I Imagine My Readers as Dragons
Surrounded by their hoard of books stacked high in their cavernous domain. Books layered in towers, that climb to flirt precariously with the stalactites of the vault above. A wild-piled djinn’s treasure trove of tomes—for draconic readers to to curl up amidst. The phantasmagoria of a librarian’s nightmare, or secret lust—books, and eons to read them with. Probably tea too, that fiery breath must be good for heating something.
Readers’ Dreams are Bookish
All the books are mine! (or at least the ones I’d like).
Writers’ Dreams are Readerish
All the readers are mine! (or at least the ones who’d like my books).
Writers dream of a vast continent, a whole world of readers—each tucked up with a hoard of books that happen to include that writer’s books near the top of a treasured stack.
Writers dream of super readers—those rare creatures who read at a devouring pace, who are hunters, always starving, never full. This is because unlike other hungers, the cravings of super readers are not about scarcity in a traditional sense (at least not since the printing press and libraries came about). Super readers are hungry for the best of books—books that meet their standards and fit their palate. With such requisites and appetites driving them, super readers can be tenacious in their search for the next tasty book or ten. But they are clever creatures—as you’d expect—they have found cooperative solutions. They share recommendations. They have found their kind and formed a vast conspiracy to unearth the good books and share them with the like-minded and voracious. In fact, they’ll even share them with normal readers, or try to convert non-readers into readers.
Writers Dream of Super Readers
We dream of tyrannical super readers who corner wild eyed strangers and enthuse about how they just have to read this book.
We dream of their victims, in their desperation to escape, agreeing to purchase it—and then, bored one day, deciding to read it.
We dream of the organic, relentless spread of books. Viral, and maybe a bit malevolent, we think of them infiltrating coffee tables, lying in wait in bathrooms, lurking on bed stands.
I hope for covers that tempt—I’ll even purchase art on my own to make sure they will. Can’t sleep at 3am? I’ll write teaser text for the back cover. Driving in search of tasty victuals, I’ll brainstorm titles that seduce.
Writers Fantasize About Readers
We spend our spare moments taking action to ensnare them. We dream of book wyrms—of our book in their claws—or the book’s claws in them. We write to expand their hoards. I dream of book wyrms—I dream of you—claiming my writing to carry off to your lair.