Americans aren't reading!!
[From AP:]One in four U.S. adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year - half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who had not read any, the usual number read was seven.It'd be easy to work up a good book snob rant here, but it ain't going to come from me.In an era of supposedly declining literacy, I've got to ask myself: Has there ever been a point in American history where fewer than a quarter of all adults hadn't read a book within the last year?I don't have statistics to back me up, but I suspect the answer is no. The advent of full kindergarten-through-high school education (with accompanying literacy) didn't become the mass societal expectation, as far as I can tell, until sometime around the Depression - during and after which electronic media (radios, then television) became ascendant. So in some ways, I'm guessing that now may well be a golden age of book reading.As for the preferred reading materials - religious works and popular fiction - I'm guessing there might be some additional sneering. But you know what? I'm guessing that's pretty much the way it's always been, too. As for the average of seven books a year: That's a book every six weeks or so. If you're married, or have kids, that's a pretty good pace. : http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/21/america/NA-GEN-US-Reading-Habits-AP-Poll.php