I’ve never paid too much attention to reading stats. But last week I came across an article with some of those reading stats for the year just gone. It was surprisingly interesting and I figure it reflected the state of the world right now. I expect many of you might already read the BuildBookBuzz blog, it’s always interesting. But in case you don’t, here are some of the more surprising titbits Sandra Beckwith shared last week.
The reading stats has encouraged me. More people appear to be reading. I hope some of the 25% increase in US readers might include those who have neglected the written word for some time. Possibly even years. May they discover or rediscover the joy of reading books and be transported to faraway places for a few hours.
Europeans on average are apparently reading for one hour a day. Not long ago it was revealed many people no longer read a book for pleasure at all. I remember being horrified when one report suggested a huge percentage of people (I can’t remember the source to be able to quote it to you) would never even read one book a year. How can that be? How does a person survive without reading? When I’m not writing, I can often read one book a day. And that is not only short category romances. I become so engrossed in the story, I have to read it until the end.
I wonder if the news that real books are resurging while audiobooks are slowing a little might have anything to do with the age of readers? Could it be that more older people are returning to reading, and for them, a real book in their hand is what sits best? Audiobooks don’t turn my crank. I withdrew one from our local library last year. A particular title from a favourite author whose backlist I was ploughing through could only to borrowed as an audiobook. I did not enjoy the twelve hours of listening at all.
How much has your reading interest changed since Covid arrived in our lives? Mine definitely has. I have never been short of books in my house. My mother’s influence again. “I’m never lonely if I have a book to read.” My home is full of books. Bookshelves surround me on two sides as I sit at my desk, filled mainly with non-fiction and travel. In other rooms, shelves abound everywhere, stuffed with paperbacks and fiction of varying varieties. My contribution to them is primarily romance books, of course. I also frequent our library regularly with eleven library books currently on loan. I expect I’ll be returning them by the end of this week.
Reading and writing fill so much of my life. I’d be lost without either.