Monday, March 30, 2009


Interesting statistics about reading in America, circa 2003 study:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.

I am glad there is a big market for the romance, crime, detective and chick lit books so all the other books can still be published. I just went a bit crazy at Borders when I went to pick up my latest book club selection - The Shadow of the Wind. I went by the "buy one get one free" table when I saw Elegance of the Hedgehog which I have wanted to read, so I picked up The Poe Shadow because I really liked the previous book by the author; The Dante Club.

Then I saw Revolutionary Road was on the table and I had heard it was more nuanced than the film, so I picked it up, then I had to find a "get one half price" and picked up American Wife which has gotten good reviews.

The clerk asked me if I was on vacation. Nope - just one of those statistically few readers.


smalltownmom said...

I'm one of those few too. I always have to read.

Of the books you listed, I've only read American Wife. It was good.

themom said...

My eyes have gotten to the point where I read less and less. wuick magazine articles seem to be the rule of the day. I do try to get a couple of books read when on vacation though. My youngest daughter (29), has just started reading again and I am loving this. My son read several books a week. So we are still on the good side.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I loooved Revolutionary Road--give it a 100 pages though.

Nan said...

The statistics don't surprise me. All you have to do is look at the voting behavior of the American people to recognize most of them don't read anything, be it books, magazines, newspapers, or even blogs. If more people were readers, I think there'd be a commensurate rise in skepticism and in fact-checking and maybe we'd have a slightly better class of politician on both sides of the aisle in Washington.

I use the public library a lot, and I've noticed when I go in there every computer will have someone sitting at it, but very few people are browsing the stacks or reading magazines.

Barb said...

Wow, I think our family might well skew the statistics in the other direction. There's not a week that goes by without at least ONE book purchase and it's usually a lot more than one.

I wish I could give the whole world the pleasure I get from reading. I'm telling you, it could bring about world peace--everyone would be too busy reading!