Saturday, August 7, 2010

you can find "love" in novel and "oven" but that's an entirely different story

I realize how ironic it is to be blogging about this,
but here goes nothing.

A friend of mine showed me this Donald Miller article, and it got me to thinking. In a nutshell, it states that more than 50% of Americans will not complete a book post high school.
Not one. [Jaw drop.]

As someone who is passionate about reading and is planning on going into publishing, this is scary stuff.

It doesn't really take a rocket science to figure out the reasoning behind it. We have so many options for entertainment, sticking your nose in a thick novel probably isn't the first think you want to do after a long day of work [well, unless you're a freak like me.]

I hate going to bookstores. Really, I do. The whole process is kind of cruel. It's like taking a fat kid on a diet to the best bakery in town. He can look and drool over the thick chocolate eclairs and crumbly strawberry cakes all he wants, but he can't eat anything. I'm a poor college student and buying books isn't always a luxury I can afford. So I try and steer clear of Barnes & Noble when the bank account is running low [which is usually is.]

I have to resort to the library. It's such a shame returning their books.
I want to be someone with rooms full of books. I discovered BookShelfPorn [best name ever?] this week. And let me just say, my mouth was watering. There is nothing more beautiful than a room filled with books. I mean, doesn't everyone want a room like this?
[Screw Kindles.]

I guess that article I read just got me really depressed. We would all rather read 10-15 blogs everyday filled with pictures than crack a book open. Are all my future career endeavors [editor/literary agent/novelist] becoming, well, irrelevant?

It's time to get back to the books, people. Reading really oes make a difference [and I'm not talking about Seventeen Magazine.] If we have time to faithfull watch the Bachelorette every week [totally called Roberto] and squeeze our daily two hours of facebook stalking, then we all should have enough time to read. Right? And I think, books may be just a tad more beneficial.
Then again, I'm biased.

If you're not consistently reading, why not?


  1. It AMAZES me how many students I have that haven't read a full book. Blows my mind. I am constantly reading plays -- part of my job description as a director, I guess. I need to read more books. I love them so much but I let the school year get the best of me and I want mindless entertainment after all the text analysis and stuff I do at school. Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog! I'm followin' you! How awesome you got to play the role of Annie!

  2. screw Kindles: yes.

    Not only do I not like visiting bookstores because I can't buy all the books there, but I also dislike working at a bookstore because I just want to sit and read everything I'm shelving!

  3. You know what's odd? When I started *writing* a blog, I found myself wanting to get back to reading books more often.

  4. I could not live without books. I don't know how some people do it. How does one go their whole life without having finished ONE book?? I think there's so much we can learn from books, they simply make us more complete sort of people I believe.

  5. Jenna, on your 20sb post about this blog post, it says 'blogpost' instead of 'blogspot', so people clicking can't find your blog. Thought I'd let you know incase you want to fix it!

    Here in the UK, the statistics aren't as high as that, but they are still higher than they should be. I worked in a bookshop for two years where two of the five staff members didn't read books. It's unfalthomable to me still that the could be surrounded with that wealth of stock (and a 20%) discount) and not even be tempted. I spent most of my pay on books, and read about 3 a week still!

    I trained as a teacher, and we tried very, very hard to keep people interested in reading - there are lots of local community groups here for that too, and I think reading is on the up again, so I don't think you are obsolete yet!

  6. 50%?!?!?!?!
    I couldn't imagine my life without books. That statistic makes me so sad.

  7. I'm a big reader (always have been). I don't get non-readers (or how I like to put it, the intentionally illiterate)...don't they realize all the good things they're missing?

    "I hate going to bookstores. Really, I do. The whole process is kind of cruel. It's like taking a fat kid on a diet to the best bakery in town." - Ha! That's why I only go to the library (and try to stay off Amazon). It's good enough for me...I'd rather someone else get the book who will read it than for it just to gather dust on my shelf. Of course, I still have 4 bookcases full, even with that policy...

  8. i was never a reader even i was a child :( ... but i've been improving! :D lol

    especially when im goddamn bored. which is most of the time.

    my faves so far are sophies world, tuesdays with morrie and kite runner :) err they might be ancient but hey. i read. that's what counts for me lol

  9. What a great post, but also so upsetting. 50% is a ridiculously high number for the stat you're describing, and I don't like it at all. I love to read and don't know why more people don't. I also have aspirations of becoming a published novelist (like my mom), and this is definitely disheartening. I am in total agreement with you about the Kindle thing. (Seriously, who wants to read off of a fricken screen at the beach?) Much like CDs, another dying breed, I love collecting books. The downfalls are, of course, that they take up a lot of room and cost a lot of money. But god, I love looking at my collections of both of these things and realizing, "Hey! I haven't listened to this CD in awhile!" or "I haven't read THIS book yet!"

    As convenient as not having space-consuming objects and being able to upload just about anything onto a hard drive are, I feel like most people like tangible objects. Something to look at and feel. So I don't understand why people don't want books. Then again, if half of the people out there aren't reading them anyway, I guess that explains that one...

    Sorry for my ridiculous rambling. Obviously something we both feel passionate about!

    Cassie (from 20sb)

  10. Oh goodness, I love this post. I'm going to go on the book shelf porn website now. I love books and reading with a sometimes scary fervour. Nobody I know in real life feels the same way- thank God for bloggers like yourself!

  11. The Kindle is something I just don't understand. Isn't the whole fun of reading to have the smell and feel of the book? Picking up an older book with worn edges and a few dog-eared pages is one of the best feelings. And the smell of an older, gently used book --- Oh, don't even get me started. I will NEVER be a part of the Kindle generation!

  12. That is a horrifying statistic! I've read five books in the last month! And that's almost below average for me.

    It's not only shocking, but deeply saddening, how little emphasis is put on the importance of reading and developing your literary sense. Just the very fact that most newspapers (NYT and WSJ excluded) write for a fourth or fifth grade reading level, so as to not exclude those less literate.

    What is wrong with that picture? Why are we lowering standards rather than raising them!