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Old 04-28-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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Poll: 80 Percent of Californians Have Read a Book for Fun in the Last Month

http://dornsife.usc.edu/usc-lat-poll...ks-april-2011/

Quote:
Despite hectic lives and competition from other forms of media, Californians are voracious readers and steadfast book lovers, according to results from the latest USC Dornsife College/Los Angeles Times Poll. Two-thirds of Californians say they like reading “a lot” and about one-fourth read at least a book a week.

About 18 percent of the Californians surveyed by the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll own a e-reader such as a Kindle, a Nook or an iPad.

For almost all of these tech-savvy readers, getting an e-reader has reinforced or enhanced the amount they read — 96 percent of those with an e-reader read the same amount or more books than they did before, including 34 percent who say they read more books now that they have an e-reader.
Well, that seems...high.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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Even though it seems to be a poll of registered voters, which would seriously skew the results, 80% still seems high.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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Considering that California is considered to have a 25-30% illiteracy rate overall I call BS and that's not even considering the actual percentage (very small) of the population that has eReaders of any type.

perhaps a corrected/accurate title would read...
The Book Is Not Dead: 80 Percent of Californians who responded to our poll Have Read a Book for Fun in the Last Month.

Heh, imagine the results of a similar poll run here for example and then do the same over at the local Wal-Mart.

Last edited by zespectre; 04-28-2011 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #4
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Nope..

Nope, nada, no way.

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zespectre View Post
Considering that California is considered to have a 25-30% illiteracy rate overall I call BS and that's not even considering the actual percentage (very small) of the population that has eReaders of any type.
80% of registered voters might be accurate--those who can't read, often don't register to vote.

18% with a dedicated ebook reader... hmm, seems a bit high. Except, when I look at my office of about 30 people, I know of 3 e-ink readers, possibly a fourth (someone who asked me about them; I don't know if she bought one) and I'm sure there's a few iPads. And I suspect the office isn't entirely registered voters. (Whodahell decided to start counting iPads in dedicated ebook reader lists?) Counting iPads almost certainly skews the results; CA has lots of iPads.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
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something else I noticed in the article...

Quote:
More Californians said they buy books in brick-and-mortar bookstores than online. But the single most popular place for Californians to pick up a book is at the library. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of Californians get the majority of the books they read from the library, including 30 percent of Latinos surveyed.
More support for the idea that big publishers are screwing themselves over by not making their e-books available to libraries (a couple of them) or by trying to limit the e-book use via libraries (HarperCollins). They'll nip new readers in the bud before they develop, and keep voracious readers from discovering their new authors.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
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80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

According to a study back in 2003
Quote:
One-third 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.
You can read more here.

I googled for updated figures, but to no result, and the blogger is awaiting an update from the surveyors. Do you think these figures have changed a lot?
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Californians=beautiful, kissed by the sun, AND well read.

Seriously, I don't know how true this is, but for once, it's nice to see us represented positively, instead of shallow and celebrity obsessed.

Anecdotal for sure, but I rarely come across people who read at all.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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As Dr. House would say, "Everybody lies."

I'm willing to bet that a large percentage of the people called (from my understanding, the poll was conducted over the phone... correct me if I'm wrong) were simply to embarrassed to admit that the closest they've gotten to a book in the past eleventy years was watching Opera give her book club picks. Really, who wants to admit, "Why no! I haven't read any books. Because I'm an illiterate slob! Thanks for asking!"?
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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The poll was limited to (1) registered voters who (2) use land-line phones and (3) are willing to spend a few minutes answering questions (4) about books.

It's going to skew heavily in favor of readers; people who'd be willing to answer questions about cars or their shopping habits might give up after the first question or two about books.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:39 PM   #11
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and remember, you're basically asking people, "Are you bright and sophisticated, or a dolt?"

A lot of people are going to lie.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:44 AM   #12
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studies like this remind me of an experiment I took part in as a freshman in college. The study was to examine the effects of alcohol on short term learning and retention. Well as it turned out I knew more about the experiment than the gradual student conducting the exam, but all I wanted was my $20 for taking part...oh and the free booze! hahaha.

Anyway the questions I was asked amounted to these core ideas: First was how much booze I consumed in a week, how many drinks did I have on the days I did drink and then she twisted that into I had at least one beer every day. WTF??? I drank on weekends only with the occasional beer with pizza in the middle of the week. Now when I cut loose on weekends I was legendary but come school time I was sober as a Muslim on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

But that was how screwed up her experiment was; I was really amazed the whole thing was even given approval because the questions were already flawed potentially wrecking her conclusions before she even started. Worse was, because I have the worlds best liver, I scored better on the tests after the booze than before...why? I memorized the solutions as we did the tests the first time. hahaha...that confused her as well. So never pass up a chance to screw with a survey or any sort of test like this.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
18% with a dedicated ebook reader... hmm, seems a bit high. Except, when I look at my office of about 30 people, I know of 3 e-ink readers, possibly a fourth (someone who asked me about them; I don't know if she bought one) and I'm sure there's a few iPads. And I suspect the office isn't entirely registered voters. (Whodahell decided to start counting iPads in dedicated ebook reader lists?) Counting iPads almost certainly skews the results; CA has lots of iPads.
Agreed. I take public transport every day (in Berkeley) and at wildly different times each day. In the year since I bought my nook (and the whole E-ink thing went mainstream), I have seen exactly ONE other ereader in public. Of course, it's more than likely that people are reading on their smart phones instead of getting dedicated ereaders, but still ...

Maybe we're just too poor for ereaders and our nieghbors across the bay have most of those 18% .
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:02 PM   #14
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According to the latest National Assessment of Adult Literacy, State and County Estimates of Low Literacy report, 23% of Californians of 16 years and older lacked basic prose literacy skills in 2003.

And according to the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey report's California summary (PDF):
Twenty-four to 26 percent of the respondents in California demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies (Level 1). Though all adults in this level displayed limited skills, their characteristics are diverse. Many adults in this level were successful in performing simple, routine tasks involving brief and uncomplicated texts and documents . . . Others did not perform these types of tasks successfully, however, and some had such limited skills that they were unable to respond to much of the survey.
. . .
Twenty-one percent of the California respondents said they do not read any magazines in English on a regular basis . . . Seventeen percent of the adults in the state reported that they had not read any books in English in the past six months. . .

Last edited by c861556; 05-03-2011 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:15 PM   #15
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I take public transport every day (in Berkeley) and at wildly different times each day. In the year since I bought my nook (and the whole E-ink thing went mainstream), I have seen exactly ONE other ereader in public.
I see at least one other ereader on BART about half the time, in my morning & evening commute. It's gone up a lot in the last year; two years ago, I almost never saw them. Train rides may be more conducive to ereaders than bus rides. Or people who take BART may have more money for techie gadgets.

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Seventeen percent of the adults in the state reported that they had not read any books in English in the past six months. . .
So, 83% had read a book in English the last 6 months. Jumping from that, to "80% of registered voters read a book [in any language] for fun in the last one month" is not such a big step.
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