Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reading habits of the average American

I read today on Pub Rants, one of the many blogs I follow, that the average American only reads 2-3 books each year.  Mindboggling!  So I decided to do a little research to see if this statistic is true, or if it's one of the 80% of statistics that are made up on the spot.

While I didn't find that exact statistic, I did find this horrifying article from the Washington Post back in August 2007: One in Four Read No Books Last Year.  

Personally, I read at least 15-20 books per year just for fun.  There was a period of time before I started writing when that figure was even higher.  That's not counting all of the articles, news, manuals, presentations, etc. that I read for work or school.  As a kid I was grounded from reading because my mom couldn't get me to do my chores.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without good novel.

But apparently 25% of the American population doesn't even read one book each year, and the average person "claimed to have read four books".  (By the way, "books" includes the Bible and non-fiction as well as novels, and doesn't differentiate between personal and business/work-related reading, so we're talking about a pretty wide range of material.)  I know that TV, movies, and the internet take up increasing amounts of our time and provide plenty of entertainment, but is it really possible that the written word is being ignored by such a large proportion of our population?  If so, how sad!!

What about you guys?  How much do you read for fun?  How many books have you read this year so far?

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