program BOOKS! was born.

Radio Morning Jock Mark Niemand of WZEZ 100.5 FM Goochland (Don't ask. I don't know what the Virginia Fathers named a place Goochland) agreed with me. He's a reader and a writer. When I pitched the idea to him, he immediately signed on board. As did Kelly Justice of the Fountain Book Store one of Richmond, Virginia's many independent booksellers and a mover and shaker in the American Bookseller Association. Then, of course, there is me, who always has an opinion about what I'm reading.

Our purpose for the show is simple: we talk books. All kinds of books. If it fits between two covers, we read it, and recommend it.

The fun part is we don't force feed books. On the first and last Monday of the month, between 8-9 a.m., Mark, Kelly, and I yammer about what we are reading between the morning news, the station's wonderful line up of oldies (we're talking Frank, Dean, and Buffalo Springfield here), and the traffic. We are completely free to pitch a wonderful historical romance, a mystery, a non-fiction, and a children's book all in the same hour. With the exception of Kelly, who is surrounded by shelves of books, we buy the books we pitch. No shilling here. We're speaking from the heart.

Interested in what books we're reading and you aren't in the Richmond area? BOOKS! can be heard online at the first and last Monday of the month between 8 – 9 a.m. EST. Or, you can buzz by and click on WZEZ for a write up of the books we've discussed. You will also find a link to both at my website

Have we made an impact? Yes. Several librarians listen to the show and order our recommendations. Plus, I've found books we've discussed from small publishers suddenly find a prominent place in the big chain bookstores. That means folks are asking about them. They are talking--and that is what we want.

Cathy Maxwell


Anonymous kristinaQ said:

Congrats! The difference you're making is amazing :)

I for one love to read and for the life of me I don't know why some people find it so distasteful =\ I guess they just haven't found the right books.

12:42 AM  

Blogger JennaPetersen said:

Cathy, that's awesome!!!


9:44 AM  

Blogger Cathy Maxwell said:

Kristin--I've often wondered why folks are so uppity about what is read. For example, we talk about all sorts of television shows around the water cooler- reality, soap operas, game shows--but feel reading calls for a higher, I don't know. A higher whatever. Instead of just enjoying a book because it is fun, there are those who treat reading as if it is distinct from entertainment. Those of us who love to read know that is rubbish. Reading is mind movies. It's plugging in YOU in a way plays, movies, and television can't compete because it is so personal and intimate.

Wonder how we an put that in a marketing slogan???? :o)

Or a bumper sticker: DOWN WITH BOOK SNOBBERY!

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