I’ve always been a little shocked at the statistics that suggest people aren’t reading books anymore.
According to statistics on Parapublishing.com:
Only 38% of adults in 2006 said they had spent time reading a book for pleasure the previous day.
30% of 13 year olds in 2004 said they read for fun "almost every day," down from 35% in 1984.
So what is this really saying about our society? Are people reading less because they are simply too busy to read? Or is there another reason?
I found an interesting article on Publishing 2.0 on the change to Networked Thoughts. Like the writer, do people not read because of lack of time, or because they are moving into a different type of reading habit? Is the online world changing the way we absorb our information?
I read constantly. I have 5 books started on my nightstand. I subscribe to many magazines – all niched by nature. And I read constantly online. But I read each of these types of media in very different ways.
In his article, Scott mentions what the future beholds for readers. It’s interesting to note that all of today’s top players (Google, Facebook, etc) were started by obsessive computer programmers. They may not read the typical novel, but you can better believe they are getting tremendous information from the online world. Through forums, blogs, news sites, and many other formats, they are getting an education every day in an easy way. When you find great sources, you don’t have to hunt for the information – you simply subscribe to the newsfeed and read what pertains to you.
So is "not reading books" a bad thing? Not when you look at reading in a whole new way. With today’s technology, staying on top can be gained in many ways.