Holiday time reading time

The Summer holiday having started many people try to escape from the daily ‘rompslomp’ or ‘hassle’.

One way to let the thoughts wander about is reading. Though when we look at the shops we have seen many bookshops disappearing and on the public transport, streets and in parks we do not see many people reading a book. We see many looking at their mobile phone and fingering a lot, being playing games on their electronic device. In life, cultural activity does not receive much place today.

Last years survey findings from Pew Research Center showed that what we fear is a general problem. For 2014-15 seven-in-ten American adults (72%) have read a book within that past year, whether in whole or in part and in any format, according to a survey conducted in March and April. That figure has fallen from 79% who said in 2011 they had read a book in the previous year, but is statistically in line with survey findings starting in 2012.

I would have thought reading could come in the lift again by the e-reader becoming more popular and being it a very handy tool, making it possible to carry a whole library with you in a suitcase. The handiness of the tool, being able to enlarge the print or to adapt the light according to the circumstances, is in the advantage to bring many stories close at home and/or readable wherever a person is.

Americans remain hybrid consumers. Digital sales, which comprise about 20% of the market, have slowed sharply, while print sales have stayed relatively strong, according to the Association of American Publishers.

For those who have limited sight the audio book is a marvellous solution. It can be said that audio book consumption has remained stable. In the U.S. 12% of Americans are saying they listened to a book that way.

Good news may be that, though we do have the impression youngsters are not reading any more, in America youngsters between 18 to 29 are more likely than their elders to have read a book in the past 12 months. Fully 80% of young adults read a book, compared with 71% of those ages 30 to 49, 68% of those 50 to 64 and 69% of those 65 and older.

Also in the States it looks like women willing to spend more time to be on their own reading a book.

The average woman read 14 books in the past 12 months, compared with the nine books read by the average man, a statistically significant difference. The median number of books read by women was five, compared with a median of three for men, which was not statistically significant.

Those with higher levels of education were more likely to have read multiple books than those with high school diplomas or less. The typical college graduate or someone with an advanced degree read an average of 17 books in the previous year, compared with nine for high school grads and three for those who did not graduate from high school.

Shame is that we not only see not so many taking up a book, serious newspapers and magazines may have difficulties to attract readers with serious articles. In the racks we may find lots of paparazzi and gossip magazines fighting for popularity, whilst not many eyes are directed to the better magazines. Also electronic magazines do not have it easy to stay alive or to attract enough readers.

The BFG poster.jpgThe independent charity, The Reading Agency, encourages children aged between four and eleven to read six books over the summer holiday. Such challenges may create again a reading attitude which is carried on in later life. Having the new Steven Spielberg film about The Big Friendly Giant or BFG [or GVR (Grote Vriendelijke Reus)] Roald Dahl is in the picture (From July the 20th in the cinema), honouring the centenary of the celebrated author.

Children’s librarians, industry professionals and children, collected books representing the popular themes from Dahl’s stories: friendship, mischief, adventure, incension, word play and champions. To stimulate the reading children are motivated by special rewards for each book they finish and there’s a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge. As such it will be a great boost to their confidence in addition to enhancing reading skills. Open to all primary aged children of all reading abilities,  the challenge launched on Saturday 16 July at libraries up and down the country with a whole programme of events and activities for families over the summer. It’s very easy to join, just head over to your local library to sign up and take part.

For those over the age of eleven, who need some push or incentive to take time to read, why not create your own reading challenge with family and friends?

We may not give in. Though easy commercial blogs may receive lots of attention, bloggers who do not aim to gain money by hidden ads or promoting gadgets and commercial material, should continue to write more serious articles and perhaps keep aiming to a small but interested public.

We can only hope that readers will find some time through the year to read longer articles and to stand still by what is uttered in those more serious blogs.

In any case, holiday time may also be a time to take advantage of the free time, to sit in the sun and to enjoy some different articles, bringing your mind to think about other things than work.

Enjoy reading.

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Preceding articles

Library of Love

How the Story Ends

2016 Summer holiday

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Additional reading

  1. Summerholiday season time to read the Bible
  2. Psst! Spread The Good Word!

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4 Comments

Filed under Cultural affairs, Fashion - Trends, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle

4 responses to “Holiday time reading time

  1. Pingback: Summer Daze | From guestwriters

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  4. Those are certainly some interesting numbers. I work at a library myself, and I am always most excited about the children who bring up mountains of books to check out. Perhaps it is where I work, but I believe there is a stronger romance to physical books and reading in our time precisely because of all the distractions. (Then again, I am a bit of a bibliophile.)

    Still, I often have teens and elderly alike plop a stack of books down on the counter and exclaim: “I read a lot!” And I just think: please, never stop. =)

    Liked by 1 person

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