Reading: More Info than you can shake a stick at

Chris on O’Donnell Web quotes a study that says this:

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.

70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year. No wonder our kids have trouble reading! No one in their families read!

-Note: When I say “our,” I mean American. My kids have no trouble reading. They read all the time. Sometimes it scares me how much they know that I didn’t teach them.

I’ve read 70 books, at least, in the last month. Not great literature, most of it, but I read it.

And then there’s the 70% of American adults haven’t been in a bookstore in five years. Well, that explains the proliferation of dating services… Most of my favorite dates involved going to the bookstore.

There is some good news in the study that Atypical Homeschool referenced.

One-third of the books sold worldwide are sold in the US.
–Overseas Book Service, December 8, 1998.

And, no, I did not buy them all. The Common Room appears to buy as many books as I do. (Although they have an excuse in that they resell them.)

And here’s some depressing statistics for my book–which I don’t think is a children’s book, despite the young age of the main character. (She goes from 9 to 11 in the first book. She ages six years in the next book. And three in the one after that.)

“6 million have written a manuscript.
6 million manuscripts are making the rounds.
Out of every 10,000 children’s books, 3 get published.
–Jerrold Jenkins. 15 May 99.”

This quote indicates that SOMEONE is watching way too much TV, because they have to make up for me, and LOTS of someones aren’t reading, because I’m doing a lot more reading than that. (Or would they throw my data out because I would skew the information so much?)

Each day, people in the US spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
–Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment bankers

I’m going to have to do some math…

The time Americans spend reading books.
1996: 123 hours
2001: 109 hours
–Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment bankers

I think I’d have to average about 2005: 1040 hours for myself.

I always wondered where the crazy guy got his statistics. Even this one isn’t as bad as his:

1992: 20% of adults in the U.S. read at or below the fifth grade level.
–National Adult Literacy Survey reported in Publishers Weekly, January 6, 2003.

And more not-so-great news for my novel:

5,000 novels, 200 first novels and 100 scripts are purchased each year.
–Ridley Pearson, Maui Writers Conference.