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"The average person reads less than 100 books in their lifetime?"


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I guess it depends how they define a book. My 3rd grader has, easily, read a hundred books. Half of those were rainbow magic fairy books. The other half were American Girl books.:D

 

Seriously, it seems low. But, I am not really too surprised. I grew up with class reading being excerpts and short stories in textbooks. And if you factor in illiteracy rates in some urban cities (I forget what Detroit is, but it is AWFUL), I can see where that percentage could easily be true.

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Oh, I think that's about right. My BIL has read 2 books cover to cover in his entire life. It's not a bad thing, just who he is. Me? I read over 100 books a year. They aren't all "good" or "smart" books but they are still bound pages with print on them that are housed in big buildings where you can borrow books, so I guess they count.

Many people I know just aren't readers. I still think they are intelligent, though. My dh for examples reads tons of "good" magazines (science digests,etc.) but doesn't enjoy books at all.

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A quick google showed a 47% functionally illiterate rate, for ADULTS, in Detroit.

 

Another google turned up a N.Y. Times opening line of 1 in 7 adults are unable to read the article, because of illiteracy.

 

So, all of those people would factor in ....a zero (I assume) for the # of books read???? If not zero, it's a very low number.

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A quick google showed a 47% functionally illiterate rate, for ADULTS, in Detroit.

 

Another google turned up a N.Y. Times opening line of 1 in 7 adults are unable to read the article, because of illiteracy.

 

So, all of those people would factor in ....a zero (I assume) for the # of books read???? If not zero, it's a very low number.

 

I know all about Detroit but I guess I though it was the exception.

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Honestly? I don't believe it. Kids are required to read in school, and even schools that aren't great have kids reading daily. Even if a kid only reads a book per school week (I'm talking about picture books, not chapter books), they would pass 100 books in 3 years.

 

If the study said most people don't read 100 books in their adulthood, I would sadly believe that.

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Of our society, yes. Not me personally. I probably read more than that every three months or so. But most of the people I know don't even read one book a year. The last book dh read was The Da Vinci Code. And he read it when it was released. :glare:

 

:iagree: I know that in my small town my family is the biggest patrons of the library for both this town and the next one over. The vast majority of citizens in both towns do not have library cards at all. Even if just referring to adulthood and not lifetime I think that is a very sad thing. THough I do believe that is true for some people for their complete lives. If they come from a none literature rich home, and only do the assigned reading in school, which works out to the phonics readers in grade 1-2, and chapter books for grade 3-12 when I was in school it was roughly 4 books per grade of assigned books. And then they chose not to read after graduation, or where never actually proficient readers and can't read out of school, than I can see them having read less than 100 in their lifetime.

 

Generally speaking though I think it is very common for people to read less than 100 in their adulthood. Even those that I know read, often limit it to magazines and newspapers, not books. Luckily I grew up in a home with a mother that devoured books, and now I do as do my kids. I am certain my kids will have read 100ish books by the end of the school year just of school books(we use a heavy literature approach) plus all their enjoyment reading.

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I'm starting to think this might be true. Whenever our younger friends invite us to their brand new houses, the first thing hubby & I think to ourselves is, "Where do they keep their books?" It took us a while to realise that they just don't have many. Strangely enough, this doesn't apply to any of our homeschooling friends. :)

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I'm starting to think this might be true. Whenever our younger friends invite us to their brand new houses, the first thing hubby & I think to ourselves is, "Where do they keep their books?" It took us a while to realise that they just don't have many. Strangely enough, this doesn't apply to any of our homeschooling friends. :)

 

 

I have noticed the same thing. My mom has 1 narrow bookcase in the upstairs hallway, and that is it for books in her house. SHe borrows from the library a lot though. My sister come to think of it I suspect does not own any books. My nephew has 1 small shelf of books in his room and those have been the only books I have ever seen in her home and I have been there often, both as a guest and staying there for a week watching my nephew, so living there. Not a single book. All of my homeschooling friends are like me, they love their books and have tons. My non-homeschooling family/friends have very few if any at all.

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I'm starting to think this might be true. Whenever our younger friends invite us to their brand new houses, the first thing hubby & I think to ourselves is, "Where do they keep their books?" It took us a while to realise that they just don't have many. Strangely enough, this doesn't apply to any of our homeschooling friends. :)

I've noticed this for years and always thought it was sad. I tend not to feel very comfortable in those houses. Recently someone mentioned a very decor/fashion conscious friend who purposefully "had no books visible" in their house. Which implied some of these people may indeed own books but hide them. All I could yhink was :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

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Well, I read WAY more than my 100 books between 1993 (when I became an adult) and 2006. I have not read a single novel all the way through since the "stroke" in 2006. I got most of the way through Emma but just couldn't...Now, I do read other books. I read for information all the time. I have textbooks I read for school (I'm an education major). And I read children's books, of course. I simply haven't read a fiction piece in the last 5½ years. I really do miss it. I used to read a couple/few per week and now nothing. I just am not even brave enough to try anymore.

 

And certainly they can't be including school children because the average elementary student HAS to read more than 100 picture and easy chapter books, I would guess. Without counting graded readers (which, my six year old is a level 8 which is real reading so maybe should count), they'd still get over 100 in 1st through 5th grades. Add in a few novels in jr high and high school. Even if they never read again, they got their 100.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I read somewhere that people read an average of 7 books a year. Or maybe that was the average number of books checked out of a library? Anyway, it wasn't a huge number, but certainly not miniscule.

 

I think there are a lot of illiterate people, or only marginally literate people, even in the US. And even among those who can read, not a great interest in reading among a very large segment of the population. A lot of people watch tv all the time!

 

This discussion on the Mobile Read forum about that stat cited this article from 2007 that 1/4 of Americans read zero books last year.

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So, do you think people who don't read books (meaning the so-called "average" person) take in the same word count as 100 books in the form of texts, emails, facebook posts, blogs, news and magazine articles?

 

I understand there's a difference - ie, sustained interest in a lengthy topic - but they may still be reading. Is the point of the observation that fewer read longer works now, or that people simply don't read much at all anymore? I believe both are true, BTW, due in large part to our video focused culture.

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I guess it depends how they define a book.

 

I agree. I've read many books but I cannot say the majority of them were huge intellectual tomes or books with deeply profound messages. All 3 of my children hit the 100 book years ago. When my youngest dd was in 1st grade, she read over 300 in a year. I tracked them because we were using a rewards system. She read on a higher level but she was reading books like Amelia Bedelia and Junie B Jones. Are we counting those as books? Or does the quote mean books read only as an adult, from ages 18 and on? Hmm..

 

If it's adult only, I'm not surprised. I've personally seen public school suck the enjoyment out of reading. I've had 2 children who loved, loved, loved to read AND write come out of school hating both. Dd19 never truly recovered. She has no interest in reading. And her dad bought her a Kindle for Christmas. Dd13, OTOH, was back to reading for enjoyment within a year of leaving school.

 

I've seen kids really angry at the idea of summer reading lists because they believe that summer vacation means a break from anything schoolish and they define reading books as schoolish. It's sad. :( And I'm not immune from the unfortunate thing. My ds15 hates to read. I purchased 3 books for him for Christmas hoping he would pick them up. One of them he really liked, one of them he'll read as a bathroom thing, and I would bet real cash on him not even touching that 3rd book. That gift was a fail.

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Which implied some of these people may indeed own books but hide them. All I could yhink was :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

 

Or an excuse can be like my home. You won't find many books in the main part of home as we have no room for bookcases. But, our storage room downstairs is lined with bookcases. It's hard to get to the books though because stuff is stacked in that room. When dd19 moves out, dd13 will move downstairs and I'm taking the empty bedroom and turning it into a library. But at the rate things are going, we're talking 4 or 5 years or maybe longer.

 

I've got more books on my Kindle than I do sitting around upstairs. Thank goodness for my Kindle!

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I read 44 books from December of last year to November of this year, possibly with a few left out. I know I read a lot more than most of the people I know. DH has been busting my chops lately over the 17 bins of books out in our garage (that we just had to move back from our storage unit - very heavy). We don't have space for a lot of bookshelves so what we have is mostly stuff for homeschooling or for the little guys to read. We are putting up a couple more soon so I can unpack some of my favorites.

 

I would definitely believe the 100 books in the average adult, post-school life. DH has probably read over 100 books in his adult life but less than 10 in the past 7 years.

 

I have always been a reader but I was really worried about my oldest when she was younger. She was always more into television and computer during her limited free time but somewhere around 6th grade she discovered reading and I would say she's probably read at least 100 non-school required books since then. They may not be quality literature (although some have been) but she does read a lot now. She reads plenty of quality due to assigned reading in school.

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I saw this the other day and it kind of blew my mind. The KC area libraries, they cover a greater portion of the KC metro area + on the Mo side, are having a challenge. Reading 6 books in 12 months. It's geared for those 18 and OLDER. They're even giving away 5 ereaders as incentive. If the library has to promote adult literacy at such a low rate, I believe the statistic.

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I know all about the low literacy rates, but perhaps some people just don't like to read. Perhaps they spend their free time watching television, or swimming, or playing cards, or reading magazines, or dancing, or working 80 hour weeks, or tending to several children.....

Go ahead and flame, but some folks have no desire to read more than a few books per year, and that makes them no less than those that do. Bragging about reading tons of novels is quite humorous to me, in a way. I'm so sick of the us vs them mentality that seems to be rampant.

Do some of you really measure one's worth by the number of novels read, or even which books read????

 

Whether one agrees with it or not, books and the written word in general are the medium through which our culture transmits information. If you want to learn, you read. Yes, you can glean some info from watching tv, but really, I think it does more harm than good. I like to interact with people who enjoy learning. I don't value someone less as a human being if they prefer to sit around watching tv over reading, but the people who read frequently do seem to be more intelligent and interesting. It may not be a terribly kind thing to say, but it's true.

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Ugh...another big tv, no books post. Have you seen their closets? Their bedroom shelves? I used to have so many books, then realized they were space wasters. If you came her, you'd see a television, and not see any books unless you walked into the laundry room, or saw the shelves in my closet.

Some people can't afford books, others use the library, some use only an ereader. I DO realize some people simply don't read, but there are way too many assumptions going on here(in general, not you personally).

Why look down your noses at those who are different?

 

I think it's safe to assume when you go into a person's house and they have no books, then you ask and they tell you that reading is boring, it's safe to assume there really are no books. I'm not making that up.

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I believe it. Not true in my house, but I know many people who don't read at all. They don't have one book in their houses.

 

I had a friend at one point who used to praise her seven year old dd for telling anyone who would listen, "Books are for losers." They didn't own a single book. At least, not that I ever saw.

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I know all about the low literacy rates, but perhaps some people just don't like to read. Perhaps they spend their free time watching television, or swimming, or playing cards, or reading magazines, or dancing, or working 80 hour weeks, or tending to several children.....

Go ahead and flame, but some folks have no desire to read more than a few books per year, and that makes them no less than those that do. Bragging about reading tons of novels is quite humorous to me, in a way. I'm so sick of the us vs them mentality that seems to be rampant.

Do some of you really measure one's worth by the number of novels read, or even which books read????

 

Well, statistics are all about the average. The person who doesn't own a single book and reads a lot would, I think, fall in the anomaly category.

 

I read the book by Jim Trelease. I don't have it here to quote, but he gave a compelling argument that adults who read have kids who read. And houses that are filled with print material (he likes magazines and newspapers too) are more likely to have kids that read. And I just can't think of an argument against kids (again....talking the average kid) who wouldn't benefit by reading more. So, YES......I think this statistic points to a bad thing about our culture. Now, I don't look down on my engineer hubby who doesn't like to read. I don't look down on my dyslexic relative (who has a successful career) who doesn't like to read.

 

But, I do think this statistic points towards a negative cultural trend.

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First time I've ever disagreed with you, Mergath! I'm sure there are millions of interesting people out there who don't read many books, though. I love books, I just don't go with the "if you want to learn, you read" mentality. Today's world is changing, and there are numerous ways to achieve new learning without having to read a book. I, too, believe many watch way too much television...but there are plenty who choose to do neither and lead very exciting, intellectual lives! I think there needs to be a way to distinguish between "books" and reading in general.

 

I seem doomed to disagree with everyone this week. :tongue_smilie: I'm starting to wonder if I should just take a break until the new year, lol.

 

You don't necessarily have to read a book, but if a person wants to learn a good deal about a given subject, it will be necessary to read something. Let's say I want to learn about North Korea. I can watch the news and talk to people from North Korea, but unless I've read about the history and culture of the country, my education in that area isn't going to be complete.

 

Also, some people like myself who are visual learners have to read information to really retain it. I can listen to someone talk for hours, and I won't learn as much as I would given ten minutes with a book on the same subject.

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First time I've ever disagreed with you, Mergath! I'm sure there are millions of interesting people out there who don't read many books, though. I love books, I just don't go with the "if you want to learn, you read" mentality. Today's world is changing, and there are numerous ways to achieve new learning without having to read a book. I, too, believe many watch way too much television...but there are plenty who choose to do neither and lead very exciting, intellectual lives! I think there needs to be a way to distinguish between "books" and reading in general.

 

I see what Mergath is saying though too although I agree with you Dot, in that there are many intersting people in the world who don't read.

 

But there is something about a person who can delve into a book and relish it. Those people are often the most interesting to me.

 

I say that as a person with a DH who hasn't read a book for 8 or more years. He reads medical journals exclusively and uses the TV way too much, in my opinion. But he's still interesting. I wish he got more of my literary references and I wish he knew how much better the HP books were than the movies but I will still keep him.

 

And I agree with Snickel that I don't think it bodes well for our future that we are letting reading go like this.

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Whether one agrees with it or not, books and the written word in general are the medium through which our culture transmits information. If you want to learn, you read. Yes, you can glean some info from watching tv, but really, I think it does more harm than good. I like to interact with people who enjoy learning. I don't value someone less as a human being if they prefer to sit around watching tv over reading, but the people who read frequently do seem to be more intelligent and interesting. It may not be a terribly kind thing to say, but it's true.

 

:iagree:

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First time I've ever disagreed with you, Mergath! I'm sure there are millions of interesting people out there who don't read many books, though. I love books, I just don't go with the "if you want to learn, you read" mentality. Today's world is changing, and there are numerous ways to achieve new learning without having to read a book. I, too, believe many watch way too much television...but there are plenty who choose to do neither and lead very exciting, intellectual lives! I think there needs to be a way to distinguish between "books" and reading in general.

 

:iagree:

I am huge on books, and my kids read as much as I do ( a lot....), but I myself have learned A LOT from shows like NOVA, Nature, etc.

To say that reading is the only valid way of learning is a bit closed minded.

 

We also only have a few books out where people could see them. I do not "collect" books. We keep some, and keep reference books, but I don't really see the point of shelves and shelves of books I've read. We donate ours to the library or the used bookstore at the library, or I hand them out for others to read. Especially now with all of us having Nooks, usually we only get actual, physical books from the library - which are then returned. You would have no idea that my son reads about 3 books a week, and that I usually read one or two a week, by the look of our house.

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Ugh...another big tv, no books post. Have you seen their closets? Their bedroom shelves? I used to have so many books, then realized they were space wasters. If you came her, you'd see a television, and not see any books unless you walked into the laundry room, or saw the shelves in my closet.

Some people can't afford books, others use the library, some use only an ereader. I DO realize some people simply don't read, but there are way too many assumptions going on here(in general, not you personally).

Why look down your noses at those who are different?

 

 

I can see your point, but I still disagree (repsectfully, of course;))

 

When my dd11 started K, her teacher challenged all the parents to spend the same amount of $ on books every month as they spend on cable. Of course some families couldn't manage that amount, but many went to libraries. For many people, libraries are the only way to access any sort of book.

 

This is where I disagree with you. We have books in every room of my house except the bathrooms. My dh said I should try to decorate the living room, so I bought a box of books. I want my kids to grow up surrounded by books. I want them to interact with books everywhere in this house. I do think that reading=learning. I couldn't imagine living in a house with no books. I couldn't raise my children in a house with no books. Yes, dh and I both have Kindles, but my kids see us reading on them all the time. Kids who grow up surrounded by books usually become readers.

 

In my own personal experience, my parents had two bookcases of books while I lived at home. My parents aren't readers, but having those books available and displayed created a reader. After I left home my mom got rid of all those books:glare:. My two younger sisters are complete non-readers. I take that back. They did read the Twilight series. That's it.

 

So yes, I do think having books in the home is essential for creating readers.

Edited by wendilouwho
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I've noticed this for years and always thought it was sad. I tend not to feel very comfortable in those houses. Recently someone mentioned a very decor/fashion conscious friend who purposefully "had no books visible" in their house. Which implied some of these people may indeed own books but hide them. All I could yhink was :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

 

Do these people have kids? It seems VERY sad if people with kids don't have books in the house. But if they are only adults, I don't know. I rarely buy books for myself and only get them from the library. I guess mainly cost issues, but I also have this weird thing that I feel like it's a big waste of paper/energy etc. for me to buy a book I will read once and then have it sit on a shelf for 30 years or whatever. I do have a lot of reference books, but not much in the way of adult fiction. So I wouldn't necessarily assume people aren't reading if they don' have a lot of adult books in the home.

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This is where I disagree with you. We have books in every room of my house except the bathrooms. My dh said I should try to decorate the living room, so I bought a box of books. I want my kids to grow up surrounded by books. I want them to interact with books everywhere in this house. I do think that reading=learning. I couldn't imagine living in a house with no books. I couldn't raise my children in a house with no books. Yes, dh and I both have Kindles, but my kids see us reading on them all the time. .

 

And I have to respectfully disagree with you, Wendi. How can you not have books in the bathroom?!?! That's where I get a ton of reading done. :D

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And I have to respectfully disagree with you, Wendi. How can you not have books in the bathroom?!?! That's where I get a ton of reading done. :D

 

:lol::tongue_smilie:We don't keep them in the bathroom. We (meaning I) bring them there if necessary. The tub is the only place I can read without being interrupted;).

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