Monday, February 7, 2011

Musing Monday...You're Reading What??

Let's wander over to Should Be Reading and check out MizB's question for us to muse about this week...

 How do you react to the “book police”? (people who judge what you are reading, and try to make you feel guilty) Do you respond to their judgments? Or, do you keep quiet? Do you let what they say influence your reading, or do you do your own thing, regardless?

I found these statistics online, quoted several places. Now, I am not sure how accurate they are, but if they are even close, I think it is truly depressing.
  • 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. 
Folks, if you are reading this post and you are someone who reads books, understand that you are in a distinct minority. Most people do not read even one book in a year. And I think that is sad because they are missing something that is really good. For them...and for society as a whole.

Yes, like most of you I am a reader and I think reading is a very good thing. It is educational, it opens a world of experiences to us, it engages our mind in a way things like TV never can. And heck, it is fun!

So when I see someone reading in public, or someone tells me about a book they are reading, I am a happy camper...whatever the book might be. Sure, especially if it is in public, I am curious, but regardless, it always makes me happy to see a fellow reader. And sure, we all have certain types of books we most enjoy, certain genres that are our first choice and we might even be willing to argue, in a good natured way, why those books are the "best". Maybe we love non-fiction, maybe fiction. Maybe we love nothing more than to curl up with a steamy romance...or a giant tome about the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (Yes, Bro, I mean you!) But you know what? It's all good!

I can't say that I have ever run into the "book police" (do they have badges?) If you read MizB's post, I think her experience say more about these people's belief system than it does about any book or type of books. I am sure there are many, many books they would not approve of, but personally, I think more knowledge is always a good thing. I don't know if there is any book that someone might not find fault with.
But not me. Read whatever does it for you...makes you happy, makes you think, creates an escape, makes your toes curl.

Ok, I would not be seen in public reading one of those romance novels with the bare chested guy with the long, flowing hair on the cover..but otherwise... ;-)


  1. Actually, wee Caite, that giant tome about the Austro-Hungarian empire sounds intriguing.

    Those statistics are very depressing! I can't imagine a day without reading. Not one day!! To go from college throughout the resst of your life without picking up a book? Unimaginable. Nope, can't fathom that at all.

  2. The statistics are surprising. Maybe they are to busy with real life issues to read. When I was young and raising a family and doing my farm chores, I never had much time left over for reading, however, I subscribed to "The Reader's Digest Condensed Books" and got a bit of reading in that way. Didn't have money for books way back when... We also had a local library, I visited occasionally. "Book Police" I am my own book police. I know what I like and that's what I read, I don't really care if others like what I read or not.

  3. Do I detect a hint of sarcasm? What could possibly be a more interesting subject than the Siege of Vienna in which the Habsburg coalition turned back the invasion of central Europe by the Ottoman force under the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, hereby saving Western Civilization? Well, perhaps only the successful Ottoman Siege of Constantinople and the end of the last remmant of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453!

  4. i hate the book police. someone who shall not be named said some rather mean things about my nicky sparks book. HEY, WHO DOESNT LIKE A SAPPY TEAR JERKER EVERY ONCE AND A WHILE!?

  5. This was a good topic and people are dumbassess. Personally, I don't care what people think about what I read. Check out my answer for this week's Monday Musing.

  6. That's what book covers are for...I believe those stats. I met some of my neighbors and none of them read..I find that appalling, so I guess I AM the book police. They are now under arrest, with bread and water, locked in my basement, with nothing to do but read!

  7. I find the statistics completely shameful and do you really think that 70% have not been a bookstore in the last 5 years? Wow. I must make up for about 25% of the population out there because I can't seem to stay out of bookstores! LOL

    I agree totally about to each his or her own and reading is best. And...I know this is a forbidden topic, but....if you read on an e-reader, no one can see if you are reading the bodice-ripper romance! :-)

  8. I wouldn't read a bodice ripper either, but I also don't judge people who do. If they enjoy it, more power to them.

  9. "Siege of Vienna in which the Habsburg coalition turned back the invasion of central Europe by the Ottoman force under the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.."
    Is that in English? :-)

    ". someone who shall not be named said some rather mean things about my nicky sparks book." I think she means me!

    But see, that just proves my point. I am not going to reading about Suleiman...or Mr. Sparks, but if you enjoy them, excellent!

  10. Caite: I am quite surprised, but mostly saddened, by the statistics you have quoted. It can't even be blamed on the economy, since the library system is still in exhistance, at least for the time being. What's that to say of our future generations?

  11. As big a movement as the YA industry has been in recent years I'm pretty sure that those statistics are outdated. At least I sure hope so!

  12. I'll admit that there are certain books I prefer to read at home rather than bringing along on a plane ride or something. I don't read bodice-rippers, as a rule, but I do read a lot of YA and occasionally I read one that doesn't look "sophisticated" enough for my in-public reading tastes. Snobby? Maybe. Considering that I've read one book in the past 2 months, I should probably lower my standards for myself about now!

  13. Those statistics are HORRIFYING!!!! And based on them, I don't think anyone should be judgmental about someone else's reading! At least they are reading!

  14. I read those stats as well...kind of sad really.


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!