Where Are the Readers?

Pick one up

Where are all the readers? Not the electronic devices many are carrying around, but the flesh and blood, alive and breathing human types.

There is a noticeable change in the visible reading population. In years past, people were reading on park benches, at ball games, on their porches and at lunch. Where did they go?

Are we becoming a nation of non-readers?

Today, more and more parents and children seem to choose movies and computers over books. Television programming is “on demand.” Is that why no one is visibly reading?

Here’s a thought – if you thoroughly liked the movie, how about researching it to see if it was based upon a book? Then, READ THE BOOK! It is often a pleasant surprise and will provide so many more details than the movie included in the one hundred twenty minutes you stared at the screen. Do you like the “Bones” television series? Read Kathy Reich’s books. How about The Jesse Stone television movies? Read Robert B. Parker. Diary of a Whimpy Kid? Harry Potter? Water for Elephants? Because of Winn-Dixie? Bridges of Madison County? Lonesome Dove? Marley and Me? Well, you get the idea. I’ll admit I live in a household consisting of one reader and one non-reader. When a movie or television show comes on, I can often add the fact that I read the book. Yes, I treat it like an in-your-face flag of honor.

Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe people are reading. Children may be buying books via Scholastic orders and adults might be buying from online book dot-coms or the local groceries and big box stores for their media devices and tangible, in-the-hand reading. I have to admit, I also own a Kindle. It is currently loaded with over thirty – five books, six purchased, and the others shared either by friends or freebies. It is great to have for traveling and much more comfortable to carry through airports. But I also always have a few “real” books I have checked out from the library.

Reading is essential to our future. The people responsible for designing the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and the Empire State building didn’t learn their trade by watching the movie. If they had, it was seriously abridged. Now there’s a frightening thought.

5 thoughts on “Where Are the Readers?”

  1. I think I grew up with a book in my hand. I used to take a book into the bathroom with a flashlight late at night so my parents wouldn’t know I had gotten up to read. I’ve never been a shopper other than in bookstores. I love the smell of a new book and the ambiance of a a Barnes & Noble. I do own a Nook but prefer to hold a book in my hand and turn pages the good old fashioned way. Recently when Borders closed its doors, I felt a bit anxious, thinking that bookstores and the book as we know it would somehow be a thing of the past and we would be resigned to holding Nooks and Kindles. The joy of reading does seem to have waned as technology continues to advance and enchant its users. Books enable the reader to confront life and its difficulties, often teach problem solving, give us a glimpse of the world and how others experience it, introduce us to mystery and fantasy yet keep us on the right path with grammar and spelling. It is a shame tht so many children of today have so little desire to delve into its riches.

  2. When I was single, teaching, and had my summers free I would get on reading “jags.” One summer I got into books about the two World Wars and read every evening beginning around 10 p.m. and lasting until the sun rose the next day. Then I would sleep, go see my sweetie, and return home for more books.

    Another summer it was books the first half of the 20th Century. Two summers ago I into books about early blues music history, African-American culture, and even a book on Voodoo.

    I rarely read fiction preferring the real over the imagined. Today I don’t read many books but am constantly reading news, commentary, and articles about technology. The last book I finished was Chris Nelson’s history of the C.R. Patterson Automobile Company that was once a part of Greenfield. I have Jonathan Alder’s book about the early days of the F. Roosevelt administration but while it is a great book I haven’t made my way past the opening chapters.

    I don’t read for probably the same reasons I don’t play my guitar any more. Preoccupied with other pursuits.

  3. I like to read, I haven’t done much of it as of late, but now that I have more time I would like to correct that. When I was young reading didn’t interest me, but as I got a little older and found something that was enjoyable to me, I found I loved it. I would read in bed and get so involved I’d look over at the clock and it be 2 in the morning. Job restraints made me stop that and I guess that is when I got away from reading, but being disabled now I have plenty of free time to pick up the written word again and transport myself to far off lands!

  4. I have often read the books, usually before the movie, if possible, though sometimes after the movies. But digging back in my memory for an example to share, I remember reading and enjoying “Jurassic Park,” by Michael Crichton, and then with a group of men, mostly from a Sunday School class, as it turned out, some of whom had also read the book, going to the movies to see it together. The movie was also pretty good, and quite enjoyable, but the part I thought worth sharing was shortly after the Raptors got loose there was a segment of the movie that was going along almost word by word, that is action by action, with the book, it seemed, until BAM!!, a Raptor jumped out at us, and it wasn’t a 3D movie, and I literally jumped! Delightful! At that point, you see, the book varied from the movie and, while it would have still been a nice part of the movie, it was an extra special benefit that only really could have worked for someone, as well as it did for me, if she or he had read the book, preferably just a short while back before seeing the movie. At least one other guy in the group who had read the book was affected similarly, although he probably did not jump as much as I did, because others noticed and remarked about how I jumped. (Of course, I am an careful reader, often reading much more slowly than I can read when the book is interesting, and sometimes, again when it’s interesting, an intense movie engrossee. In fact, I am fun to go to the movies with; anyone wanna take me with them?)

  5. I watched Palimino by Danielle Steel on tv movie then got the book to read. I found I liked the movie better. I think I read Peyton Place also then saw the movie years later. Wasn’t impressed by it. The book was really good at that time as it was a little racy and I was probably considered too young to read it. It was good though. From what I remember. The library is such a good place to go. I love the place and the people that go there. Also the librarians, they are so helpful. Don’t know what I would do without them. I love my books. I have tried to get my grandchildren turned on to books but they don’t seem to be into them. Wish I had more time to read.

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