Do people still read books for fun? Do people still read literature?
As a person who thinks that curling up with a good book is the best way to relax, my answer to the question of whether or not people read books is: I certainly hope so. My fear, however, is that people do not still read. At least, they don’t read for fun.
I remember the days, not so long ago, when people actually talked about new books. There were certain titles that, when they came out, everybody bought (whether they read them or not).
Be honest, when was the last time that you read a good book just for fun? I’m not talking about self-help books or how-to books here. I’m talking about books that you read just for the pure enjoyment of reading. When was the last time that you and your friends talked about a book?
I don’t think that we pay much attention to what is being published anymore. There are too many things competing for our time (things like: video games, computers, blogs, movies, DVDs, cable television, and the list goes on).
If we don’t read (as I suspect that we don’t), then it concerns me greatly. There are ideas that can be garnered from the gradual unfolding of a good plot that really can’t be gotten any other way.
I started out on this tangent when my husband pointed me to this 2004 study. I’ll let you read it for yourself, but basically it says that fewer and fewer us are reading literature — a trend that the study predicts will continue. (I realize that this is a somewhat old study. I searched and searched for a newer one, but did not find one. If you know of one, let me know.)
So, why is it important to care if our culture has stopped reading? Not only do I think that the best writers are readers, but I also think that reading good literature causes us to share ideas, thoughts, and feelings. It is a sharing that can cross boundaries of time, space, and culture.
For my little part in bucking the non-reading trend, I’m going to point you to a great list of literary works that I found on The Writing Mother blog a few days ago. It’s called “Books I’ve Read.” (You’ll have to go back to March 3, 2007.)
Study the list and select a few titles that seem interesting. Make a point to stop in at your local library or bookstore this week and take home a few of your selections.
Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.