While perusing my usual blog roll (something I'm very behind in these days because I'm so busy), I came upon Eileen Cook's wonderful post which noted the alarming statistics about how few people read books these days. I mean, 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school????? Can these stats be right???
So, in light of her plea on her blog, I'm posting about the alarming dearth of reading going on in our country these days. What do you guys think is causing it? Beyond the obvious problems in our education system - I mean, these stats note that these are LITERATE people who are choosing to ignore books - I'll say that there are a few factors at work.
1) The internet (and I guess video games, though I don't really have any personal experience with them). There are stats out there (which I'm too lazy to google) which show that people now spend hours in front of their computers, even taking away from the time they spend in front of the tv. If the tv usurps time from books, I can't even imagine how much time the internet sucks away. And hey, I'm just as guilty as this as anyone. Last night, I was mindlessly surfing - just to zone out - rather than get into bed and read The Time-Travelers Wife, which I'm working my way through right now. Why? Because reading doesn't allow my brain to turn off...and that's a GOOD thing, but in our society, we like to vegetate, and reading just doesn't allow for it.
2) Reading takes work and cost money. True, to go to the movies these days, it can cost waaaaay more than a book, but people don't seem to see it this way. Shell out $20 for a book that might be difficult to get through or cause you to actually use your brain? No dice.
3) We're a lazy society. (See points above.)
I'm sure that there are a gajillion other reasons that people don't like to read, starting with the fact that parents don't emphasize it to their children, so people don't grow up as readers, which they then don't pass on to their own children, etc, etc, etc. But what say you? Why don't people enjoy reading and what can be done about it?
Well, for an initial solution, head over to the lovely Larramie's blog today and see what some authors (yours truly included) are recommending for summer reading...