If a book is written and nobody reads it, does the book actually exist? In my opinion, it does not. A novel, or any book I imagine, is written to be read. It is a means of communication. It is a window through which others can see the world the writer sees. If there are only words on the page which nobody reads, then only half of this communication is happening.
I never really understood those people who say, “I write for the joy of writing. It doesn’t matter whether anybody reads it or not.” It matters to me! This is not to say that everything I write ought to be published and read by everyone. Of course this would be a really bad idea. We can see this illustrated by those who rush to self publish just a tad early. But I certainly understand the impulse to get the book out there, to have it available to be read. To start the communication.
This urge to get down on paper one’s own view of the world is very strong. But after time, when book after book is written and not read by others, the urge begins to weaken. I have been lucky, in a way. I have written books and many have been published. And they have even been read. But there are other books which I have written which have not had this luck. I wonder if perhaps my own particular vision is sometimes too eccentric, too personal, too welded to my own experience for others to relate to.
There is so much to learn about this writing experience. There is so much more going on than just putting words on the page, just telling a story, just showing others how we experience things. It is finally quite late that one realizes that writing is not really about the words themselves, but about what others see in this mirror that we writers hold out before our readers.
If a book is written and never read… Why write?