80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year?

I love reading now… I came back to it a little more consistently on 2004 and since I have read many books. Today I was told that statistics (found here) say that

One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. Many do not even graduate from high school.

58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.

42% of college graduates never read another book.

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.

70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

57% of new books are not read to completion.

Jerrold Jenkins.

I find the numbers a little troubling but at the same time hard to believe. I know a lot of people and I venture to say that 90% of them read books. I even venture into saying that at least 75% of the people that read this blog read books. Heck, Michael (Mr, your flipping the bird in my space picture is too much) read more books a month than I do a year… so that has to count for something.

I have stopped reading 2 books halfway, but I think I eventually ended up finishing them. I can see people getting book for a plane ride and not reading it anymore once routine kicks in. I think the biggest complaint I have heard from readers is that people do not have enough time to read anymore.

We go to the bookstore at least once a week and not just to pick up Manga. I am reading the Harry Potter series and have already The Wheel of Time series line up after that. I also have the latest Crichton to read and a couple others. So there is no shortage of things to read, more like a shortage of time. I am also behind in all of my computer, video game and sports magazines.

Reading books is very important, specially those that have to do with your field of work. They keep you up with terminology and advances. Reading for pleasure also broadens your horizon and helps your imagination stretch. I don’t think movies do that for us because even the best ones are just like stepping in someone else’s imagination, not using your own.

So be kind and post some comments about how much you actually read.

6 Responses to 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year?

  1. I suspect a lot of this has to do with the books that we’re subjected to during formal education. With the exception of a few shining-star teachers out there that haven’t had their souls ground into pulp just yet, students aren’t taught to enjoy reading. They’re taught to slog through dense prose with opaque metaphors and unsympathetic characters.

    In answer to your plea for real-world book-reading habits, the last novel I read front-to-back was Perdido Street Station. I recently consumed a Conan the Cimmerian anthology of short stories, and an excellent philosophical tract by the name of “On Bullshit.” I read the newspaper most mornings, consume a couple of magazines regularly, and have been a fairly-constant comic book reader since childhood (including manga). I also read RPG rulebooks (My Life with Master, Spirit of the Century, and Serenity being recent acquisitions).

  2. Admittedly, i didn’t do a whole lot of reading until about 8th grade. I was too busy trying to be a skater until my buddy Ian introduced me to Dean Koontz. So, I blame Ian for my reading addiction.

  3. See, my problem with “80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.” is that Keli and I buy way TOO many books. We have books on our bookshelves that we haven’t even touched, simply because we haven’t had time to get to them yet – due to all of the other books we’ve bought.

  4. Crikey I’m abnormal again. I belong to the Zooba book club and I read at least 4 books a week.

  5. Via Friday’s Feast. :)

    I did not buy a book last year. Unless children’s books count. I can’t read with small children in the house because then I ignore them. :p So no reading for me until they are teenagers. :D

  6. I read more as a child than I do as an adult, but I think that we have more media options nowadays, esp. with the web. I like reading, but I tend to be more visually stimulated so I tend to watch more movies.

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