Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Recently a friend posted the infographic that you see there to the left on Facebook.  After reading it, I was dumbfounded.  I had to scratch my head at those shocking figures.

Then, after a moment, I identified that what I was really feeling was sadness.  Whether or not the agency that did this report is credible or not does not fully take away the shock I registered upon reading those numbers.

I did go back to the source and found out that the research for this report was done in 2003.  In the last ten years, would you think the numbers would have improved or declined?  I feel somewhat pessimistic about this, although I'm certainly not a scientist.

I'm just a reader.

A fully addicted, book hoarding, reader.

And for me, it doesn't have to just be the traditional hold-it-in-your-hand, get-it-at-the-library, or buy-it-at-the-bookstore variety of books.  I'm also thrilled with magazines, maps, e-books, cookbooks, catalogs, brochures, and any other medium that can be read.

So, I cannot imagine a life that is not filled with reading.  To me, books are simply one of the major food groups.   I need to read to survive and thrive.

When I researched back to the source of the original survey, I also found some telling reactions to it:


"Impressive infographic, but I'm not sure I'm buying it."

"Inspiration for going back to work tomorrow."

"This broke my heart and I need to take to my bed now with wine and a book."

"I couldn't live without books."

My feelings, exactly.

I have such good memories of reading over the years.

As an elementary student, perhaps my favorite "class" of the school week was library class.  Its only disappointments to me were having that class only once a week, and also only being allowed to bring home two books.  Two books?!  I'd be done with those within a day or two and then what?

I recall in the later elementary years becoming obsessed with the Nancy Drew mystery series along with my best friend, Sylvia.  When asked by relatives what we wanted for Christmas, we both would whip out our carefully maintained lists of those Nancy Drew books we still hadn't read.   We figured if we planned carefully, we each might have about ten of those to read over the Christmas holiday.  Then we would trade our books with each other.  It was heavenly.

Later, in middle school and high school, it became clear to me that my parents were also voracious readers.  They were suckers for buying good books for my two brothers and me.  Along with buying interesting shrubs and flowers for our gardens, the purchase of books for our family was joked as being our "cigarettes and booze" money.

I even recall numerous family vacations over the years in which the majority of souvenirs we brought home were books of some sort.

After I graduated from college, I remember a peculiar joy I felt upon receiving my diploma.  I had heard the graduation speech in which we were told how we could now go out and invent things and change the world and blah, blah, blah.  What I was most excited about (other than my upcoming marriage) was finally being able to read the books I wanted to read.  There were no more lists of required reading printed out on class syllabi for me.  I was free.

My love of reading has continued to this day.  As I write this, though, I have a vague feeling of uneasiness.  You see, my pile of "on deck to read" books has shrunk down to merely two books waiting on my Kindle.  I can be done reading them in no time, and then what?

And then what?

I guess the hubby and I will need a hot date to the local bookstore.  A bit of shopping and a good cup of coffee.

Problem solved.


  1. I have bought probably 40 books this summer at garage sales. Most of them were a quarter each. It amazes me the different types of books that are out there - everything on your list above and more. Since Sunday I've read two books and am half way through my third. And I have a Nook but I still like having that book in my hands.

  2. After I finish a book, I go into a little funk. NEVER will I find another book as good as that one, etc. Then, I grab another one and off I go!! I've read about twenty books in the last two months.

  3. I love to read! . . . I wish my husband and sons enjoyed it as much as I do! I mostly read on my Nook and my Kindle (prefer the original Nook for reading), but I will occasionally pick up a book in an RV Park "library" if I see something interesting. I think I read a lot more than I used to, since getting my Nook . . . it's just so convenient, and I'll try all kinds of new authors that I had never read before (mostly checking out e-books from the library) . . . and the Kindle has many free and 99cent books, so I'll pick those up to for something new to read.

  4. Not sure where it will all end up, this epidemic of illiteracy, but I haven't the time nor patience to address that.
    My only self absorbed little issue is that I have a limited attention span, so I'm perhaps a little more "choosy" when it comes to reading material. I always seem to find something "to do" that takes precedence over reading. But to "never read another book after college". What?
    Once upon a time when I was an employer, "So, what do you like to read?" was one of my favorite questions when conducting an interview. The answer can tell you heaps about a person, and whether or not you want to hire them.
    Of course, if the person doing the interview is illiterate as well? Then you've got me stumped.