April 29, 2013

Reading And Literacy Monday

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?

Literacy Facts
  • 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 
From:  ProLiteracy

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?


  1. Anonymous4/29/2013

    Funny you should ask what we are reading...... because I too am reading Endgame at the moment!

    You can tell people don't read much these days by the appalling spelling/grammar standard on the internet. EVEN on TV. The other night on the news, an item came up about education reform, and they used one of those glossy title slides behind the newsreader. In the utmost irony, they misspelled EDUCATION by leaving the 'a' out of it..... tragic really.

    I like your blog.

  2. Hey damnthematrix,

    I like your choice of reading material. Good stuff.

    Thanks for visiting.

  3. Anonymous4/30/2013

    In this house we spend the majority of our time reading. My mum has me beat at almost a book a day! At present I'm re-reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

    1. I would have problems out-reading my mom too. She has always been a wonderful source of good reading suggestions that have changed my life. I like Tolle's work.

  4. I was a voracious reader growing up, but went through a stage as an adult of thinking that I was too busy or somehow reading wasn't productive enough. Luckily I'm over that & am currently re-reading Around the World in 80 Days. My Dad kindly gave me his cheap e-reader & I'm working through the 150 classics it came with. My hubby is reading Un Lun Dun by China MiƩville.

    1. We borrowed an e-reader from the public library, but couldn't really figure out how it worked, and have since returned to our beloved paper versions. I do like the idea of having 150 classics at my fingertips though, and not have to store the books in my home on a shelf.

      Around the World in 80 Days - fun!


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