The thing about being a writer—besides the obvious hallmark of staring at the wall in my pajamas all day—is that I often forget people read. Seems ironic since, in theory, I’m writing fiction I hope gets read—which hope takes as its premise an abundance of readers out there. And yet I despair at a pretty high level when I think about readership in America. Never mind the good news coming from the NEA that suggests readership is actually on the rise for the first time in two decades. Never mind all the indie bookstores that continue to open instead of close. I just don’t feel it. Maybe this is because even I read less than I used to. Sometimes if it’s a choice between Mad Men and Joyce, I make the easier call. What’s more, when the choice is between Thomas Hardy and the latest bestseller, I tend to go old school. So it’s no wonder I don’t think anyone’s reading contemporary fiction. At least, that is, until I tire of the wall and stare at the Internet, instead. The Internet, besides being my doctor, is, more reliably, a bellwether of what’s going on in the world. So what is going on? A thousand and one bloggers reading voraciously. Whose tastes are catholic. Who are smart about fiction and are enlivening the discourse about it. So, pajama people, do not fret. Your work will get read, and likely by someone with a terrific appetite for literature whose got interesting things to say about it. In short: Hooray for bloggers on this week of all others.
Fiona Maazel is author of the forthcoming Wake Up Lonely.