Saturday, February 03, 2007

Depressing Literary Statistics

Depressing Literary Statisitics

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.
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.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.

Ok, these stats are a little gloomier than I expected, but I was well aware that Americans like their media moving, preferably with some big explosions. Heck, I'm fond of the occasional special-effects saturated Hollywood blockbuster myself. And regretably, these days the majority of my reading is done online... but still...

I guess this is just another facet of my freakishness that'll have to adapt to though, these stats not only paint me as something of an anomoly in our culture, they splash that nerdy taint onto pretty much all of my friends and family. One of the great joys of graduating college for me, was knowing that I'd be able to read more for pleasure and personal enrichment. My mother is constantly vowing to quit buying new books until she has read more of her back log (not that she doesn't read, just that she, like most folks in the circles I run in, acquires books much faster than she can assimilate.)

For me the real mind-numbing cognitive dissonance is generated by the frission of this fact:
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
rubbing against a statistic stated at the beginning of the article that 80 percent of Americans want to write a book.

Er... um... yeah...

Of course, one can try to find hope in the fact that there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics," but even if these figures are grossly exagerated, they still indicate that your humble Dragon and his homies are well outside the mainstream. Some of the unsavory characters I associate with buy books, literally (pardon the pun) by the truck load. Sure, these are for resale, but I gotta tell you most of these guys make me think of Al Pacino in Scarface. They are hooked on what they peddle, with their personal libraries being the metaphoric equivilent of Pacino's desk piled high with coke. They definitely have some significant stashes of the quality stuff for personal use.

OK, I have to stop now, 'cause my brain hurts...


Earthlight Books said...

cite yer sources dummy!

just kidding.


now i'm pissed off at the world.

Anonymous said...

You know what to do when your brain hurts - read a good book.

(who also insists that you cite your sources)

Honky-Tonk Dragon said...

folks this is html, not MLA, the citation is the link.
Well, actually if you click the link, then you'll find another article which cites their source...