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!