Something I Thought I’d Never See…

In a world so filled with doom and gloom, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of negativity. To keep us going we seek out kernels of joy and hope, and yesterday I uncovered one that brought a beaming grin to my lips.

“…the survey from the Reading Agency of more than 2,000 people in the UK found that 31% were reading more since lockdown began, with the charity [The Reading Agency] noting a “particular spike”, of 45%, among young people aged between 18 and 24.” The Guardian, 23rd April 2020

Young people reading?! I thought I’d never see such a sight in my lifetime. Only a couple of months ago I lamented at the trends that suggested that the act of reading for enjoyment alone was facing an existential crisis. To see young people reading, who have so often been written off as non-readers, who supposedly instead devote all of their time to binging series on Netflix and Disney+, I find one of the most joyous things to come out of this damnable virus.

Why are more people reading? Time is the most obvious reason. When I conducted my research into reading as a pass-time, many people said they wanted to read, but simply didn’t have the time. Well, it seems like they were telling the truth. This abundance of time has seen reading rates soar! I can only hope that those who pick up books in this dreadful age fall back in love with them and continue to read in the future.

To celebrate this wonderful news, I’ve reduced the eBook price of my collection of short stories, Flying on the Ground, to just $0.99 for the duration of Lockdown. I’ve also added some more stories into the book that have since been published elsewhere, so you’ll get even more for your dollar.

If you haven’t heard of Flying on the Ground before (how dare you!), here are a couple of reviews:

A book that transports you to fantastic realms, but at the same time keeps you rooted in the familiar territory of our everyday lives… A struggle to protect the similar, understand the different, find the meaning of life, reclaim and rebuild it.” Book Review Hub

“Billing is an imagination stoker, a writer cloaked in humanity’s secrets, with a coveted writing style that grips a readers own inner demons. He is an author to watch.” Whiskey & Wit Book Reviews

Inside the covers of Flying on the Ground, you’ll find twelve short stories from the genres of fantasy, historical fiction, general fiction, horror and crime. Tales of adventure, of intrigue, of defiance, love and the morally grey, exploring myriad themes from loneliness, fear, and pride, to the nature of creativity and the cycle of addiction, to name a few.

You can start reading today by using these links >

Amazon US

Amazon UK

For all other territories, click here (automatically re-directs to your country)

About the author

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah's Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his critically-acclaimed book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at www.richiebilling.com.

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