Holding an Annual Convention Because “Christians Read”!

Okay, I’ll admit it. I recently posted a lament that people—Christians included—seem to read less than they used to. And why not? Competition in the form of movies, TV, video games, etc., abound, and there are only so many hours in the day.

But today I’m encouraged. I recently returned from the annual ICRS (International Christian Retails Sales) Convention in Orlando, where I got to connect with lots of other Christians who absolutely adore books. There were book writers, book sellers, book readers, book publishers, and lots of media that wanted nothing more than to talk about books. Does it get any better than that?

True, the ICRS convention is not as big as it used to be, but the enthusiasm is still there. And, as I am every year, I was excited to meet and talk with international book buyers and authors. I always find it beneficial to talk with people from other cultures and get perspective on what believers in different settings and circumstances are reading. It seems readers’ tastes are wide and varied, but always ready for a great story or Bible study to challenge them in their walk with Jesus.

So what about you readers, the people who make “Christians Read” a reality? Are you encouraged to know that Christian books are still important enough to draw people from all over the world to see what’s being written, to order books for their stores, to sign contracts for new books? If so, how about tossing us some ideas about what you like to read and why, what you wish you could read and maybe haven’t been able to find? I, for one, am open to suggestion, as I believe many others who attended the convention are too.

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About alandkathi66

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, married to my junior/senior high school sweetheart, Al. I am the author of 40 books, with several more in process. I enjoy speaking and teaching at writers' conferences and women's events, and I am passionate about supporting the persecuted Church and fighting human trafficking. I also serve as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Elk Lake Publishing. My most recent releases are The Singing Quilt (March 2014); The 40-Day Devotional Challenge (January 2014); The Doctor's Christmas Quilt (October 2013).
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6 Responses to Holding an Annual Convention Because “Christians Read”!

  1. Martha A. says:

    I am a reader and a bookseller. It is true that I think there are less people that read, but there are also more people whom are branching out into Christian fiction at times, than ever before. I have in our book club introduced a few Christian fiction books to people whom would have never read them otherwise and they enjoyed them!
    I recently stood in 40 degree weather all day selling books….it really encouraged me and should encourage all you authors! I had young women, girls, young men, and others stopping by, gazing at the books, looking at them, buying some and then coming back for more! They loved it that I have read most of the books and could tell them what they were about. The tastes all varied, but historical seemed to be the all time favorite!

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  2. Maureen Lang says:

    I think the market may vary, but there will always be a need for storytellers. As God demonstrated through Jesus’ use of storytelling, we’re wired with a need for it. As you said, Kathi, the way we’re receiving those stories has changed. Even video games seem to have some kind of story imbedded in them. I’m convinced, though, that the richest way to receive the vision of a story is through the written word, from a writer’s imagination into our own as readers. Even movies, as fun as they are, doesn’t allow the same depth of dimension or tap into our emotions as deeply as a well crafted story that comes alive in our imagination.
    Perhaps the percentage of the population who needs that deeper connection will ebb and flow, but it’s my belief that some of us will never, ever, give up our need for written stories.
    And I agree with Martha A., above, who says the historical novel seems to be the most popular right now. Another thing that ebbs and flows—tastes in various genres!
    Thanks for another wonderful post, Kathi. 🙂

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  3. C. C. Gevry says:

    Excellent post, Kathi. As you probably know, I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. I have found myself reading less this year than the past few, but the only reason is time. I don’t watch television or go to the movies often, but my life this year seems to have run away with itself. My girls are getting older and busier. so I have too.

    One negative I feel to come out of the self-publishing boom is the overwhelming options available in all genres. While it’s very exciting for me as a writer, I find there is so much out there that I have to be selective in what I purchase. If I opted not to purchase more books until I read every one in my office and on my Kindle Fire, I probably wouldn’t buy another book for over three years–especially because there are so many free books available now and I have more than 300 downloaded.

    How do we get by that challenge and how do traditional publishers continue to be viable under those circumstances. This will require some creativity.

    As for genres I enjoy: cozy mysteries, historical fiction, some romance, and definitely books on Christian living.

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  4. Dawn Wilson says:

    Yes, I still read books. I still don’t have a Kindle or Nook, for various reasons. And I am excited to see the explosion in self-publishing, although I wonder about quality. To me, the issue, though, isn’t about the books themselves, but how they are marketed. And self-publishers can struggle with that.

    I appreciate missional books that use creative stories to help us “see” the struggles in society in a more personal way, and then give us insights into how we might help in some small way. Kathi, I think that is why I appreciate your books. Keep them coming.

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  5. alandkathi66 says:

    Wow, great comments! Thank you all so much for the encouragement. Long live Christian books!!!

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  6. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks

    Like

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