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How reading changed these authors' lives

Updated on August 21, 2014
Author Suzetta Perkins says reading makes her soar.
Author Suzetta Perkins says reading makes her soar. | Source
Author Marissa Monteilh would spend Sundays telling her mom about the books she read.
Author Marissa Monteilh would spend Sundays telling her mom about the books she read. | Source

A love of reading leads to best selling careers

The most successful writers will tell you that they are readers first or that it was a love of reading that led them to a writing career.

Aspiring writers often wonder what steps they need to take before writing their first book. The main thing: read.

That's one of the reasons why Book Clubs United is putting the focus on literacy this September at the Greensboro (N.C.) Public Library.

On September 27 from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. a who's who of African American authors, including Beverly Jenkins, Suzetta Perkins and Marissa Monteilh, will be promoting literacy at a free event hosted by the library.

Recently, Perkins and Monteilh spoke about why literacy is so important to them.

Perkins, a native of Oakland, Calif. who now resides in North Carolina, is the author of nine novels. She said that reading and writing allows her mind to soar.

"When I read, I sometimes go places I've never been. I get to experience the emotions of the characters I read about in their different situations. Sometimes I learn about myself. Reading opens the doors to wonderment and fulfillment and writing allows me to take others where I'd like to go. Writing is the window to my soul."

Perkins's latest novel, Silver Bullets, was released in April.

For Monteilh, author of You've Got It Bad: Dr. Feelgood Sequel, said being able to read and write enhances a person's thinking ability.

"I grew up reading books and ordering from book of the month clubs at my school. Each Sunday night my mother would ask which book I read, and I'd summarize it for her. Surely that's one reason why writing is my passion," she said. "I encourage parents to provide access to books, and motivate children to read as much as possible. That's where it all starts. Reading can open a whole new world. Our future depends on it."

Monteilh is the author of 20 novels, including the forthcoming, The Mind of a Woman: 365 Relationship Scenario Discussion Questions, which will be released on September 23. A native of Los Angeles, she now calls the South her home, living in Atlanta with her family.

In the United States, according to the US Department of Education, in 2013, there were 32 million adults who could not read. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks the US sixteenth in literacy. That's 16 out of 23 countries.

Want to meet the authors?

What: African American Author Festival

When: September 27, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Greensboro Public Library Main Branch, 219 N. Church Street, Greensboro, NC


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    • Cheris Hodges profile image

      Cheris Hodges 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for your comment, Leptirela. I love to read as well.

    • Leptirela profile image

      Leptirela 3 years ago from I don't know half the time

      Great hub. I can relate to the comfort reading brings