Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reading Habits of the Average Adult

Wow. It's nearly 11pm here and I only came in the computer room because I noticed Andrew had left the computer on and I needed to turn it off. I did one more check of MSNBC News to check on Hurricane Dean's progress and I saw this news article on adult reading habits instead.

What the hell?!!? One in four adults read no books last year? I'm not sure whether to feel more outraged or disturbed about this. I read four books last week - three fiction and one non-fiction. At any given time I have about 20 books out of the library - admittedly, some of them are for Willow, but I read those, too (and I'm not counting them in my four of last week). Oh my. People, no one said you had to read behemoths like Watership Down or Moby Dick or War and Peace, although kudos to you if you do.

I realize that the people who read this blog are probably not one of these one in four, but it saddens me that there are people who just don't get excited by books. On Monday morning I was running errands on my lunch break and I caught a conversation on my local NPR station about Jane Austen (see hour 2 on 8/20/07) that had me clamouring to re-read Persuasion, my all-time favourite Jane Austen novel.

So... what about you? What are you clamouring to read? Come on, give me some suggestions for my ever-expanding 'to read' list.


Bezzie said...

I'm running out of good authors to read at my podunk library. So I"m curious to hear what everyone else's suggestions are. I know I want to read some non fiction books that I heard about on NPR too...hee hee!

I can buy the one in four read no books. I can tell you that my brothers haven't picked up a book since HS.

Teri said...

Joey, I would like to point out that as your sister,I am well aware that you were born with your nose in a book, by grade 5 not only had the reading level of a grade 12, but also had your room lined in over 500 novels - not kids books either!! You are the exception, not the rule!! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I get most of my favorite authors/series as hand me downs from you - and for that I am most grateful. I think that if you look at our family though - Jaime is the one in 4 (or 5 in our case - since everyone else in our family always has a book on the go.. and we go stir crazy if there isn't one readily available!).

Jo said...

Jaime might not read as much as we do, but I know she did read more than a handful of books last year because she and I talked about them over our summer vacation. These are people who read *no* books last year.

What maybe disturbs me more than the article is reading the comments on msnbc.com and so many people were saying, "Yeah? So what. I have other things to do."

homesteadinmamma said...

I am reading A walk in the woods by Bill Bryson, it is turning out to be a wonderful documentary style story of his trip through a 2150 mile trip in the mountains. If you havent read it yet, you should add it to your "to read" list!

tara said...

My podunk library has more books on tape than actual books (I am currently listening to one while I do dishes and cook). I read about 5-10 books a month and a favaorite filler is James Patterson but will read anything. And I love Jane Austen.

bengel said...

Having seen a couple posts on your blog, I gather you're a fellow foodie. If you're looking for a good foodie, non-fiction read, I'd suggest "Mostly True," by Molly O'Neill. She's a former food writer for the NYT, and also happens to be the only girl in a large family of sports-minded boys (her youngest brother is a former Yankee). It's a lovely memoir, full of funny stories about her upbringing in the Midwest, and lots of great cooking stories sprinkled in. (I wrote a little bit about the book on my blog back in June, if you want more details).

Enjoy, and thanks for providing such a regularly entertaining read on your site!

Cheryl said...

Hey JoJo! It's Cheryl from one of your lists. That's a disturbing report. Alas, I was one of them until I joined a book club. One of my favorites: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir. Amazing autobiography, and I usually hate that genre.

Willow looks so beautiful!

Lisa said...

"Sweetness in the belly" by Camilla Gibb.... she is a Canadian author!!! I couldn't put the book down.... great writer... amazing story... You should definately put it on your list of books to read!!!