Thursday, August 23, 2007


Did I put up the book roll to brag about how many books I can read in a year? Not really at all. Did I put it up to 1. keep track of the books I have read (so I don't read/request them from the library again accidentally, I hate that!) and 2. challenge myself to keep reading. OH DEFINITELY. Now I know not everyone spends as much time on public transportation as me, that's for sure, but I still think it's important to make time in your life for reading, even if it's before bed or on your lunch break or on Sunday morning, when you wake up early and can't go back to sleep but don't want to get out of bed yet.

Naturally I am pleased that I am approaching the 47 books read 3 books heard mark, but I'm also aware that most people probably wouldn't have time to fit that into their busy schedules (though honestly, I'm a pretty busy person...I guess I do read fast though) but I was incredibly dismayed to read this. Yup, that's right, 1 in 4 Americans last year read NO BOOKS. Not a one. What? A quarter or so of everyone that lives in this country, with a Borders, Barnes and Noble, or better yet A PUBLIC LIBRARY on every corner or at least in every town did not pick up a book? I think that's a huge disgrace. My favorite excuse was 'Reading makes me sleepy.' If I could meet that guy in person, I would probably whack him over the head. With a book. Because he probably hasn't seen one in so long, he wouldn't recognize it as a weapon. Or the guy who says "if I want a story I'll rent a movie" Ah yes, shall we rot our brains just a bit more?! Americans get all on edge when we are accused of being ignorant - I hate that too - but c'mon, a quarter of us couldn't even read one book. ONE BOOK - AND IT COULD'VE BEEN DANIELLE STEELE, THE LEAST YOU COULD'VE DONE WAS READ!!!!!! I wonder what the averages are in other countries. Hmmm

I suppose I am overreacting a bit, but I am still reeling from the shock of it all. Maybe it's because of what surrounds me: my mother is a librarian and always reading, my father who doesn't enjoy fiction always has some large tome in his police car, to read the moment he has some downtime, my sister is voracious and has to layer and stack all her books just so to even fit in her bookcase. When I run out of books from the library, I go to my sister and ask for a book. My grandfather has a selection of "man fiction" (Follet, Brown, etc) at his fingertips, while my grandmother is ALWAYS reading something and reads so much that the librarians in Braintree know her by name and wondered where she was when she didn't go to the library in the weeks after her surgery. Let's see - boyfriend is in a book club and always reading, and kind of flips out if he doesn't have bus reading when he visits, my friend EE has a stack of cool books in her apt, Melu has bookcases packed so full they may fall down, and when I mentioned to my friend Rachel I was reading a Shakespeare bio for bookclub, she could list off the top of her head 3 or 4 possible titles, then analyzed the one I was reading, and she was also able to keep me awake on the way to NYC by telling me stories of CRAZY plays that she's read. Even my coworkers read incessantly, and we have a little book loan program on Laura's desk. Most of the people I see commuting on the subway are reading, and that's my favorite part of public transportation, the fact that you can READ. I guess I'm just so much a part of the reading community and so into it that I never even thought about the people who didn't read.

Anyways, there's my rant. I mean I know it won't cause America to implode, this lack of reading, but I feel there's reason to be horrified that a quarter of the population didn't even read one book. I mean if you have a 300 page novel, you don't even have to read a page a day to finish in a year. Sad! I guess I'm just subconsciously compensating - and enjoying every second of it.

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