Friday, August 11, 2006

A quote that breaks my heart...

...and makes me not want to go back to teaching English:
The average adult reads less than one book a year. According to the American Booksellers Association, 80 percent of households have not read a book in the last twelve months...Brian Tracy, Time Power

Just sadness. How can so many people not read ONE BOOK a year? One. Book. No wonder I have students approach me every semester and say, "That's the first book I've ever read." As shocking as that might sound, it seems it may unfortunately be true.

7 Comments:

Blogger Parisjasmal said...

Lots of people have jobs and families and so many things to take care of that there is no time for reading. My husband has not read a book for pleasure in probably over a year. He has crazy hours at work, he comes home and has even more work. Playing golf and scuba diving are what he does on vacation--so literally there is NO TIME for leisure reading for him. I, on the other hand read non stop.

I cannot believe some of your students have NEVER read a book though! Strange.

8:08 PM  
Blogger chippamunkey said...

I can't believe that some of your students have never read a book before. I was insane about books when I was a kid. I agree with the previous comment that sometimes there isn't time. I unfortunately do not read books nearly enough. Although it's defintely more than one a year.

My boyfriend gets his fix from short stories. He's always looking for interesting and weird short stories to read... I really like that about him. We used to sit and read plays together, but we're really weird like that.

10:09 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

I totally understand that some people are busy with work and family and other interests (and I can't expect everyone to be obsessive about reading like me -- it's what I teach!) but I guess the more shocking thing is that 80 percent of *households* (which to me implies children as well) read less than one book a year. That is frightening because that means that children are not reading, and if children are not reading, they are not learning or cultivating an appreciation for learning.

Which, in turn, creates adults who probably don't appreciate learning.

This whole thing came up when a good friend of mine (who is European but now lives in the US) shared this quote with me and commented that he notices people reading book everywhere he goes in Europe; he also noticed, as a student in Europe, that there is more emphasis on liberal arts and reading/learning in a more well-rounded way. (Whereas in the US, education is more about getting a job and working.) This book he's reading (he's developing a class on time management) says that if we devoted an hour a day (a lot for many, of course!) to reading in our field, in a couple of years we'd be experts and in something like ten years we'd be at the very top of the field. Life-long learning is the focus of the book.

Short stories (or essays) are great because you can read them in short spurts.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

That is really unbelievable. I read a LOT - books, magazines, newspapers. I just cannot imagine not reading.

Living in China, in a city with no English bookstores, just about killed me. Thankfully, I had frequent trips down to Hong Kong where I could pay ridiculous prices for books & magazines, and had my mother sending me my magazine subscriptions once a month.

I feel like my mind is being starved if I don't read regularly.

1:10 AM  
Blogger chippamunkey said...

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1:59 PM  
Blogger chippamunkey said...

Wow, that is insane! Yeah it really makes me sad that kids don't read. When I was a kid I had an extra dresser full of books - Hmm I wonder what happened to that dresser... anyhow, it's pretty obvious how different kids are now compared to when I was a kid.

I wonder what the heck is going to happen to the world in the future, when children grow up with using their imagination. argh.

2:02 PM  
Blogger steveohville speakeasy said...

it'a an epidemic.

i was watching the news during the whole liquid terror scare, and some woman in LAX was complaining about what she would do if they took her kid's electronics away from them during a flight.

the idea of "book" never entered her mind.

which means that since she doesn't read, her kids don't read either. and so on and so on.

it's an epidemic.

4:21 PM  

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