|My current library books|
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Jorge Luis Borges
I am a voracious reader. So much so that I have been known to read cereal boxes or shampoo containers just to get a fix. Not everyone shares my enthusiasm, though, which is a shame - reading is a major conduit to learning, joy, and freedom.
In 2008 a poll revealed that more than 25% of Americans had not read a single book in the previous year. Since then things have improved a bit.
The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found in 2012 that 83% of Americans between 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and 60% visited their local library.
Among those 30 and over, 81% reported reading for pleasure.
The Nation's Report Card on Reading found that more fourth graders reported reading for fun in 2011 than they had in 2009, and the number stood at an all time high of 46%. OK, that is better, but what are the other 54% doing?
- About 14% of Americans can't read.
- 63% of prison inmates can't read.
- 774 million people worldwide are illiterate
- Two-thirds of the world's illiterate are women
|Turn off the TV, enjoy a good book|
Reading and Leisure Time
Reading for pleasure may be up, but little screens still dominate our down time. The 2011 American Time Use Survey uncovered this trend.
Unsurprisingly, watching TV was the number one leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for about half of total leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over.
And then there are those lucky seniors. On an average day, adults age 75 and over spent 7.4 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities - more than any other age group. On the other hand, 25 to 44-year olds spent 4.2 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities - less than other age groups.
Time spent reading for personal interest and playing games or using a computer for leisure varied greatly by age.
Individuals age 75 and over averaged 58 minutes of reading per weekend day (the most for any group) and 21 minutes playing games or using a computer for leisure.
Conversely, individuals ages 15 to 19 read for an average of 7 minutes per weekend day while spending 1.2 hours playing games or using a computer for leisure.
What is your family reading?