Imagine you are learning English as a foreign language or you have reading difficulties or you’re a teenager who just wants to expand beyond teenage literature or even if you simply haven’t the time to read but you still want to dive into the wonderful pool of literature with all the joys that entails.
It’s pretty difficult when you think about it.
Most novels are aimed at a readership that have fully developed literary skills and such works involve a high degree of complexity in terms of language, plotting and narrative structure that require the reader to have advanced reading skills and the time to read. These can act as a barrier to those who wish to enrich their lives that literature is wonderful at providing.
Well there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Rapid Reads is a recent newcomer to the publishing world whose mission and remit is to publish short works of both fiction and non-fiction between 12000-20000 words. Its works of fiction are set in the contemporary world, written in plain English with simple sentence structure. The stories are driven forward in time via linear narrative with minimal or zero use of sub-plotting and with a small number of characters without sacrificing quality, reader-engagement or entertainment. For non-fiction, plain written and concise English are also the order of the day. The aim is that all such books can be easily read, understood and completed in one sitting yet just as entertaining and informative as conventional literature.
There is a growing demand for such books and the Rapid Reads stable is home to many writers, some of whom have written conventionally structured novels for the mass market but have turned more than an able hand to writing within the guidelines that Rapid Reads stipulate. Moreover, its books are widely read and highly regarded by those who do read the more conventional, complex traditionally structured book. The books are simple but not simplistic, basic but not facile, uncomplicated without any less sophistication, informative yet not condescending.
According to Rapid Reads website, 50% of North Americans struggle with literacy to some degree, not to mention the numbers who lead very busy and demanding lives, in other words, time-poor. I suspect this degree of literacy and time challenges are not unique across the Western world.
This is a truly progressive innovation in the world of literature that surely will go a long way to increase literacy and the advocacy of the joy and empowerment of reading. There is no stigma in reading books from this stable either. I have just ordered two myself and I recommend you do too. For writers like myself, I particularly look forward to see how these books employ elegance and simplicity without loss of literary efficacy. This will surely serve as a good exemplar of cutting unnecessary complexity and long windedness from what we write, something I am quite guilty off myself.
Also all genres are welcome too.
Rapid Reads is an imprint of Orca Press who are based in Victoria, BC, Canada and you can find more details on their website