Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have You Read a Book Lately?

Here's an AP News item I found recently online and thought it would be worth sharing:

One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released on August 27, 2007. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year — half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.

When the Gallup Poll asked in 2005 how many books people had at least started — a similar but not directly comparable question — the typical answer was five. That was down from 10 in 1999, but close to the 1990 response of six.

In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled "Reading at Risk" found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.

Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn't read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.

People from the West and Midwest are more likely to have read at least one book in the past year. Southerners who do read, however, tend to read more books, mostly religious books and romance novels, than people from other regions. Whites read more than blacks and Hispanics, and those who said they never attend religious services read nearly twice as many as those who attend frequently. There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.

At the same time, book enthusiasts abound. Many in the survey reported reading dozens of books and said they couldn't do without them. I one of those who can't do without a book. I've been that way since I was in college. When I lived and Europe it was sometimes hard to find English books to read I could always depend on my best buddy Ludwig in Hannover, Germany to have a book I could borrow when I'd drop-in for a visit. The first James Baldwin novel I ever read came from his bookshelf. So far this year I finished 7 wonderful books and I'm halfway through number 8. I like mystery novels with a few blood stains thrown-in. I also enjoy a good memior or autogiography. My list so far this year includes:

"Broken Music" Sting
"Faith In Time: The Life Of Jimmy Scott" Daivd Ritz
"Aretha From These Roots" David Ritz
"Dr. Death" Jonathan Kellerman
"Miracle At St. Anna" James McBride
"The Last Man In Berlin" Gaylord Dold
"Eager To Please" Julie Parsons

All of them are gems in their own way and deserve the time it takes to read them!

Research info gathered from: http://news.yahoo.com

Now, why not read a poem:

Eventualy, A Horse

Or hailstroms to build split-level houses.

When both bells & birds stop. The big mouth
of a refrigerator. Or irony sitting on the
back porch. Girls with flowers to push broom.
The skinny sequoia in a newspaper. Lousy wig.
Lazy lock. A gaint running backwards...

fistfuls of handy-wipes
doodles on a napkin

Trying to figure out the best way to
disguise a wish-bone.

One large alarm clock ticking
down the hole...

more sentimental rain
a self-indulgent cloud

I could donate my front door to science,
she teases, with her hand on the knob.
And you're about as natural as a freeway, I
reply, because I think the words hit & run.

You see how difficult gift-giving is?

Poem first published online at: http://www.myfavoritebullet.com/
Visit my ezine: http://www.concelebratory.blogspot.com/
and music blog: http://www.medleymakersant.blogspot.com/

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