Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One in four read no books last year

"One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

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 hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.

"I just get sleepy when I read," said Richard Bustos of Dallas, 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.

That choice by Bustos and others is reflected in book sales, which have been flat in recent years and are expected to stay that way indefinitely. Analysts attribute the listlessness to competition from the Internet and other media, the unsteady economy and a well-established industry with limited opportunities for expansion.

When the Gallup poll asked in 2005 how many books people had at least started — a similar but not directly comparable question — the typical answer was five. That was down from 10 in 1999, but close to the 1990 response of six..."

Maybe the publishers haven't seen the shoddy artwork that passes for covers nor the break-in-a-second binding that turns most people off, but here's a clue; women have always read more books, and anyone who frequents a library can vouch for that easily enough. This has convinced the detweillers who make publishing decision's to hire bad women writers instead of looking for good writers, who ARE out there, just hidden from plain sight while the bodice-rippers get aisle seats to grab the passerby rubes. And instead of looking to go high-tech and interest the modern generation of impulse buyers who'll grab onto to anything cool, books get cheaper looking by the nanosecond.

I'll grab a book or two a week, but admittedly read less here in Florida than I did whilst living in Iowa. Lot less to do when snowed in, even with a gorgeous wife.

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