Friday, December 6, 2013

Are We Reading?

As the year nears its end, the stats will start to come out in many writing magazines, telling us how many books are being sold. What genre of books are being sold. What format books are being sold in. Google it and you can find all kinds of graphs and numbers.

One of the thing all book buying research agrees upon is what gender buys the most books. Some articles claim as much as 58% of the money spent on books comes from the purses of females. Women buy and read more books than men.

Some romance writers feel a need to defend their genre. Criticism of romance writing and reading is rather common but why should a romance writer feel the need to convince other writers or readers of their genre legitimacy? The numbers alone validate the genre. I love writing and reading fantasy and science fiction, but I make my writing money on my romance. Or you could go here and buy more of my fantasy to make that statement a lie. LOL

As a teacher (now retired) and the mother of some very successful students, parents often ask me about reading material for their children. I've always answered that what is important is that their children are reading. If the young ones fall in love with the written word early on don't stifle it by forcing them to read something they're not interested in. Read anything!

But are we as a people reading? I saw a disturbing statistic about reading among adults in the USA. In 2008, just over half of all adults had read at least one novel, short story or a poem. One. In 2012, less than 47% of adults claimed the same thing. Can you imagine not reading? It's so difficult to believe that when my house is so full of books and readers.

I'm sure there will be more articles referencing buying and reading stats in the course of the next two months. Do you have any expectations of what the stats might tell us? Do you see proof around you that supports the fear that people aren't reading as much as they did a few years ago? Did you join the contest at the IWSG yet?


  1. I definitely can't imagine not reading. I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like to lately, but I still make an effort. To only read one book a year, or even none at all...well, it's simply unfathomable!

  2. I have a good friend who reads only magazines. I can't even imagine. I have to read—that's all there is to it.

  3. Half the people didn't even read a poem. Now that is really scary.

  4. I can't imagine not reading! I'm about 12 books away from my goal of reading 100 books this year…. :)

  5. It is amazing what you can find on the internet. I agree it is sad that more people don't read. There is way to much digital technology out there that might be taking away from reading.

  6. I can't imagine not reading. One thing per year is stunningly small. I guess internet thingies have taken away TV time. Although, for lots of people I know, way before the internet, reading just wasn't going to happen. I remember my grandfather would sit in his chair in the living room and stare at the wall... FOR HOURS. Every. Day.

    He wouldn't read, watch TV, he just stared. It was so creepy. He's have both arm resting on his armrest like he was a king or something, and just stare at nothing.

    I used to bring him comics and stuff to read when I was a kid. He'd read them, he'd laugh sometimes, but I never caught him doing anything with his time aside from sitting.

    The point being, some people find reading so distasteful that they'd rather stare at the wall all day instead of reading. I don't understand it, but my grandpa is proof that those people exist.

  7. All my grandkids started out as readers. They were read to when they were little and provided with all the books they could want as they got older. Books were always on their Christmas lists. But this year I've notice a sad happening. The two oldest are in high school and neither read for pleasure anymore. They claim they have to read so much for school that they want to do other things in their free time. I fear this will carry over into their adult years.

  8. Wow that is a scary stat, couldn't even read something short. Romance sells, so write away

  9. I just had a date with a man that was not great. It turns out we have nothing in common. Okay, we both like to sing karaoke, but other than that... NOTHING. When I told him that one of my favorite things to do was read, he looked at me like I had horns growing.

    His response: "I hate reading."

    Last time he called me, he asked, "What are you doing?"

    I said, "Reading."

    He said, "Why?"

    And then I broke up with him. It wasn't all about the reading, but it played a role. I think he was still surprised, though. Men are strange.

    And, yes, I agree that people are reading less and less. :(

  10. Sadly true. As a retired teacher, I hope current teachers are instilling the love of reading while the parents do the same. If the parents like to read, then children will have more of a chance.

  11. I think adults read less than they used to but children read more. Many adults simply don't have the time to read anymore. If you aren't working your spending time with your family; I can't really denounce someone who doesn't read because of that reason.

  12. It makes me wonder where they were polling these adults, though. I imagine the numbers depend upon the venue. As for the hate on Romance, I don't understand what the point is. I don't read it, but I don't mock it, and I certainly know that it's a top-selling genre.

    The Warrior Muse

  13. I don't get to read half as much as I'd like, but it's still way more than one thing a year! Those poor souls don't know what they're missing.

  14. If I had enough time, I'd read for hours every day.

  15. Cannot imagine a life without books. Or reading, or bookshoppes.

    I don't read as much fiction as I once did, because right now, my nose is stuck in cookery books and magazines.