I’m a big advocate for FridayReads. FridayReads is a social community endeavor that started as a Twitter hashtag, and has evolved to include a Facebook page that comes alive each week and a blog where we post the Best Read List, which reflects what the thousands-strong community is reading (very different from bestseller lists…but that’s a rant for a different post).
FridayReads is important to me because as much as I adore technology, I’m afraid too that it’s making people read less. And pay less attention to the value and simple fun of reading. So the more people who are aware of and participating in FridayReads, the more visibility reading gets. It becomes cooler. People get smarter. And the world becomes a better place.
The reality, though, is that social connections only go so far. FridayReads needs a big-time celebrity endorsement to make it huge. I’m a fan of aiming high, especially when for a noble cause, and so I’ve been stalking Stephen King. I’m quite adept at research generally, and especially at tracking people down. I read beyond the first page of Google search results and don’t believe everything I see in Wikipedia.
Before the authorities get all nervous, by “stalking” I mean “researching how to contact.” Not scary-dangerous stalking.
No other author has connected so deeply with so many readers around the world as Stephen King. Ask anyone who reads anything, and chances are he or she has read Stephen King. He is the only living author to appear on every single FridayReads Best Read List.
Stephen doesn’t participate in social media, and I don’t blame him. Given his rabid fan base, were he to jump on Facebook or Twitter, he’d have time for absolutely nothing else…including eating or sleeping. He also doesn’t have a public email address. He has a message board—like James Lee Burke—although he doesn’t respond publicly to posts (looks at it with an anonymous account).
Stephen King does, however, participate in worthy causes. Part of his celebrity is tied to the fact that he’s a good guy, a plain old decent human being. No, I’ve never met him, but I know this for a certain fact.
I debated sending his publisher a letter, but I know it would be lost in the mountains of fan mail that arrive daily. Thought about trying to figure out which Spring Training game he’s attend this year, but that’s too dangerous-stalker-ish and I’m not really a big baseball fan. Considered sending this as a letter to the editor of the Bangor Daily News, but it doesn’t have a local news hook. So I’m posting this in the hopes that somehow it will reach through the ether and land in front of Stephen King.
Did I mention I’m one of those “eternal hope” sort of people?
So here’s my ask, should this post ever manage to reach Stephen King:
Dear Mr. King:
I’d like to ask you three questions. I’d love to get answers via phone so we could record them to share with the FridayReads community, but email—or regular postal mail, for that matter—would work just fine too. They would be short questions, and wouldn’t require a ton of time. Nothing weird. All about reading. Because you understand how important reading really is.
And thank you for writing. We’re all better for your work.