Book Readers of the World

2 Jun

I was driving down the interstate with my nephew when the conversation turned to books. We had been to the movies and saw preview for a book adaptation. He was telling me that I need to read the book before the movie came out. The conversation continued with books that we are currently reading. He has started the Game of Thrones series, and I am reading one about a secret government agency looking into the destruction of the United States by a Mormon senator who knows about a secret message to Abraham Lincoln. It is better than it sounds.Lincoln Myth

At some point, he asked, “What percentage of people have read a book in the past year?”

We began to answer by establishing our parameters. Does this include students who are assigned to read? Are we talking about people in the United States or throughout the world? Does this include people who read religious texts?

After all of that was settled, we unscientifically decided that few people have read one book in the past year.

In the blogging world, there are a lot of people who read. I think that reading is what leads us to write these posts. There are also a lot of blogs focused on books and the people who read them. Being someone who likes to read and is in contact with others who do the same, it is hard to imagine that we are the minority. However, I believe that is true.

Reading is good on many levels, but the most important is that it keeps the brain active. It does not matter is someone is reading about the great philosophers or a drugstore romance novel. The brain is working.Romance

People who do not read books are missing out on a lot of fun. Books can take people on great adventures in far off lands. They can scare people or lead them into a world of fantasy. They can educate people and introduce them to ideas they never before considered.

Books can also lead people to one of my favorite places – the bookstore. Due to technology, these places are fading fast, but I hope they never go away completely. I can spend a long time in bookstores looking through the shelves. Many times, I have sat in a chair a scanned several books before deciding which one to buy. Bookstores are places where people can mingle or find a quiet corner to relax. They are places that offer us countless adventures for our imaginations.

When I go to a bookstore, I always try to make a purchase. Even if it is just a magazine, I will buy something. It is my small way to helping these places stay viable.

People need books, and we need places to purchase them. It is hard for me to imagine that people make the choice not to read. However, I know that there are more of them than there are of us.

8 Responses to “Book Readers of the World”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong June 2, 2014 at 18:29 #

    How weird is it when you go into a house for the first time and they don’t have any books at all. No bookcases. Not even a newspaper in sight. It’s eerie. And sad.

    • Rick June 2, 2014 at 18:46 #

      There are too many books in my house, but I hate to get rid of them.

  2. DyingNote June 3, 2014 at 03:44 #

    One of the best parts of reading is the way it can develop your imagination with its potential ability to open up minds. In discussions that I’ve had with friends over books we’ve read, it’s always interesting to know the images conjured up in each one of us to place a passage. They’re often surprisingly different.

    • Rick June 3, 2014 at 13:51 #

      True. People can read the same book in different ways.

  3. Andrew Petcher June 3, 2014 at 05:57 #

    I have been completely unable to make a successful transition to ebooks and I am quite incapable of disposing of my book collection.

    • Rick June 3, 2014 at 13:52 #

      I have made the move because it is easier to read on the treadmill. However, I still can’t get rid of books.

  4. Lunar Euphoria June 5, 2014 at 01:57 #

    I had a very similar conversation this week with a friend who’s a writer. But of instead of asking “What percentage of people have read a book in the past year?” my question was “What percentage of people on Facebook have read a book in the past year?” I speculated it was low. My theory is that that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter tend to suck up people’s leisure time and reward/promote a short attention span. Reading a novel requires time and sustained attention.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong about this as I don’t have accounts on either site….but then again, I probably read a lot of books compared to the majority.

    • Rick June 5, 2014 at 02:39 #

      I do not really have a good theory, but I believe that the vast majority of people do not read. Although, reading has probably decreased through the generations. In the old days, that was one of the few forms of entertainment.

      I must confess that I have a Twitter account, and it definitely sucks up time. I think that if people want to do something bad enough, then they will take the time to do it. Unfortunately, reading is way down the list.

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