Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Glass half empty, glass half full--

The good news...

67% of high school grads do read another book. And that's a hopeful thing.

58% of college grads do read at least one more book. Some read lots!

43% of books are finished. (Confession: I don't think that's so bad. The older I get, the more demanding I am. At 35, I threw away my first hardcover. In the garbage. Didn't want it to pollute another mind. I very frequently quit novels and books of poetry. Life is short. My wish for a good book is long. And no book is right for every reader, it seems.)

30% of U. S. adults have been inside a bookstore in the last five years. And that's a lot of people.

20% of families bought or read at least one book last year. Some bought many more than one!

And the last two lines stand blessedly unchanged.

When has it ever been that more than a minority of people wanted a life of books? Go back far enough and our ancestors didn't even have any, though no doubt they told stories. Everybody does, even now. Books seem to be an acquired passion. (We may do our best to pass on a love of them, but often it doesn't take, or we do it the wrong way, as when a school prevents boys from moving around and having recess and then plunks a book in their hands and drones on about it.)

Hat tip to Flyleaf Books of Chapel Hill, now on tumblr. Me too.

3 comments:

  1. Those stats are quite depressing though I appreciate the positive spin!

    What a beautiful tumblr page, Marly! I think it's the first time I've looked at one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't done a thing for tumblr except queue a bunch of posts... I suppose I should do more, but I don't have time.

    Yes, they are depressing in a way. But I'm not sure how many readers have ever been, percentage-wise!

    ReplyDelete
  3. On thoughts elsewhere--

    Some Facebook comments on the link to this post point out that these feel about right, but I still don't know the source. If anybody does, please leave a note... Also noted is that visiting online bookstores doesn't seem to be included. But I do think this in support of indies.

    (And yes, being a reader is probably like being born vegetarian! XD)

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.