Why Do We or Don’t We Read?

Well this is my first post of the year, I go by Claire.

We really don’t read enough do we? I used to work at the Sir Jack Hayward Library in Freeport and we had a lot of patrons. But they were the same people, every week coming. Kids would come in, teens would also venture in and sometimes they’d pick up a book, but I think it was the free AC and computer use that drew a lot of people. Which is fine, but I wish they’d also left with a book. I’ve also met people who have proudly told me that they don’t like reading or have read a book since high school.

Below is an interesting infographic on reading and it’s plight.

I’m no writing this into guilt tripping anyone into reading something, but I want to encourage someone, anyone, to read anything if they can. I know there is sometimes ‘cultural’ or personal embarrassment to be seen reading something that is ‘below’ your age group (what that means anyway, I sure don’t know because you should read what you want to read regardless of the ‘recommended age group’ sticker) but to the naysayers, I say: screw it. Also who get’s to determine if reading is cool? I never understood that.

We have a lot of distractions out there, I know I don’t want to read sometimes when I can watch TV or chill with friends. But what about those moments when you’re not, those precious seconds of alone time? Would you pick up a book then? What stops you from reading the most? Lack of interest? Time?

There are a number of sites on the web that help with finding something to read. Goodreads is a good website and sometimes browsing Amazon helps as well! You might not be the book kind of person, so short story’s might be fun or even interesting articles on the internet (like this blog for instance!). What I’m trying to say is reading doesn’t have to take a stereotypical route, it can be on your phone or tablet, computer or in physical format. It can be a book, graphic novel, blog, newspaper or online article. I know our public libraries in The Bahamas aren’t the prettiest, or have the latest stock in best sellers but they are an underused resource, so also check them out!

What about me? Well in 2013 I read 100 books or short stories. I had a lot of fun doing it. Some were serious non-fiction, but most of the time I prefer the fantasy or young adult genre. No shame in being 24 and reading teenage stuff, it helps me pass the time. Two of my favourite books were The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I am also a huge lover of Nancy Drew and Malcolm Gladwell‘s books on human behaviour and society.

So what do you say, is this something that you think you can change? Make a bit more effort to do? What stops you from reading the most?



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