There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?
Serious reading habit. That's a nice way of putting it. The questioner could have used the term "book-obsessed" or "reading addict" or even "book crazed fanatic." Having a "serious reading habit" has a much more positive ring to it, don't you think?
Outside of you all and my yahoo reading groups, I tell very few people just how many books I read. I can just imagine the jaw dropping now, the turning down of the corners of the mouth, and the concerned and "poor you, you must have no life" looks coming my way. And the funny part of it is, is that I am an average reader among the high volume reader crowd. Among my family, I would not be surprised if my dad and mother-in-law read more than I do. Maybe even my husband's grandmother has me beat. My own mother can move pretty quickly through the books during the summer months, when she isn't weighed down by schoolwork. My husband is also an avid reader, although he is much more diverse in his reading material than I am. He reads quite a bit of manga, graphic novels, and comic books along with novels and magazines.
Of course, it's not really about the volume, is it? Most of us are not reaching towards some numeric goal. And yet that's exactly what separates us from the not so serious readers. We read more.
For the past two and a half years, I have worked in an office where readers have been born. One woman I know had a strong aversion to reading until she found herself in desperate need of a diversion during a very slow moment. She picked up a book that was lying around in the breakroom and viola! A reader was born. She no longer looks down on books and is often the first to test out a new book that makes its way to the breakroom table. You should have seen the light of excitement in her eyes when I asked her how she had liked a book I had loaned out (I actually had loaned the book to another coworker who evidently took the liberty of sharing it with a couple of other people before it found its way home).
There are several people in my office who read on their breaks and during their lunch hours. They might not crack open a book at home, but they do read at the office. None of them are have serious reading habits as I would define it. Sure they read, but they do not have this overwhelming desire to frequently discuss the books they read. They don't gravitate towards book news and litblogs to see what everyone is reading and what new books are coming out. They aren't members of several online reading groups where the discussion of books is the main topic. They don't talk their significant other's ear off with talk about the book they are reading. They do not keep a reading journal or jot down their thoughts of all the books they read. And they certainly don't enter contests for books and then feel like they won a million dollars when they win a book.
I do not know anyone who is as crazy about books as I am. Not even among the most avid readers I know. At least not in my real life. You all are much crazier than I am.
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!
"You all are much crazier than I am."ReplyDelete
Hmmm. I'm taking that as a compliment. Crazy is good. Normal seems like it would be so boring.
I love that people read during their breaks and at lunch. That is a wonderful use of time, if you ask me. And anything that encourages someone to pick up a book and read is a good thing - even if it is sheer boredom!
I forgot to say welcome back! I missed you whilst you were out walking! I hope you are fully recharged!
You're right, "serious reading habit" sounds much better! I don't have many readers in my 'real' life so thank goodness for the internet is all I can say! :PReplyDelete
Thank you, CJ. I am feeling better, although not completely back to normal. Soon, I hope!ReplyDelete
Crazy in a good way, definitely! I always wonder about the people in waiting rooms who have no book or magazine to read; there's no tv to watch and they just sit there staring off into space. Especially when it's a long wait (like for your car to be repaired). I have to read something. Time goes so slowly when I do not have a book.
Tanabata - I am so glad that there's a place where I can go to talk about books anytime I want to. :-) The internet has been great for that.ReplyDelete
I am definitely crazy,,,lolReplyDelete
I take it as a compliment!
I always take a book with me, wherever I go. I cannot stand to be in a situation where I have to wait and have no book. (HOW can people sit and stare into space?? sigh...)
Glad to see you back, too!
Hey Wendy! Hope everything is well with you.ReplyDelete
I don't have many readers in my life either, thus I'm very glad and grateful that there are bookblogs around so I don't feel as 'lonely' anymore... :)
I enjoy being part of this crazy group of reading bloggers. Welcome back.ReplyDelete
Merri - Thanks. It's nice to be back. Yes, we all are crazy! Haha And yeah, I like to have something to read with me at all times.ReplyDelete
Melody - Thank you! It's nice to be surrounded by like minded people--even if it's just online. :-)
BookGal - Thanks! I do too. You are all a wonderful group of people. :-)
I really enjoyed your description of office break readers, it sounds just like some of my old workplaces!ReplyDelete
I believe my sister, Booklogged, is even crazier than I am. We are passing it along to our daughters. There is only one person at work who reads much and she reads mostly light romances. So blogging is the best place I've found to discuss books and find great books to read.ReplyDelete
Welcome back and I hope you are well?ReplyDelete
You have been tagged. Follow Me!
This is such an appropriate subject today. This morning my husband and I were just discussing things about ourselves that might shock people if they knew. One of my habits he mentioned, scanning the stacks of books on the kitchen table, was "How many of your friends know you check out 50 books at a time from the library?" It's true. But I WORK in a library and most of the people I work with have at least that many checked out on their cards as well, so I never really thought my reading habits were so odd until he mentioned it. Most my friends and family are readers.ReplyDelete
Alisia - Thank you! It's nice to be back. I still need to take it easy and so I don't know if I will be blog hopping as much as usual, but I'm sure going to try.ReplyDelete
Framed - A family tradition! I like that. :-)
Dancin' Fool - Thank you. I am doing better. And what a fun meme you've created! I'll definitely be participating. I'll post the meme later this week.
KW - It seems rather normal to me to have so many books handy to read, but it is not to someone who isn't like us, is it? :-) I've actually found that when I wasn't around readers in my previous positions, where books and reading weren't a point of discussion ever, I didn't really notice how different I was. But being around other people who enjoy reading, especially in my office, I see just how extreme my habits may seem to some.
One of the truly awesome things about getting to know so many book bloggers is finding folks who share our obsessions, eh?ReplyDelete
Heather - Yes, it is nice to know that I'm not the only crzy one. :-)ReplyDelete
Ha! My best friend's husband proudly boasted that he only read one book last year. I confessed (it was in June) that I'd read 67 books this year so far. He thought I said 6 to 7 and nearly fell off his chair in astonishment. His wife DOES read quite a lot though, so he shouldn't have been so surprised! I love this crazy book blog world.ReplyDelete
That's so funny, Lazy Cow! I know my own husband, who knows I read a lot and actually reads all of my reviews, is still astonished when he hears just how many books I've read in any given year.ReplyDelete
Ha. Speak for yourself. I am completely sane. Everyone should be carrying a book around at all times.ReplyDelete
She loaned out a book you loaned her? More than once? Gah. That's why I tend to either give or not loan. Drives me crazy.
Haha Sure you are, Carrie. ;-)ReplyDelete
Yeah, the woman loaned my book out without asking me first. You can bet I will think twice about loaning her a book again. I actually loaned her two books and have only gotten one of them back. I'm so glad I wrote "return to Wendy" inside them.