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Old 04-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
MrsJoseph
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42% of college graduates never read another book after college

42% of college graduates never read another book after college

Recent blog post discussing the stats of US readers. Other stats included:

Quote:
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
I could not track down the survey where the statics were farmed from, but there was this from Wikipedia:
Quote:
A survey by the Jenkins Group, an independent publishing services firm, has shown that millions of Americans never read another book after leaving school.

33 percent of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
and this from Parapublishing (older data):

Quote:
2007. RECREATIONAL READING IS DOWN ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. “We've got a public culture which is almost entirely commercial- and novelty-driven," says NEA chairman Dana Gioia.
•Only 38% of adults in 2006 said they had spent time reading a book for pleasure the previous day.
•65% of college freshmen in 2005 said they read little or nothing for pleasure.
•30% of 13-year-olds in 2004 said they read for fun "almost everyday," down from 35% in 1984.
There is more recent data but it is harder to quote from, lol.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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nothing surprising there, I know very few people who read.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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that says it all. And shows why this country now sucks as much as it does. I wonder though what the stats are for different eras. I would say people actually read more today than ever but the content is intentionally non-challenging geared to probably a 6th grade education.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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Wow that is really astonishing! I just can't picture my life without books. I've been reading since I was 4 or 5 and never stopped. I think that many people are too busy watching t.v, playing video games or trying to make ends meet that they don't have time to read. It is sad....
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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Does the "80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year" tally with the number of Kindles sold in the US / i.e. at less than 20% of the remainder?
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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I believe it. I grew up in a (British) household where there were no adult books at all until we kids started buying them - and this was pre-TV. My parents were not uneducated - my father was a newspaperman and my mother actually typed up manuscripts for a local novelist who later did quite well. Reading for amusement just wasn't something they did much - although they read to us all the time. You can't base any value judgement on it.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
Does the "80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year" tally with the number of Kindles sold in the US / i.e. at less than 20% of the remainder?
~300M * 0.20 = ~60M people to sell all those readers to. But remember that the data is somewhat old and probably the bulk of it is pre-Kindle/ereader era data. Plus add in the whole "Oprah Effect" on reading in general and my bet is far more people have read at least one book recreationally for several years now.

Last edited by grumpy3b; 04-13-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinC View Post
I believe it. I grew up in a (British) household where there were no adult books at all until we kids started buying them - and this was pre-TV. My parents were not uneducated - my father was a newspaperman and my mother actually typed up manuscripts for a local novelist who later did quite well. Reading for amusement just wasn't something they did much - although they read to us all the time. You can't base any value judgement on it.
I must admit I cannot recall my parents ever reading novels when I were a kid, and as far as I know they still do not; (even though my mum was a nursery teacher...)
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:13 PM   #9
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Did this take into account those who use the library instead of buying?

In my family my mother loved to read. The library was our favorite place to go. My father was more a newspaper & almanac reader.

Today I know very few people who read books either. I do know some who read magazines. My husband reads few books (mostly technical), reads a few magazines but is mostly a video & tv viewer. With his dyslexia reading is a chore.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora13 View Post
Wow that is really astonishing! I just can't picture my life without books. I've been reading since I was 4 or 5 and never stopped. I think that many people are too busy watching t.v, playing video games or trying to make ends meet that they don't have time to read. It is sad....
Christie
It's the rise of interactive entertainment products, and TV moving into the bedroom.

When I was at school I had several books confiscated by teachers.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #11
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How did they survey so many dead people? Seems otherwise hard to know if they never read another book for the rest of their lives....
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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Let me start off by punching holes in the issue at hand, did a lot of this as an undergraduate in my Science of Argument class. First , the source, the Jenkins Group, who is this company and what business is it of theirs to make statements like this? I have never heard their name associated with book publishing in any way so where would the company lay there hands on that kind of data? If it was the Book Publishing Industry Association, I would except them as an authoritative source or perhaps one of the major book publishers (its simple for a book publisher to look at sales data to surmize this sort of things).

Second, the National Endowment for the Arts in an authoritative source on plays as thats pimarily their business and they have nothing to do with book publishing and/or reading.

Third, I don't see the National Educators Association or US Department of Education assoicated with this study in any way. These two would be authoritative sources when it came to people not reading after undergraduate or graduate school.

Fourth, notice the use of the term college and my use of the term undergraduate and graduate school. Seems to indicate that the researchers have no idea what they are doing as they appear to be uneducated themselves. Those of us that went to grad school use the terms undergraduate and graduate, means the same thing but makes the distinction between the BA/BS degree level and the MA/MS and PhD levels.

Should see my library at home in my basement, the books are massing for an attack to take over the whole floor. Gone to digital out of need to conserve space or else risk being shut out of my home entirely.

In conclusion I seriously doubt that the researchers here have any idea what they are talking about, sort of like me talking about Oceanography when my degree is in Human Neuropathology (the study of the broken brain.)

Good point APK, perhaps the researchers met with a psychic and talked to ghosts.

Last edited by jbcohen; 04-13-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #13
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I went to get a mani/pedi on Saturday. While I was getting my pedicure I pulled out my Kobo and started reading. I had a short story that I figured I could complete rather quickly.

Every third word someone interrupted me. "What's that?" "How much?" "What are you reading?" and of course the dreaded "What's happening?" I wanted to scream "Nothing cause you keep bothering me!" but I calmly answered all the random questions of people who seemed to be less interested in the Kobo and more interested in keeping me from reading. The women who were watching TV & flipping through magazines had none of these problems, lol.

I totally believe that a lot of people don't read.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #14
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I have no problem believing this. In fact, I think those are very conservative numbers. Readers of books (regardless of their level of education) have always been outnumbered by those who don't read books.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:53 PM   #15
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Interesting. 80% of US families didn't buy or read a book last year but 38% of adults spent some time on the previous day reading a book for pleasure. I think some people might not be telling the truth. Either that or they read lots of books but never finish any of them.
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