Last month, I read an unsettling article “What Does It Mean That 1 in 4 Adults Didn’t Read a Book Last Year?” written by Casey N. Cep, from the Pacific Standard Magazine. It reported that the Pew Research Center released its survey on American reading habits, with statistics, depending on how you look at it, shows how many people did not read a book at all or the percentage of how many adults still read books.
While I checked out the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, there are still some interesting points this article made. Here are some of those points:
Our reading habits reflect not only our choices, but also our abilities. More and more, they also reflect our access. Acquiring books, new or used, may seem like an inexpensive venture for most, but for others the cost is prohibitive.
Last April, the United States Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy found that 32 million Americans, or about 14 percent of the population, cannot read, while almost a quarter of American adults read below a fifth-grade level. In fact, literacy rates in America haven’t risen much in two decades.
Education is critical to cultivating a culture of reading, not only basic literacy, but a love of reading.
I certainly agree that nurturing a reading culture increases our desire and ability to read. It is a little disturbing however, that many of the books I read (probably not depicted in such surveys) are not necessarily by authors on the New York Times Best Selling list. Many good authors who have a loyal following are sometimes self-published authors. While we are in a digital era where ebooks, e-readers, audio books and computer tablets allow readers the opportunity to access books they choose, I remain a traditionalist when it comes down to picking up a hardcover copy of a book and reading it.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in spite of the rise in digital books, the survey from the Pew Research Center revealed an overall agreed preference of reading print books, although I am not at all “anti-digital”:
Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits: Among adults who read at least one book in the past year, just 5% said they read an e-book in the last year without also reading a print book.
You can check out the results from the Pew Research Center to learn more about their survey. I would love to hear your feedback about your take on reading in today’s world. What is your preferred method of reading books? Click here to go to those results from Pew! Happy reading!