This passing semester when I told my students that I don’t own a TV and read books instead. I was met with many a blank expression. Reading books wasn’t popular when I was a kid and it is even worse now. Book are not longer a tool for learning and self edification. Books are a source of entertainment, they are an intrinsic part of the propaganda machine that is mass media. I saw this list today and thought to share.
1. In a 2012 survey, almost a fifth of children said they would be “embarrassed” if a friend saw them with a book….
2. …and 54% of those questioned said they preferred watching TV to reading.
Here’s the study from the National Literary Trust.
3. Fifty Shades of Grey is now the best-selling book of all time in Britain.
4. Snooki is a New York Times best-selling author.
5. So is Jessica Alba.
6. This Justin Bieber book? Also a New York Timesbest seller.
7. Book and e-book sales are down 9.3% in the U.S.
And the trend is pretty much the same across the globe.
8. The last Borders bookstore closed in September 2011. Barnes and Noble, which is battling a steady sales decline, has been closing about 15 stores a year.
9. Ebook sales have officially topped printed book sales as of 2011.
…which isn’t a death knell for reading per se, but it certainly signals the end of a rich historical era. Of paper.
10. Forks, Washington, now has Twilight-themed stores designed to cash in on tourists.
11. And the four-book Twilight series has sold over 116 million copies, almost half as many as Stephen King’s entire canon.
12. It’s gotten so bad, books are now being MASSACRED for crafts.
Thanks, Lauren Conrad.
13. And the worst: One in four Americans said they read ZERO books in the past year.
(According to this 2007 Associated Press poll.)