Monday, September 10, 2007

Dwindling readership

I can no longer ignore the elephant in the room.

I read an article about a study that found fewer people read books in 2006. On average, last year, women read seven books and men read five. This confirmed a suspicion I’d had for a couple of years now that readers are becoming extinct.

Why is this happening?

I have a couple of theories, and I’ve heard a couple more. One theory is that people just don’t have time to read anymore. Personally, I can’t imagine not having time to read, but that’s just me. A co-worker often laments not having time to read. In the next breath, she shares a long list of television programs she watches faithfully, even taping them if she’s not going to be home. Hmmm. Perhaps if she turned off the television for half an hour to an hour, she’d have time to read. If she really wanted to.

In contrast, another co-worker is a single mother with two children, a full-time job and a good-size social network. She averages about two books a month.

Books have ever-increasing competition for time and discretionary income – Internet, cable television, computer games. It’s just a little disheartening that the competition seems to be winning. Adds a desperate edge to, “Read any good books lately?”

Do you have any theories regarding the dwindling readership?

Patricia

6 comments:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Interesting. I have no idea what to do about this problem. But, on another note, I just read a short article in JET that Black actually read more than Whites and Latinos this past year. Interesting...

Gwyneth

patricia sargeant said...

Hi, Gwyneth! Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.

The information in JET is very encouraging news. Thank you for sharing. I wonder if we can draw a correlation between the growing list of Black titles and the readership? Great news all around, I think.

Nine to Five Diva said...

Hi Patricia,

Gwyneth provided some great news and I am so happy to read this (no pun intended of course.

Charlotte

patricia sargeant said...

Hi, Charlotte. Thank you for stopping by and posting a comment. I agree that Gwyneth provided great news that I'm also very happy to read. ;) Best!

bettye griffin said...

From all the people I see leaving the pharmaceutical company where I'm contracting at with those carry-on luggage pieces on wheels containing office laptops and documents, I'd guess people are working more.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I average two books a weekend, my only problem is slowly running out of good books in my favorite genres!

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