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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 Jun, 13 2009 @ 04:50 PM
80% didn't read a single book in a whole year.
That's sick. Not a single book? Even if you don't like fiction, 80% didn't read the bestsellers, a self help book, textbook? How? It's crazy.

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 02:46 AM
New books,

Best since last post is 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes'. I'm also going back through some of the stuff I've read before. I just finished 'The Talisman' by King and Straub.
I understand there is a new Preston/Child book out but haven't gotten my hands on it yet. 'Still Life With Crows' is next on the stack.

I'm reading books on writing and am looking for good books on writing style, information, formatting. I'm working on a few ideas for a short story or novella and if it works out maybe a novel.

I am actually trying to figure out the best way to set microsoft word up so that it will be easy to go back and edit. Most of what I've found on the internet has been wordy but nonspecific.
Any published writers out there with advice?

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 01:05 PM
I do not know how to react when someone tells me they haven't read a book since high school/college. One of my first thoughts is "great example you set for your children" followed by "and this person is allowed to vote!". I don't voice my thoughts, rather, I just ask "why not read?". I get the answers others have mentioned; not enough time, learn stuff from TV or the internet, I know all that I need, and so on.

I have been reading 2-3 books per week since I was a teen, as I am now 61, that's a lot of books. Real books, the kind you hold in your hands and turn the paper pages. Old-fashioned and snobbish to some, comforting to me. I have recently been giving ebooks a try and I will admit that in some circumstances I do prefer them. For how-to and some technical books they have been better on the work site for hobbies.

Few activities can beat wandering through a great book store and none can beat Powell's City of Books in Portland Or. One city block, 6 stories with over 1,000,000 books. A few times a year I make the 4 hour drive just to spend a couple of days at Powell's. Wonderful place! Has been described as the largest bookstore in the world or the largest bookstore in the US. Whatever, it is HUGE!


posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 01:10 PM
That's so sad. Both my wife and I are readers. I usually read about 1 book per week. I got hooked on reading early in life and started reading Science Fiction when I was about 10 years old.

The kids SF book section was only one small bookshelf so I started reading from the adult section of the library where I was introduced to Robert Heinlein and other great SF authors. I was hooked.

When our kids were born, we read to them a lot. Many times throughout the day we would read books to our kids. They have also become readers. They also graduated top in their class in High School and went on to distinguish themselves in college.

When I read something like this, it breaks my heart. Perhaps many of the problems that our society faces today stem from the fact that most people don't read!

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 02:05 PM
I'm not such an avid reader like many of you, I read 1 or 2 books per month but I like reading.

About the future of books...
Most books will probably become PDF ebooks-only in near future which is good for both readers (more people will read it) and authors (if the selling system works and they earn some money). Paper books will be expensive and rare... But IMHO there's a big difference between an ebook and a "real" book. I just hate reading books from the monitor, I downloaded some books (ehm... about UFOs
) and I hated the monitor-reading so much that I bought the paper versions (which was quite expensive because they are not sold here and I ordered them from England).

Originally posted by badgerprints
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
(Source: Authors Guild,

These are some shocking numbers for me... I don't know if you can compare it but I recently read something about book sales here in the Czech republic and a book is considered succesful if it sell more that 3000 copies. If you compare that there are about 10 million Czechs and (I guess) 300 million Americans? That's 30 times more...

Anyway, I think it is not as bad as it seems. The media change, the question "Why should I (read books)?" is quite right. In the world of TV, movies, internet, Youtube and virtual reality there will be soon very little place for books. Books definitely make you imagine, think and wonder but they are not so "intense" (I don't know what other word should I use) as movies in which you have video and audio in addition to the story. In book you have the story only.

It is not necessary a bad thing as long as people still have their own opinions and are not manipulated easily.

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 01:47 AM

Originally posted by marcus33cz

It is not necessary a bad thing as long as people still have their own opinions and are not manipulated easily.

I don't disagree with that but I wish more people would consider what they are missing.
The number of people on the internet is huge but a large portion of those don't commit to anything beyond a few e mails and bouncing around reading blurbs and blogs. They rarely commit to any long term thought or effort on one item.

The internet gives instant gratification and gives people variety, which is nice but reading books takes personal commitment and is very rewarding. I for one would rather swim across a deep mountain lake than splash back and forth between a bunch of bathtubs and kiddie pools.

If that sounded condescending it wasn't meant to be. I'm just trying to give an illustration on the differences of the internet and a good book.

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 01:59 AM
Well I feel sorry for that 80% they are really missing out. I buy books weekly. My local bookstores love me as does Target (bookshelves)... I read almost anything! I have so many favorites to list, but one I have read many many times is "Little Women,"

I am currently reading, "Alien Agenda" and a book I got on Tesla the other day.

[edit on 7/22/2009 by mblahnikluver]

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 02:47 AM
reply to post by badgerprints

I think it's a little better here in Central America. Many of us carry books where ever we go. Maybe it's because we're always waiting in some sort of line, maybe it's because the pace is slower here so we still enjoy a book in the park. Maybe it's just that we love to read...

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 03:01 AM
I spend a lot of time reading articles online. However that is not a book. Since pc's became pretty common, my book reading really dropped off. I used to read fiction books a lot before I had a pc and the internet, cable and/or satellite. I do remember getting into a good book and looking forward to reading more as much as some kids enjoy playing a new favorite pc or video game.

My imagination was good enough to see the story unfold. I could easily imagine so many fantastic but unseen movies that could be produced from so many of these novels. I remember even reading a 10 book series I believe it was called Mission to Planet Earth by L Ron Hubbard if I remembered the details correctly. I liked Isaac Asimov and his robot series. I enjoyed the personal robot stories and the robot stories where the robots evolved and multiplied on other planets until they eventually questioned the definition of what it is to be human. I also enjoyed a number of fiction books by Pierres Anthony (hopefully I spelled his name correct) and a few others. I remember reading one of his books where a guy was going to commit suicide but then he accidently killed someone called Death and then he took over his place. Lots of good books.

After I got my first pc my time spent on reading books to completion almost came to a stop. I did buy 2 or 3 books last year but I did not finish them. They were technical books and nonfiction. I still read alot but it seems to be more blogs when I do have time to read.


posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 03:13 AM
I have to admit that apart from the books you have to read at school as part of the curriculum, until the age of 26 i had never read a work of fiction.

Everything i had read after leaving school was for qualifications, non-fiction and reference books.

Then one day at work i picked up a kids Harry Potter book, i'd seen the film so thought i'd have a quick browse at the book. I couldn't put it down.

Since then, i read whenever i can. A mixture of fiction and non-fiction, but i try and get through a couple of books a month at least.

I encourage my kids to read too, the library is a weekly trip for us and i leave them to it. They spend hours in there without a moan, and these are kids that are very outdoorsy and active kids.

My only problem is that i have tons of books now, i can't bear to get rid of them lol.

I love the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, i have all his books now and they get re-read often. Neil Gaiman too, i'm in the middle of reading Neverwhere for about the 100th time at the moment lol.


[edit on 22/7/09 by CX]

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 08:37 AM
I think alot of people don't have the time,or atleast have convinced themselves they don't.I don't like the elitist attitude of some book readers though,just because some people do not read books hardly means they are illiterate and can't read or write.I have never came across someone in my short life who could not read or write.I read a dig about video games and equating them to reality tv etc in one of the posts..depends what video game,Half life or Call of duty yes hardly something to get the cogs turning,but games like planescape torment are very philosophical and basically read like books,and surpass many great fictional books that i have read.In this information age there are so many ways to acquire information and no one way is better than another imo.


posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 08:56 AM

Originally posted by Solomons
I don't like the elitist attitude of some book readers though,just because some people do not read books hardly means they are illiterate and can't read or write.

Very good point.

The ten years i didn't read a work of fiction, it didn't mean i was thick. I was working on qualifications and work related stuff.

I saw a guy once in Starbucks with a book on his table, and i asked him what he was reading.

He laughed and told me he didn't have a clue.....the book, and the glasses he was wearing were ploy to look intelligent to women.


posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 04:04 AM
reply to post by Solomons

I don't really think it is so much an elitist thing as it is disappointment over the very good thing that others are missing out on. Most of the readers I know use periodicals, internet and the like. Most of the literate people I know who use the internet are readers but not all read books.

The fact that there is a large portion of the population that doesn't have an interest in reading at all is the real sad part. I give lots of my books away to friends who I think would like them and encourage people to read becase I think they will enjoy it, not because I feel they need to be rehabilitated or changed.
If I came off as sounding like an elitist it wasn't intentional. I'm just a rabid book geek.

[edit on 26-7-2009 by badgerprints]

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 04:14 AM
reply to post by badgerprints

As Egon says in GhostBusters "Print is Dead"...

Honestly what do you expect? When we've got video games that let us experience and interact with the adventure, violence and romance we'd used to get from novels and books and with WAY less intelligence needed

In all seriousness though we're being programmed this way, we're conditioned to NEED ultra-convenience and technology. Kids these days grow bored if they are without their cell phone or ipod for more than a few minutes. Its this constant need to be entertained and distracted, this need for almost continuous escapism from reality and no one seems to notice as the world shifts farther and farther away from paper and deeper into the digital dark age. Everything is being moved online all the time and hardly anything is actually on paper, cashless society here we come.

I like reading but I don't do much of it, I find it hard to get into novels and usually ended up bored or frustrated with how authors handle their characters and plots so I put down the book and work on my own stories

Non-fiction on the other hand is my specialty, I spend a lot of time researching both online and elsewhere and that involves a lot of reading... I have to admit though I was one of the ones who didn't buy a book last year, I did, however, get quite a few from the local library

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 04:20 AM

Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
reply to post by badgerprints

I like reading but I don't do much of it, I find it hard to get into novels and usually ended up bored or frustrated with how authors handle their characters and plots so I put down the book and work on my own stories

I understand that. After 35 years of reading other peoples stuff I found that I actually enjoy writing.

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 04:36 AM
As an engineer that had been unemployed for about a year, I read avidly, because I had both the time and inclination to do so.

But I now have a very demanding factory job that leaves me very physically tired when I get home.
With family commitments and necessary sleep, it leaves little time for anything but a brief sniff around the internet to catch up with current world affairs.

But I agree, I find the total lack of reading among the general population quite alarming..

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 06:00 AM
These statistics are a great shame. It is sad that such a high number of people no longer read books.

I love books and they are losing out big time!

Just to throw some quick thoughts into the mix:

Literacy skills - we are constantly told that standards are getting lower. Is this the cause or result of less book reading?

TV/Films - Seems to be more popular than reading and with the technology and special effects which were not available ten years ago, the medium is getting better.

Internet/Mobile Phones - a new technology. Most 6-11 year olds own a mobile phone and spend large amounts of their time texting/taking photos and using Facebook etc.

Short attention spans - the younger generations need information faster and in a more condensed way. They also seem to have shorter attention spans, flitting from one thing to the next. You only have to compare the speed of kids programmes today with those of a generation ago (today's 30 somethings) to see a huge difference.

Educational - Texts like Shakespear and the classics can be hard to read and need effort. This may put off would-be readers. These texts should be balanced alongside more modern ones. I did not enjoy Macbeth/Chaucer much (you actually have to translate some of this!), but loved Animal Farm/1984.

Personally, I don't read as much as I used to mainly due to having a young family, be we do read with/to them and both kids enjoy books. My daughter (who is 2) loves books and fills in some of the words for me). My son (6) is reading more grown up books and reads silently "in his head". If I find a book I like I can often read it in one or two sittings.

Makes me feel nostalgic - I even used to read in the bath ;p

[edit on 26-7-2009 by YarlanZey to correct as I don't have my glasses!]

[edit on 26-7-2009 by YarlanZey]


posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 06:22 AM
All this said though, does it really matter where you get the knowledge from?

I bet a lot of the 80% majority have read things online, watched documentarys and the likes.

Also, i wonder how many of the more successfull people in the world read books regularly? I bet some are too busy for reading.

So with that said, how much has reading improved your quality of life, for yourself or for your family?

Maybe you read tons but don't work? Is that a good thing?


posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 09:50 AM
reply to post by badgerprints

I am a reader. Three books a week for years, and sometimes more than that. I figure I have read over 10,000 books in life, and I know people who never read anything. I have educated myself from reading books, and anyone can do this.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 02:58 PM
I can't imagine how anyone can crawl in bed and go to sleep without doing some reading first. I always have a book, usually several, on my bedside shelf, one in my handbag, one in the truck. I do a lot of research online and enjoy a number of forums and blogs, but there is nothing that can quite compare with curling up on the sofa with a good book in my hands.

I love going to Books to Share and trading in all my paperbacks for new ones. Can spend hours there, find almost anything, and leave without spending a fortune.

For my more serious reading, I usually buy a hardcover from Amazon or somewhere online. We got a library in my little town not too long ago and although they usually don't have what I am looking for on the shelves, I get inter-library loans. Am headed there in just a bit with a list of 3 or 4 I want.

I don't have any problem with parting with the paperbacks, which are usually fiction, but those hardcovers I buy, I keep and continually refer to in alot of my research.

Everybody in my family reads, even the little ones. Since 3 of them don't yet know how to read, but they love being read to and books for them are always on the Christmas shopping list.

I could never be without books and keep my sanity!

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