Remember when books were just…books? If you wanted to read a book, you picked up a book…period. In the beginning, all books were hardcover. Then came “mass market”—small paperbacks printed on inexpensive paper, they were mostly westerns for male readers, romances for females. The next advance was “trade paperbacks,” better-quality paperbacks, larger in size and printed on paper that was heavier, more durable, less brittle, and didn’t have the same tendency to yellow or break that the pages of mass market books did. Another advance was large-type books for people with low vision. And then there were Braille books, with their raised characters, for those who were not sighted at all.
Do you have hidden treasure in your home? No, don’t go digging up the floorboards or searching the attic or basement. The “treasure” I’m talking about isn’t stacks of old coins or paper money, squirreled away by a curmudgeon who didn’t trust banks after 1929.
Would you go into your neighborhood supermarket and purloin a bunch of bananas? Would you head to the clothing store and swipe a pair of pants? Unless you’re like a certain fellow I once knew—okay, lived with, but when I learned his true colors I kicked him out—you’re no shoplifter. You may not like or be comfortable with parting with your money, but you recognize that the grower of a comestible or the manufacturer of a wearable, as well as the retailer who sells it to the end customer, is entitled to compensation for his or her labor.
They were the bane of teachers’ existence, and many parents frowned on them too. I’m talking about comic books, “back in the day”—specifically, back in my childhood.
The genre known as “manga” didn’t exist then. There were two types of comic books only: funny and adventure. There was Archie, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Little Lulu, Henry,Casper, the Friendly Ghost, and such, and there was Superman, Batman, and others I can’t call to mind because I didn’t read them; I read only the funny ones.
You have no authorial ambitions, no desire to write books, articles, or anything remotely “literary.” You’re not interested in a career in PR, either. So you probably think you have no need to be a good writer. Right?
They say that “Everyone has a story in them.” I don’t know that I necessarily believe that EVERYONE does, but surely MANY people do. For some, it’s a novel that they have an idea for. For others, it’s their memoirs. Still others have a nonfiction idea—a how-to, an inspirational or motivational message, or the biography of a person they admire. The problem arises when the individual realizes that he or she may have a great idea for a book, but they lack the writing skills to turn that idea into a well-crafted, well-honed piece of writing.