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80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

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posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 05:12 PM
I’m pretty shocked by this. Everyone I can think of, even children in my family bought and read at least one book last years. I’d be willing to say with certainty that 90% of the family I am involved with did so, and I come from a pretty big family on my mother’s side. I got out of the school system I was in just as it was going to hell; I can’t imagine how bad it has gotten since. I’m sure this helps to contribute, and now so many adults are focused on working hard to make ends meet, maybe they don’t have time for a minor luxury like books and some relaxation time to read them.

[edit on 17-11-2008 by rapinbatsisaltherage]

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 05:46 PM

Originally posted by BeyondBelow
wow this is truly a sad point made about americans and their total lack of desire to learn and understand new info.

In all fairness, many Americans could just be replacing this medium for another, as far as learning new info is concerned

The bulk of my reading material comes from online sources.

And I are be well reader.

I love books, because for me, it has an almost ancient mysticism to it. Something I don't experience while clicking the back button

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:09 PM
reply to post by badgerprints

Duh?????? If 80% of US did not read ot buy a book and 80% are supposed to bechristian, whothe hell is reading the bible?

Please don't beat me too hard I go a bastard of a headache right now

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:13 PM
The only fiction that I read is stuff like "1984" "We" "Fahrenheit 451" ect. My main bulk of reading is consumed by non fiction stuff that actually teaches me something I didnt know how to do already. I just can't see spending alot of time on entertainment type books that don't help me learn new things.

I find the study very sad, however I dont think its really much different in other parts of the world. If you read nothing but fiction, thats really no different than someone doing something else as a form of entertainment. I think the study would be more acurate if it only compared the non entertainment type of books. Back in the day, there was not too many forms of cheap entertainment so most people read alot of books. I bet once radio was invented, and later TV, we could track the slow exodus from written entertainment to electronical entertainment.

If I buy a fiction book, I tend to regret it afterwards as I only read fiction books once or twice, but a how-to book will be referenced for years until I memorize the info.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:13 PM
reply to post by moocowman

Duh?????? If 80% of US did not read ot buy a book and 80% are supposed to bechristian, whothe hell is reading the bible?

I think most people use the same bible throughout their life, many times family bibles are passed down from one generation to the next.

I doubt that the bible was considered in this but then again, maybe both the bible and the phone book were considered reading material.


posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:15 PM
The competition for our ATTENTION is relentless.
All driven by the consumerist societies we, for the most part, have conspired to fund.
Tremendous amounts of money are channelled into carefully crafted advertisements & campaigns , many of which recently have targeted a younger customer base.
We are , what we are , because of the choices we`ve made in our lives, both as individuals & societies .
But there is always the possibility of reversing these trends. And with less disposable incomes forecast for the foreseeable future , .......anyone for a cheap book ?

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:18 PM
80% didn't buy a book?

Damn, I know that my family and myself have made up the difference. I think most of my paycheck goes to books!

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:18 PM

Originally posted by eradown
I think the statistic is wrong. The bookstore in my area is almost always full of people. Someone is trying to make people believe Americans are less literate than we really are.

I agree with your assessment. I live in a rural area with a populace approaching 50,000. We have 2 libraries, one within the city limits and one on the outskirts for us country folks. Our libraries are packed from the moment the doors open till closing.Our local schools utilize the libraries extensively.We also have a Bookmobile that visits local nursing homes, assisted living apartments as well as smaller towns within our county. Our local bookstores, 2 at the malls and 1 that sells new and used books are always full.

Oprah has her bookclub among others, would be interesting to see the average books purchased by her endorsement.

I personally have purchased less books this year, I now find enjoyment reading online.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:24 PM
I read about 2-3 books per week, it truly it brain food.

so 20% of the population are keeping the entire book industry alive?
that is incredible.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:41 PM

Originally posted by badgerprints
The average published writer spends about 8 months (estimated from many sources) writing a book....Include rewrites and editing and I believe a year would be a very low actual time investment from the average writer. So lets just give it a year of effort as a nice even number.
Having read 3600 books myself. I can honestly say that I've had the benefit of 3600 years worth of other peoples efforts.
Think about that. 50 lifetimes of creativity, thought, emotions, wisdom, dreams, experiences. Let that sink in for a few .

That's a nice way of thinking about it. I can honestly say i've never thought to equate the hours of reading with the greater number of hours the author spent writing. It's not a perfect metric, obviously, but it's yet another way to think about the value from reading. Nicely done.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:46 PM
I question whether bookreading is actually in decline. A hundred years ago, how many americans homes had more than a Bible, a dictionary, and the farmers almanac?

I will be brief, but say that the literacy rate is the difference between classes. the 70% who don't read books are the working and lower/middle class. The definition of "pop music" and "pop culture." They are the source of every top ten list.

The average American ( or human, for that matter ) has little use for grand ideas, while they are digging a trench or checking computer welds on an assembly line. They don't need Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason to get drunk at the corner tavern on saturday night.

That's why marx saw the workers' revolution as being led by what he called the intelligensia (which included him, of course). The false consciousness of the proletariat means that they are incapable of recognizing the nature of their own oppression. In that sense, socialism is inherently elitist, that leadership by the elite is actually in the best interest of the proles.

Perhaps reading enjoyed a brief popularity during the postwar boom in America; but ever since, people have focused on more important matters.

like, watching tv and shopping.


posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 06:51 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble, but people do not only not read books, but they are also not reading newspapers. Know why? Its called the 'internet.'

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by dr_strangecraft

Strangecraft, strange that you took this opportunity to craft a case against socialism

Apparently you are unaware, or unwilling, to acknowledge that Marx was not the founder of socialism. There were socialist thinkers before him, and there was after him. You can equate Marxists later work to socialism if you want. You can think the two synonymous if you'd like. It's not accurate in any way though. Marx decided later that his idea of a socialist system could only be achieved with the added element of autocracy. Many socialists thinkers would disqualify that form being socialism at that point to begin with

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 07:45 PM
I, also, am a voracious reader. I'll read darn near anything - even a nasty ole People or Us magazine if I am in the drs. office or something, and forgot to stick a book in my bag, which is rare.

During the week, I read a lot on the Net and educational books. They are not so hard to close when it's time to go to bed. The weekends are for my novel reading when I can stay up all night and read. If I get involved in a book, I'd rather read than sleep and it's difficult to function at work if I have stayed up all night reading!

My educational type books I give to people I think might also be interested in them or the library. My novels/fiction I buy and return to Books to Share. I've traded in so many paperback novels, I can reload my book bag for less than $10. I do love that place!

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 08:26 PM

Originally posted by West Coast
Sorry to burst your bubble, but people do not only not read books, but they are also not reading newspapers. Know why? Its called the 'internet.'

This is true, and is a blessing and curse too, especially in regards to multimedia and acceptability of the actual validity of the source.

The Internet takes no "investment" besides the initial set up, whereas you choose a book usually quite carefully.

The multimedia of the internet and other forms of such media does allow a much better representation, learning and explanation of the topic.

However just like internet pages it usually is in a very "short" time frame, either by choice in internet pages read, or short clips.

Many feel they have then got real understanding of that topic, without questioning, or reading the referenced materials too.

I see this abound much in places such as ATS where people will debunk without even watching, reading the OP's source first.

The ability to jump from topic to topic quickly, and to have no investment in the learning of that information has dumbed down the population IMHO, with many people having their idea and worldveiw of their experience, based on 5 minutes read of someone elses view or nice video's / Pic's.

The subconscious Meme prevalent in the last and following generations too of of MSM " its on the TV so it must be true" mentality has done much harm to real knowledge.

A book involves in both a fictional and factual style of reading a clear progression from start to end of the story or topic, it involves using your own mind more and bringing into play your imagination to create the picture or representation of the information or story, which always makes the learning of it easier and often also to deeper levels of understanding of the topic, theme of the story or information, sparking of connections with other already information that can be linked in your mind.

To watch a even good documentary can not be as effective as reading a book on a subject, as it is more of a passive experience, but it lends itself to human nature as we are usually very visual in our outlook.

The imagination is a muscle, and we as a world IMHO all need to go to the mental gym more, which will build the muscles of creativity, eureka moments and also true deep understanding. (current thread contributors excluded of course)

Though even we avid readers of books find ourselves here and so will that 20% soon be 10% in time, as we too become lazy in our way of finding information and experiencing stories..

I always find that when you have read say a really good book, and then a Film is made about it later, that no matter how good the film my experience of reading it was more personal and even vivid in imagination of the story, and the screenplay never comes close.

We colour and experience in our minds from the projections created by the words we read a much more rich tapestry and emotional experience than can be achieved by passive means, though I have found there is one exception to this, and it seems to based on gender.

Think on the popularity of Mills and Boon books etc, for many years, and continuing today, but the male predominance for that Actual Visual image of pornography.

Its the only area I know where the screen is ahem... better than the word but as said seems to be based on the male experience only, whereas I have found that cross gender preference for the emotional intensity generated by books against other passive media...

I have discussed this with partners in the past and found it intriguing, how a Mills and Boon can be so appealing for women still with the plethora of visual media for them, whereas the old stories of the days gone by in Playboy etc would hardly raise any attention
in the modern male mind due to our conditioning by culture.

It certainly lends something this last point to the long held statement that females are driven by more emotional and feeling desires than men's surface or visual prompts. I then find it strange though that many women might say if asking for example what car someone had "it was a red one", whera's in this regard even having stating the above about this preference within the male mind on this subject alone is predominately "visual" the reply would not probably mention the colour, or it wouldn't matter much at all, the Type of car or engine?status of it would be the response...

Just my 2c lol


posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 08:45 PM
"reading isn't cool and it takes too long"
I think I've read more this year than I have in the last 5 years of my life. I hate it when people reference all they know to media and hearsay (even though those aren't always wrong) "this nation likes it's information fast food style". I think society is growing impatient, the more advanced technology gets, the faster we want an answer to something. Although I do think we read more than we used to like someone else on here said... -

I myself have grown an increasing interest in some modern psychology/philosophy , one of my favs - "the head trip", by Jeff warren.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 08:51 PM
reply to post by badgerprints

I believe Reading empowers the mind to a greater extent than any other resource available to man. I have yet to find anyone that immerses themselves into the written word as I do (in my area). your statistics are very alarming, and very pathetic. How are minds ever to grow, if they are not fed?......Books are an explicit part of my daily life, and as much as I like delving into the internet to read, nothing matches, nor surpasses the Written word within a book..............Paper my friends, there's nothing like a book in hand.......Plus at times it makes a good, may I say great, fly swatter.

Having a library of many thousands of books, I still to this day get giddy walking into that room, as a child in a candy store. I wouldn't change that for the world. my preference is non-fiction as I like to further the mind to its limits, from physics to biography's I can't get enough. May I say to all here that read, you are a rare breed. Imagine if all written words from books to the internet were to disappear, who would have the knowledge to save this world and rebuild it, none but those who have given time to read!

[edit on 17-11-2008 by rikk7111]

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 09:09 PM
great books

here are some others

T. Coraghassen Boyle's Short Stories-incredible range of emotion and a vocabulary virtuoso

Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 09:12 PM
You're not alone mate, 80% of Britons read a copy of The Sun last year. Do your newspapers have a foreign corresponant? We're quite lucky, I think.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 09:15 PM
I love books and can't imagine not reading.

I do think there's a tendency among bookreaders to discriminate against other forms of reading without giving the matter much consideration, and I do think that the statistics are somewhat deceptive in that way.

But I also think that people are moving more and more into demanding audiovisual input. I don't know, I try not to project, but for me watching TV is just not nearly so fulfilling as reading a book, and when I try to learn about something from a video or radio show my understanding and ability to analyze the information is reduced.

I hate YouTube video posts, for instance, because I really have a hard time concentrating on absorbing information that way.

BTW, for those who love Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman, I highly recommend China Mieville – pretty much anything he's written but especially Perdido Street Station.

Also an author named Ian R. MacLeod who wrote The Light Ages.

[edit on 11/17/08 by americandingbat]

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