Read instruments

This chart from Pew Research has been making the rounds, and I suppose it’s intended to be reassuring to those of us who really don’t have a good reason to assume our fellow Americans are as brilliant as we are. (Not that anyone is ever going to accuse me of brilliance, but work with me here.) Anyway, these are the numbers they churned up about America’s Reading Habits:

A snapshot of Reading in America in 2013 from Pew Research

And then the complaints came in. From syaffolee, a member of None of the Above:

This is interesting, although I’m annoyed with the race/ethnicity category. How hard is it to include “other”?

Bill Quick suspects something:

My guess is that there is a fair amount of lying going on. Admitting you haven’t read a book in the past year is tantamount to admitting that you’re a dumbass.

One of the reasons I slapped that “Currently reading” gizmo on the sidebar was to make sure I actually got around to reading some books; there are, I have discovered, people who notice it. (Week before last, someone actually quizzed me about it on Twitter.) I’d be interested to know how many of the respondents to this survey read at least two books last year.


  1. fillyjonk »

    27 January 2014 · 2:55 pm

    I wonder if starting books counts. I start a lot more books than I actually finish….

    Then again, I finished “Sense and Sensibility” and, IIRC, “Bleak House” (though that might have been 2012) last year. So that counts for something.

    I also read a bunch of detective novels, which, I know some people don’t actually consider BOOKS. Oh, and 4/7 of the Harry Potter oeuvre…..

  2. Roger Green »

    27 January 2014 · 3:06 pm

    Re; the OTHER category. 1) No one WANTS to be an other. 2) I suspect that there may not be enough OTHER responses to be statistically significant.

  3. Jess »

    27 January 2014 · 5:23 pm

    I haven’t read a book in a long time. Between work, blogging and the technical crap I have to absorb, I haven’t made the time. I guess I should, but I’d feel guilty for not completing my book.

RSS feed for comments on this post