John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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The (Sad) Decline of Reading

Been perusing various blogs and stuff this morning, as I've fallen behind somewhat on my reading of friends' pages and the like, and found something I want to comment on. My friend elizalavelle brought this particular article to my attention:

The Decline of the American Book Lover

The main thing that this article highlighted is that the stats show that the average may be somewhat higher than in some groups, but that reading is something that many people choose *not* to do. I have to say that I was a bit stunned (well, gobsmacked was more apppropriate a term actually) by this, as to me, reading is something akin to breathing. I think that I would want to die if I can't/couldn't read books.

Reading is something that stretches the imagination, fuels the creative drives we have, and allows one to live a different life for a short period of time (the latter part depending on how fast you read). It keeps the mind active, and is a gift that we sometimes take for granted. Reading keeps the mind sharp, grows one's vocabulary (and yes, there are still times where I come across words that necessitate me grabbing the nearest dictionary to look up a word), and lets one experience new things. Reading is a lovely means of seeing visual pictures of someone, somewhere, or something based on a verbal description. It doesn't matter what one reads, as long as one *does* read. Books, newspapers, articles, whatever, anything that encourages people to keeping thinking.

I can't say that I go out of my way to read X number of books per month or anything like that. I used too be a much faster reader than I am these days (I'm older, after all), but I'm happy if I can read one or two books per week, and usually manage a bit more than that. While I divide my monthly reads in my blog entries between Books, RPGs, Magazines, Comics, and Graphic Novels, it's just my arbitrary way of doing so and works for me. While I don't post reviews for the most part of the stuff that I read, I do write up my "Books Read" every month, as it gives me an idea of how much or how little I've read during a given month, and shows me patterns and the like in what I read. I don't think folks need to do that (though it helps to make sure you don't necessarily re-read the same thing in a two- or three-month period), but the important thing is to read.

The other key thing here... It doesn't matter if you read 2 books a year, 10 books a year, or 100 books a's all a matter of the pace that you're comfortable reading at. I suspect that people who bus to work tend to read more than those who drive to work, because they can read on the bus; the same thing applies due to the type of job that one has. It's not the quantity of reading that you do, it's the fact that you *are* reading that really matters.

And that's my thoughts on this matter. (And hopefully it didn't come across as a rant.)
Tags: books, reading, reading hut

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