Facts, figures about reading and books

In catching up on my reading of what the Times Union offers readers (in print), I came across a Harvey McKay column in the business section that focuses on reading. Though he doesn’t attribute his facts, I present them here for your reading pleasure:

We live in a sad time when you consider the following statistics, which I found recently:

Only 14 percent of adults with a grade-school education read literature in 2002.

51 percent of the American population never reads a book over 400 pages after they complete their formal education.

73 percent of all books in libraries are never checked out.

The average American watches 32 hours of TV every week.

The average American reads only eight hours (books, newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages, etc.) every week.

The average American annually spends 10 times more on what he puts on his head than what he puts into his head.

Consider the following:

If you read just one book per month for 12 months, you would be in the top 25 percentile of intellectuals in the world.

If you read just 15 minutes a day – every day, for one year – you can complete 20 books.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “The doors of wisdom are never shut.”

In a self-serving way, these facts and figures seem to justify the name of this blog: a conspiracy of smart people.


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