1 in 4 people read no books last year

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1 in 4 people read no books last year

Postby sunkistbabe1 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:40 am UTC

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/reading_habits_ap_poll;_ylt=AvPAZ0bapuPsKdeWHKY8kj5vzwcF

It would seem many of the people on this board read more than the average posted in this article. My average is down a little due simply to time, not the desire. I know i used to read more than the average for sure, but it also depended on the size of the books. Some of the mysteries I read were thin compared to some Stephen King, Koontz or Robert Jordan books. A better average would be pages maybe...


P.s. Sorry if this has already been posted. I took a quick gander through the list, didn't see any other threads.
Last edited by sunkistbabe1 on Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:12 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 4=5 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:45 am UTC

25%??? that seems inconcievable, I mean I read at least 15 by accident

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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:01 am UTC

It frightens me how this is possible. At my school, people complain that they have to read two books over the summer, and I'm like, "How the fuck do you not read TEN books over the summer?"

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Postby TheTankengine » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:03 am UTC

1 in 4 people cannot spell the word "last". Or inconceivable, apparently.

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Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:08 am UTC

Oh, I thought the OP was saying that 1 in 4 people didn't read any books the year they took the LSAT.

But yeah, I was doing about 10 a month at the beginning of the year. Lately it's been lower, owing largely to the amount of time I now spend reading these fora, as a matter of fact.
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Postby Phenriz » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:11 am UTC

I only read 5 books last year and i feel bad about it :/
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Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:16 am UTC

Phenriz wrote:I only read 5 books last year and i feel bad about it :/


As you should, Phenriz. As you should.
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Postby Dr.Robert » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:34 am UTC

Heard this on NPR.

But I will say, that just because people don't read books, doesn't mean they aren't reading. I spend much more time reading up wikipedia throughout the entire day than I do reading books at night.

Still... 0 books is pushing the envelope.

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Postby Peshmerga » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:01 am UTC

I'm one of those 4. I read half of all my AP lit required reading, but never a full book. The last book I fully read was ... Xenocide, I think, because I don't think the 300 comic counts.
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Postby sunkistbabe1 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:12 am UTC

TheTankengine wrote:1 in 4 people cannot spell the word "last". Or inconceivable, apparently.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


Heh, I typed fast, and often transpose a few letters as I go. I do have a spell checker built into firefox but I don't always go over my post before I hit submit.

I also read the internet a lot. I read various news sites, a forum or two, movie information pages etc. But nothing compares to sitting down with a novel of your favorite author or genre. My hubby has a bunch of non-fiction books that are good reads too. "Fingerprint of the Gods" by... um.. Hancock I think it is. That one is on my list to read soon too.
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Postby RealGrouchy » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:13 am UTC

I read a couple of books each year, but it's hard with all the newspapers, news websites, local media and magazines I read. Not to mention the meeting agendas, minutes, project proposals, etc. And that's in my free time.

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Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:39 am UTC

I read whenever I feel like it...usually it goes in a cycle of me reading almost anything I can find for a couple months, then get bored and don't read any books for the same amount of time. Last time I stopped reading was because my physics teacher took the book I was reading away from me because I was reading it instead of doing the homework in class...(It's one thing to take something away from someone when they are disturbing the rest of the class...and it's not my fault that physics is the easiest class I'd taken the whole year...and the homework isn't even worth points in the class). Too bad that was the one book I don't have about 3 copies of or I would've just brought another copy the next day :P

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Postby Okita » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:40 am UTC

The sad part is that those statistics probably include people reading trashy books as well.

So... what percentage of that 25% has read something decent as opposed to ... well I can't say anything without insulting someone.

Then again, I like to reread books. Specially the Ender's Game series. So that skews the data as well. Hrm....
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Postby Aetre » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:16 am UTC

bbctol wrote:It frightens me how this is possible. At my school, people complain that they have to read two books over the summer, and I'm like, "How the fuck do you not read TEN books over the summer?"
I NEVER read a summer reading book in my life.

...Except Shakespeare's The Tempest, which I had already read for fun during a previous year. had I not read it then and just seen it on the summer reading list, I wouldn't have read it.

English class just had a way of absolutely ruining books for me. Outside of that, though, I'd read (and still do) all the time.

Then again, I have a hunch that 25% is on the rise; reading in general is in terrible shape right now, in large part because of laziness, but also because reading instruction nationwide isn't as rigid as it used to be. Case in point: there are internet posts under five hundred words that sometimes earn the comment "tl;dr."

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Postby Ghona » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:28 am UTC

bbctol wrote:It frightens me how this is possible. At my school, people complain that they have to read two books over the summer, and I'm like, "How the fuck do you not read TEN books over the summer?"

It's not the quantity, it's the quality.
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Postby lukewarm » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:32 am UTC

sunkistbabe1 wrote:...nothing compares to sitting down with a novel of your favorite author or genre.

Nothing compares to standing in a crowded subway car, being pushed and squeezed, and reading, e.g., some novel by Murakami on your smartphone.

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Postby Handsome » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:13 am UTC

Wow, this is depressing news. Very depressing news.
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Postby __Kit » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:36 am UTC

I am not surprised at all.

At the start of this year or teacher assigned us to read 6 books over the year (around 300 pages short) and I think me and one other guy where the only ones who didn't complain.

I used to read a book a week, back when I had craploads of time, and no life, I hardly ever read anymore, usually because I am tired, I have 7 books in my room I am waiting to read in summer.
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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:46 am UTC

Well not including all my Uni books I would probably fall into that category. But I do ALOT of reading on the net.
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Postby pollywog » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:10 am UTC

I have started and finished 2 books in the last 36 hours. The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman, and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. I am halfway through The Amber Spyglass, as well as reading Hamlet, and 6 others. I read many books, and read a lot at school. Not many others do, now that everyone's finished HP7.
But I'm not surprised at this.
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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:30 pm UTC

@Aetre: Oh no, these weren't two specific books. You had to read two books. Period. In three months, when you have tons of free time. And people were complaining.

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Postby Belial » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:06 pm UTC

Aetre wrote:I NEVER read a summer reading book in my life.


With the exception of Fahrenheit 451, me neither.

I had other shit to read, thank you very much, and I was very good at *convincing* people I'd read whatever meaningless and irritating drivel they'd assigned me.
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Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:04 pm UTC

In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled "Reading at Risk" found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.
So, the number of people who read a book jumped by 30% in five years?

I remember hearing (from another source that discussed something like this) that roughly 80% of Americans want to write a book- so a sizeable group of the people who don't read still want to write (or, more accurately, have written something).
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Postby Rasputin » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:24 pm UTC

I only read about one non-school book a year. I read a ton of books as a kid, but it kind of faded away in my teen years, and there's almost nothing left.

I'll stick to my forum and online reading material.
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Re: 1 in 4 people read no books last year

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:39 pm UTC

sunkistbabe1 wrote:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/reading_habits_ap_poll;_ylt=AvPAZ0bapuPsKdeWHKY8kj5vzwcF

It would seem many of the people on this board read more than the average posted in this article. My average is down a little due simply to time, not the desire. I know i used to read more than the average for sure, but it also depended on the size of the books. Some of the mysteries I read were thin compared to some Stephen King, Koontz or Robert Jordan books. A better average would be pages maybe...
.

I was just about to copy this link and send it to my sister.... until I realized she posted the article.

...

I need to read more, it seems.

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Postby frezik » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:05 pm UTC

I guess I'm cynical. 1 in 4 almost seems high to me.

A friend of mine, who doesn't read much, recently took my copy of Hitchikers on vacation. He read it the whole way through and is now begging me for the rest of the series (except I can't seem to find Restaurant). He saw the movie version before, but now understands why I say the movie is a lazy cock-up compared to the book. Now if only I can get him to agree to the same on I, Robot.

I feel like I'm slacking over the years, though. In high school, I commonly went through 1000 pages in a weekend. Now I can hardly get through that in a week.

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Postby lorenith » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:53 pm UTC

frezik wrote:I guess I'm cynical. 1 in 4 almost seems high to me.


Yeah same here, and even people that would enjoy a book these days don't tend to have the time to read any.

Most people seem just flat out refuse to read though, to each his own I guess. I don't think less of someone just because they don't happen to enjoy reading, I still try to encourage them to on occasion.

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Postby VannA » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:28 am UTC

While there is no doubt I read less now, due to the advent of the internet, WoW and general 8-6 working life, I still manage a book or 2 a week, on average.

Reading has always been one of my passions, and one I try to encourage in as many people as possible.

I have no doubt what so ever that people who read less 'stories' (Fiction or or Non) have visualisation and trouble shooting problems and in most cases, grammar and language usage issues as well.
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Postby Thematic-Device » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:42 am UTC

I've always found that the type of book matters a good deal. I can burn through a good novel. If I'm reading a book on economic history it takes me longer.

Similarly I find myself reading quite a bit, just not necessarily from books. The last paper I read was almost entirely sourced from newspapers, magazines, and other similarly brief documents.

Now I've got a host of books I'm working on but I've read probably an equal amount if not more in online legal decisions and sources such as JSTOR, SSRN, Foreign Policy, NYTimes, FT, or Foreign Affairs.

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Postby Malice » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:00 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled "Reading at Risk" found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.
So, the number of people who read a book jumped by 30% in five years?


Precisely. I remembered hearing a few years ago and bemoaning the fact that around 50% of the population went a year without reading a book...

So 25% is actually a real nice improvement. There's hope yet!

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Postby Gunfingers » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:08 pm UTC

I can't help but find it a little odd that you all think it's aweful that so many people don't read. Books are definitely the most classically acceptable way of telling a story or imparting information, but they aren't a pre-requisite for intelligence. I rarely read anymore. With work, school, and home renovation projects i rarely have the time to devote to it. Not when there are other forms of entertainment with a quicker return rate.

And some people simply aren't into it. Some people need visual stimulation to get information or entertainment. Books don't work for them. Some people have a shitty attention span and probably won't make it through a whole book. Other methods are probably better for them too.

I don't consider them or myself unintelligent or uncultured because of it. It's just how some people are. Y'all like to read. Awesome. That's good for you. For the rest of us, it's not that big a deal.

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Postby zenten » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:13 pm UTC

By books do we mean fiction novels, or do random coffee table books and gaming books count?

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Postby sunkistbabe1 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:34 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:I can't help but find it a little odd that you all think it's aweful that so many people don't read. Books are definitely the most classically acceptable way of telling a story or imparting information, but they aren't a pre-requisite for intelligence. I rarely read anymore. With work, school, and home renovation projects i rarely have the time to devote to it. Not when there are other forms of entertainment with a quicker return rate.

And some people simply aren't into it. Some people need visual stimulation to get information or entertainment. Books don't work for them. Some people have a shitty attention span and probably won't make it through a whole book. Other methods are probably better for them too.

I don't consider them or myself unintelligent or uncultured because of it. It's just how some people are. Y'all like to read. Awesome. That's good for you. For the rest of us, it's not that big a deal.


I don't think it's awful, nor have I ever thought that reading automatically equates to intelligence. Its a bit of a leap don't you think. I think its a shame that so many people haven't found reading enjoyable, but I do suppose it's their prerogative.

The article actually relates the lack of reading in many adults to TV and video games - which as you said - give a quicker rate of return. There are a lot of educational TV shows on Discovery channel, which we do watch as well as some Biographies. However, i bet if you look at averages out there, those who do not read and need to watch TV because they need that quicker rate of return - I bet you would find that the group that watches TV solely, has a lower IQ. (that is just my personal opinion on that).

I like to watch TV too, we have a projector set up in our living room that projects a 100" screen - but books provide a much different form of entertainment and stimulation.
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Postby TRM » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:34 pm UTC

I read six books a year for school.

In my own free time I don't read anything, though -- not even Harry Potter. I just don't like reading. My attention span has major issues keeping up with books, however, by contradiction, I don't like it when a book doesn't go into detail to help me vividly fabricate a setting.

I dunno if textbooks count though, cause I read those a lot (I'd guess they wouldn't -- although, arguably, they also augment your vocabulary :) )
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Postby blob » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:37 pm UTC

I still read a lot, but much of it is online.

Which is probably very bad for my eyes, but I'm hoping by the time they stop working there'll be cybernetic replacements available. With infra-red and x-ray vision for that extra raptor-awareness-advantage!
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Postby sandwich » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:50 pm UTC

Ghona wrote:
bbctol wrote:It frightens me how this is possible. At my school, people complain that they have to read two books over the summer, and I'm like, "How the fuck do you not read TEN books over the summer?"

It's not the quantity, it's the quality.


It took me six months to read Dhalgren, but that counts as like five books, right?

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Postby Keroppi » Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:16 am UTC

I used to average about 10-15 books a month, easy. And then my senior year of high school hit, and I was lucky to get 2-3.

I am sad to say that during the summer my reading habits have not improved. I think it may have been because I finally upgraded from dial-up and 256 of RAM to a 2GB/Ram with DSL. So I spend about 10 hours a day online.

:( But at least I read...online... a bit. >.<

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Postby LSK » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:11 am UTC

I used to read 20 books a week, easily. Then I ran out of interesting library books to check out, so I stopped reading for a while. Now I found a new library, so I'm back up to 10 a week or so.

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Postby madjo » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:05 am UTC

I have little time to read books (sadly)
But I listen to them... (podiobooks.com have really saved me on many long trips.)
Does that count as well?
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Postby Phenriz » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:09 pm UTC

Keroppi wrote:I used to average about 10-15 books a month, easy.


LSK wrote:I used to read 20 books a week, easily. Then I ran out of interesting library books to check out, so I stopped reading for a while. Now I found a new library, so I'm back up to 10 a week or so.



How in the hell do you people have this much time?

Or are you reading 200 page 7th grade books with pictures?
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