My library shelves are absolutely overflowing; 98% are books I have read – however, there are unread books here and there and the above snapshots are of books near my bedside – books which I fully intend to be reading soon (mostly from the library).
So many books. There are classics on my shelves that I plan to read again; there are a few books I’ve not fully read; there are books I go back to again and again; there are reference books (although more and more I find myself ‘googling’ when I have a quick question) – and then the books To Read viewed above.
I cannot remember a time when I was not reading (obviously there WAS such a time). Although my unread books offer exciting discovery, I know from experience there will be some duds among them. But I just cannot imagine my life without books. That old question of what would you take with you (if you had a choice) if you were to be isolated on a remote island – I would take my favorite books. That means of course, that I wouldn’t live to read all of them.
The National Endowment of the Arts issued a report in January 2009 (“Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy”) based on data from “The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts” conducted by the United States Census Bureau in 2008.
Among its chief findings is that for the first time since 1982, when the bureau began collecting such data, the proportion of adults 18 and older who said they had read at least one novel, short story, poem or play in the previous 12 months has risen.The news comes as the publishing industry struggles with declining sales amid a generally difficult economy.
The proportion of adults reading some kind of so-called literary work — just over half — is still not as high as it was in 1982 or 1992, and the proportion of adults reading poetry and drama continued to decline. Nevertheless the proportion of overall literary reading increased among virtually all age groups, ethnic and demographic categories since 2002. It increased most dramatically among 18-to-24-year-olds, who had previously shown the most significant declines.
As the economy has soured, people are discovering that you don’t have to spend anything to read a book if you have a library card.