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Reviewers' Round Table: Reading Attitudes




Rachel from Rachel Reads (Saturdays)
Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Book Blog (Thursdays) 

For past discussions from Read Your Bookcase, click here.


Non-Readers

Are you sitting down?
Because I was glad I was sitting down when I heard the following statistics.

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

It made me gasp, and as a librarian, broke my heart.

I have ALWAYS loved to read. I don't know if it was because of my strong imagination or just because it was something I was good at. You know how some people have one book that just absolutely made them love to read? I don't have that. I wish I did, but I don't, because I've loved books as long as I can remember. When I was in school, I always had a book with me and it's something I still do today.

I have one memory - we had to guess how many pages were in a book. The person who guessed the closest won the book. The guy who won is probably one of the statistics listed above. I was so sad for the book, because I knew he would probably never ever read it. If I remember right, he joked about destroying it somehow. He was one of the people that always said to me, "Why do you read so much?" or "I never read. It's so boring."

Another thing I hear often is "Oh, you work at a library? That must not be very exciting." Um, it IS. We always have something going on, and it's rarely a quiet place. If you want to make a librarian mad, say that. Ooo, I'm getting mad just thinking about it, and I hardly EVER get mad.

I think that my love of reading has made my life richer and easier, and I feel sorry for people who think that reading is worthless. I really do, and I love working hard every day I'm at the library to convince younger kids that reading is fun and cool and not just something you have to do in school. It's the best, really.

What do you think about those statistics?
What experiences have you had with people who like to brag that they don't read and think people who do are crazy?

I changed my comments settings, so hopefully it's easier for you guys to share your ideas and experiences. I'd love to hear from you!

Comments

  1. I kind of knew the general numbers of those statistics before but this is still staggering. I've been an avid reader pretty much since I could read, and before that my parents read to me. Going to the library has always been a fun place to go. I participated in all the summer reading programs when I was a kid. I think less and less parents are emphasizing reading and that may be part of the problem. Some of my friends have claimed that since they read so much in college they were burned out. I don't know but it is sad.

    I always like to brag about reading and my friends know me well enough to know not to say anything, but I have had a few random people that have given me dirty looks before or have asked me how I could possibly find time to read.

    Okay done rambling I think. Great topic!

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    1. Yay, summer reading! Great response. Thanks, Kay!

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  2. I had NO IDEA about those statistics!! I can't believe 80% of families did not buy or read a book in an entire year!! Like everyone in the whole family!!! That is nuts! I think it's awesome that you work in a library and get to encourage kids in a love for reading. Really cool stuff. I wish I had a cool librarian when I was young that gave me ideas on what to read. My elementary school librarian was always yelling at me for trying to take books out that weren't in the section that he zoned for our grade. And I'm like in 2nd grade and he would only let me take out baby picture books!!! I was pissed and would always sneak back and read from the other shelves.

    Thanks for coming up with this topic, it rocks!!!

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    1. I did that at my school library, too! I lied and said that my parents read them to me at night. (I don't think she believed me, but she let me have them anyway.) Usually I got Ramona or Fudge books.

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  3. Excellent topic. I have to say that I'm not overly shocked, but I aim sad for the verification of what I see all around me. I was lucky to grow up in a reading home. My parents would often be found sitting in a comfy chair reading and my dad especially read to me whenever I was sick (frequently as a child D:). I have never "read" The Hobbit because my dad read it to me with all the best voices (seriously the guy could be a voice actor....). My other experience has been with my boyfriend. He doesn't read hardly at all, but he also grew up in a home that didn't encourage it. He also was diagnosed with ADHD as a child but his parents chose not to get treatment for him. He is one of those guys who doesn't like doctors (ugh) and so hasn't pursued that as an adult as a possibility for why he can't pay attention to books or schoolwork.... I'm sure this isn't what is causing most people not to read, but the growing up without it being encouraged probably is. Good on you for encouraging kids to read, since if no one does, they probably won't.

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    1. Interesting response, Anya! Thanks for sharing. Love that you mentioned The Hobbit! Thanks :) I love my job.

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