Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reading in the news

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. . . .

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.

"I just get sleepy when I read," said Richard Bustos, a habit with which millions of Americans can doubtless identify. Bustos, a 34-year-old project manager for a telecommunications company, said he had not read any books in the last year and would rather spend time in his backyard pool.
Read the rest:
Poll: 1 in 4 U.S. adults read no books last year (International Herald Tribune)

Related post
American reading habits

comments: 2

stefan said...

The Associated Press-Ipsos poll results are disturbing for many reasons, most of them obvious to anyone who regularly visits this site. But while it’s pretty easy to tick off a familiar list of disadvantages for the non-reader—poorer academic performance, a lower average income level, a limited world view, an atrophied imagination, and (gasp!) no Proust—it might be worth mentioning some advantages, beyond good grades and earning potential, that fall to the reader.

According to Sunil Iyengar, the director of research and analysis for the National Endowment for the Arts and co-author of “Leisure Time, Reading, and the Competition for Young Minds,” "readers of literature were twice as likely as nonreaders to participate in a variety of civic and community events, such as playing and attending sports, canoeing, hiking, camping, exercising, and volunteering or doing charity work. Equally significant, avid readers on the whole were more likely than infrequent readers to engage in those activities. Leisure reading thus conveys benefits that are civic no less than academic.” Readers interested in learning more can check out Mr. Iyengar’s article (originally published in Commentary in Education Week, April 25, 2007) at the On Education web site.

Michael Leddy said...

Here's a link to the piece Stefan cited: Leisure Time, Reading, and the Competition for Young Minds.

Thanks, Stefan!