Thursday, July 08, 2004

the joy of reading..lost?

I don't know about you, but I LOVE to read ! I can read for hours at a time and on more than a handful of occasions I have burned the midnight oil just to satiate my desire of a book. This being the case, I am ashamed. WHY? Because I know I don't read as often as I should. I, like a majority of Americans, am guilty of putting other everyday occurrences priority over transporting myself into a story, poem, or kick ass book.

This morning, while reading an article in USA Today, I realized America is in a reading crisis. We just don't read anymore and the numbers are simply astounding. Heres the numbers in a nutshell: Supposedly, the number of NON-reading adults in America has increased by more than 17 million between 1992 and 2002. In 2002, only 47% of Americans were reading any kind of literature. Furthermore, a whopping 89.9 million folks did not read one book in 2002. How crazy is that ? 89.9 million people pretty much choose not to read; only doing so if the words are on the television, a memo at work, or on the internet.

And we are all doing it. We are overwhelmed by busy schedules and instead of reaching for a book to get lost in, most of us are sucked into the internet, tv, and non stop talking on our new and nifty cell phones for escape. Drops in reading were shown in both men & women, black and white, young and old, educated and uneducated. The hardest hit were adult men, with a percentage of 38%, and Latinos, with a percentage of 26.5%.

In essence, we have forgotten the joy of reading and it’s sickening. So I urge you all to pick up a book, read a freaking poem, and get off your asses. If we don't engage our brains and expand our minds, our kids will do the same; reaching for the remote instead of a book. And like the popular phrase goes, if you don't use it, you lose it.

As for me, this article was in a sense eye popping and mind numbing. AS I type, I am making a pact to really work on finishing the books I have been putting off. Matter of fact, for lunch, I shall read while I eat (instead of blog surfing of chatting with my yahoo buddies). In addition, I will try to become an active member of a book club, which may prove to be a hard feat. Over the past year alone I have joined 3 book clubs just for that extra motivation. BUT, each one has failed tragically due to poor attendance, beef among book club members, and poor book choices. However, there is talk of one of them getting back together and I am in the process of forming another one, specifically for minority readers. I am making a conscious choice to expand my horizons via reading. How about you?

COME ON PEOPLE!! GET LOST IN A BOOK and stop the horrible trend that has become widespread in the USA. Go to the library, join a book club, or just stop by Barnes and Noble and just browse through the aisles til something sparks your interest. There are billions of interesting books out there just yearning to be read and teach you something. Say it with me now: "BOOKS ROCK!!!"

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