On Reading

Drudge links to Breitbart, in an article that essentially says that Americans are ignorant (in this case, about politics). Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder goes a little further and implies that conservatives are un-read.

Um… like we have the time to read more???

Not me, anyway. Every moment I spend reading for pleasure takes away from 1) time spent with the AstroWife, 2) my job 3) my catz 4) my music (which as already dwindled down to nothin’) 5) my astronomy (ditto) and… you get the idea. To get me to read (more – I insist that you count blogs as “reading”) it’s going to take an awfully good book.

I do go to bookstores, however, quite often. The usual result is that I buy nothing, or I by a (singular, one, not plural) technical book (mostly ’cause they’re outrageously over priced). Sometimes I’m tempted to buy a non-fiction (history or political) book and mostly I’ll read those (even if it takes me a year). Like most people, I’m not tempted to buy “vanity” books or anything allegedly written by a pop-tart or politician or president wannabe, and (like most men) I wouldn’t consider buying anything resembling a romance novel. I used to buy (and read) a fair number of books from the sci-fi/fantasy gendre but to be honest, I’m not tempted by those much any more. The last one I read (sequels to Rendezvous with Rama, by Pournelle et. al.) was – disappointing. That’s probably because Pournelle didn’t have much to do with the writing. Pity. He used to be good. Of course, he got a big push when he wrote Lucifer’s Hammer for^h^! h^h with Larry Niven and let him take most of the credit…

My answer to the question “Why aren’t adults reading more?” is then two fold. 1) Who’s got the time? and 2) Gimme something worth reading.
And by the way, who’s not reading? Me and my cohorts are reading tons, when measured in bits and bytes. If the questioner really asking about the number of books (as in pulp paper and bindings), then why is the tennor of the article implying that this is a catastrophe in the making? I mean, did music come to a screetching halt because of edison disks? Or did it take the creation of 78 rpm platters to do that?

No, reading isn’t dying, and Americans are not reading less (if anything, my experience informs me that they’re reading more). It’s books (and publishing) that’s in trouble.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Education, General, Personal

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