If You Can Read, You Own the World…

The Parade Magazine which comes with the Sunday newspaper featured an interview with author and master storyteller, Stephen King, who just so happens to have a book coming out called “Joyland” on June 4. It is classified as a “Hard Case Crime.” In recent weeks, the book gained notice because of King’s announcement that he was NOT going to have it available as an e-Book.

The reason? Per a story appearing at TheVerge.com, “the aesthetics and nostalgia of the physical medium.”

Joyland , a story about a student who must face a murder while working at a carnival in 1973, is being published by Hard Case Crime, a smaller imprint known for its stylistic throwbacks to the pulp novels of the 1940’s.

I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.

The Parade piece really emphasized the importance of reading. King talked about how his kids read to him because he’d pay them $10 a cassette tape.


I especially liked his thoughts on reading and kids today.

If you can read in the 21st century, you own the world. Because you learn to write from reading.

Aha! He said something that was foundational for me as I was growing up. Awesome!

Please check out the clips below and make time to read the full interview.

When your kids were young, did you read to them?

Oh, yeah. And they read to me, because I would pay them $10 a cassette tape. They read me books that I just shoved into their hands. I think my daughter, Naomi, must’ve read me all of Wilbur Smith’s novels, one after another. When she was 14, she read me a book called Raven, about the Jonestown thing. You know, the Reverend Jim Jones? Drinking the Kool-Aid?

Wait a minute—you made a 14-year-old read you a book about the Jonestown suicide cult?

[laughs] Yeah, I absolutely did. And at the end of it, she said, “Dad, yuck.” When Naomi was 5 and Joe was maybe 3—Owen wasn’t born yet—sometimes in the afternoon Tabby would say, “I can’t deal with it anymore, Steve. I’m going to lie down.” These kids would be tearing all over the house, and I’d be trying to think of something I could do with them. One day, out of desperation, I got a couple of Spider-Man comic books. I didn’t expect much, but they went nuts for that stuff. All of them read early. Owen and Naomi read at 2 or something. They were amazing that way.

Do you think that reading occupies the same importance for kids today?

No, absolutely not. I think it’s because they’re so screen-oriented [TVs, computers, smartphones]. They do read—girls in particular read a lot. They have a tendency to go toward the paranormal, romances, Twilight and stuff like that. And then it starts to taper off because other things take precedence, like the Kardashian sisters.

I did a couple of writing seminars in Canada last year with high school kids. These were the bright kids, Ken; they all have computers, but they can’t spell. Because spell-check won’t [help] you if you don’t know through from threw. I told them, “If you can read in the 21st century, you own the world.” Because you learn to write from reading. But there are so many other byways for the consciousness to go down now; it makes me uneasy.


Now I’m curious to check out his pulp fiction-type book…

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