I went to my local library yesterday because:
1.) I love to read
almost as much as I love more than anything else. Ever.
2.) I’m a writer, so as you can safely presume, I’m broke, and can’t buy very many books.
3.) I’m doing research and needed a LOT of books. See #2.
Since I only have about 10 unread novels on hand right now, I absolutely needed to pick up another one. I’ve had Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train on my reading list for months (just released in January, 2015) and was thrilled to see 3 copies of it available at the library.
But then, I was simultaneously irritated. Why are there 3 copies of this New York Times Bestselling, “summer must read”, film-rights-have-been-sold, much buzz, everyone’s-raving-about-it book available? Typically books like this are on hold forever. I’m used to being #76 on a waiting list.
As if I don’t already have enough to worry about, now I’m concerned about the reading standards of my local community.
I completely understand that we all have varying taste in literature. For example, mine is very good.
In all seriousness, though, are people still reading books? My world is somewhat small and sheltered, I work from home and because of that am generally out of touch with fashion, technology and probably reality. My small circle still reads, but collectively, are people just not reading as much anymore?
An exhaustive 20 minute Google search has much to say about this. And it turns out, yes and no. We’re reading an awful lot…social media, email, articles, text messages. However, full length books? Not so much.
This past spring, Hugh McGuire published an excellent article on Medium titled “Why can’t we read anymore?” Give it a look, he shares some great data (especially if you find yourself struggling with any type of e-addiction).
I’d love to hear from you. Obviously you must read some, you’ve made it this far in my post. Do you read, and if so, what? Do you still read books, and if so, which genres? Do you read less now than you used to? And my favorite question, what’s on your current reading wish list?
If you don’t respond, I know some of you personally, so I will show up at your door, demand a free cocktail and your reading list. In case you need suggestions, here are some that I’m hoping to get through over the next couple of months:
- All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
- A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler
- The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
- Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
- Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
- Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
If you used to love to read, but need more encouragement, still, check out this list of the 10 Benefits of Reading, from www.lifehack.org.