11.21.2009

Today is National Day of Reading: Turn off the PC and the Blackberry for a while...pick up a book!

by Jesse Muhammad

I once read a quote that asks, "Is man or woman who can read but doesn't, any better than the man or woman who can't read at all?"

That is definitely something to think about. In a time where we're so addicted to our laptops, Blackberry phones, Palm Pre handhelds, text messaging, YouTube videos, music, movies, sports and television, picking up a book has almost become a lost art.

According to survey from PubTrack Consumer, Americans spend a mere average of 3.9 hours a week reading books but spends 15 hours a week online and 12 hours watching television. Americans also spend 4 hrs a week reading magazines and newspapers.

The PubTrack survey also notes that forty-five percent of Americans over the age of 13 read a book in 2008 and one in three of them were over the age of 55. The average age of a book reader is 44, but one in three readers is over the age of 55. American women are more likely to be book readers than men.

According to a 2008 Harris Interactive poll, one in five Americans (20%) say they have not purchased any books in the past year. Groups ages 18-31 said they have less time to read.

Here is staggering statistics posted by self-publishing consultant Dan Poynter several years ago.
  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
  • 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
  • 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
I think you get the message.

This is why I am supporting the efforts of the Conversations Book Club led by Cyrus Webb and Shadow Play Entertainment in their call for a National Day of Reading on November 21. Between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm, their calling people to host Reading Parties in all 50 states. Here is a complete list of what is happening in your state to observe this day: Reading Parties In All 50 States

I am going to observe this day by finishing a book a recently purchased titled "The 50th Law" by 50 Cent and Robert Greene. Pretty good book so far!