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Read A Book


Thursday is the perfect day for MAD. Today, we are going to look at bibliophiles. This post goes out to everyone who got their knickers in a twist with the suggestion to donate books. It also goes out to those who are just as happy with a graphic novel. Are you ready to Make A Difference?

By a show of hands, who loves the feel and smell of a brand new book? Who can sit down with a book and completely lose the rest of the day? Who falls asleep with a thumb stuck in a book on the pillow? Wow! That is a lot of hands!

Literary Reading

Most all book lovers are literary readers. They crawl onto the couch with a cushion and a blanket, sit under a good light source (or have one attached to the book) and flip through the pages, hanging on every word. Leisure readers are not poring over a technical manual or research for work or a textbook. What they hold in their hands are creative works:

  • Traditional Fiction
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Mysteries
  • Novels and Novellas
  • Short Stories
  • Plays
  • Poetry

Fewer than half of all adults are literary readers. Most people read only what they must for work, school or survival (street signs, directions and warnings on packages).


You book worms are in the majority in the M3 audience, but you are in the minority outside. Only one in six people will read 12 or more books this year. More of them will be women than men. Sexist? 55% of women read for leisure, where only 37% men are perched beneath a reading lamp.

Reading for pleasure has declined over the last decade by more than 7%. No sexism or racism here: These numbers apply to all ethnicities, ages, educational levels and both sexes. With fewer children reading, this decline is going to continue.


Follow the money.

A big part of the death throes of the traditional publishing industry is consumerism. When you start breaking down where the money goes, the conclusion is four-to-one. 25% of the budget is spent on computers and software, music and videos. Not quite 6% of all recreational spending goes toward buying books.


Literary readers have hobbies besides reading. 43% of literary readers volunteer and/or do charity work. Only 17% of non-literary readers do. Readers do everything from delivering goods to serving in soup kitchens to community yard work. Readers are inspired to make an impact in their communities and abroad.

Why read?

The short version: Brain exercise.

  • Improved language, vocabulary and spelling
  • New concepts
  • Fresh perspective
  • More information

Want to stay younger? Read. It keeps your mind active. Reading provides an escape into imagination and creativity. It is entertaining while it relaxes you (or puts you into restful sleep). Reading can inspire you to try new things or do more.

Do Something

Read something fun.

1. Buy a book.  Browsing in a book store opens the door to other worlds and experiences. Discover an indie author and buy the book online. Short on cash? Scouring shelves in the library does not cost anything.

2. Read a book. Pick up a book you have never read. Do not fall into one you already know you love. Expand your horizons with something in a new genre or by a new author.

3. Get into a book club. Whether you join one with your colleagues or start one up with your friends, get together with others to discuss what you read. You can help someone else discover why reading is enjoyable. Sharing what you read sharpens your memory and comprehension.

4. Give a book. Book are excellent gifts, especially for children. When you finish reading a new book, pass it along to a friend. Better still, pass a book to a child.

Make a difference in your own life by reading something enjoyable. Choose a subject about which you are already passionate or open your mind to something entirely new. Share reading with others. MAD in their lives, too.


What was the last book you read cover-to-cover? When was the last time you bought a book? Do you read e-books? When was the last time you gave a book to someone else? Can you make a difference by reading?


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. While I understand your focus on”Literary” and fiction, I also enjoy reading a lot of history mixed in with everything else.
    A favorite gift for me that I use to give to college grads in my circle (we all graduated within a few years of each other) is Oh The Places You’ll Go, by Dr Seuss.

    And while I’ve read ebooks, I find that I much prefer a hard copy.

    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      Most of us in this little circle prefer the hard copy as well. I often have a problem with “literary” meaning merely creative works. There are a large number of historical books and true stories which are “literary”. Back to Americans muck up the English language with abandon. The point of it is reading for enjoyment. Leisure reading about war is much more popular than you might expect. True crime reading is astronomical.

      And I hope giving Dr. Seuss books never goes out of fashion.

  2. The Secret Book is my favorite… here is the link: http://thesecret.tv/thesecretbook/
    I have my own copy of this one with the hard cover.
    It would be nice to have one of these kind of inspirational and positive books.
    Thanks for sharing this post. 🙂 Have a great day!

  3. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I don’t do much reading. I think it’s because I’m SO slow… I can’t relax… I keep thinking about all the time that’s passing by and all the other things I could be working on.
    The last book I read was ‘The Sound and the Fury’… because I was making a Faulkner piece as part of a present for my sister. Parts were probably above my pay-grade… big surprise, right?

    • Whoa… acrobatic emoticons!

    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      Love your stacked guys! Maybe that could be an inspiration for a piece. I can only imagine what you could do with a sea of emoticons!

      And who cares how long it takes? That is ME TIME. Not that I am much better. I prefer to have my tele read my books to me whilst I do other things. Most of my books are read in the library (read bathroom), but not for the reason most do…I spent hours in the tub. 😉

  4. Despite growing steadily worse in the eyesight department I have a few books (Science Fiction) which are gathering dust after being read several times.

    Because of lack of use our local library in the community centre is closing, as is the community centre.

    We have the Middleton Central Library, but the council are talking about closing it too to save money.

    That would leave only the market to buy books from – and guess what got converted into a Tesco car park???


    Books were my life for many years and I have many fond memories of escaping an intolerable childhood with Carter on Mars, the Lensman series with E.E. (Doc) Smith, Asimov’s robot series, the Princes of Amber – I could go on, but you get the picture?

    Today my reading is done on the PC because of steadily failing eyesight although I HAVE read the New Testament in full and got as far as Psalm 80 of the Old Testament before my brain chip melted…

    I have also read the book of Mormon – and, believe me, it is the biggest load of bull ever to have been translated into 80 languages…

    Books are important to me, but I’m afraid they are becoming harder to obtain…

    Love and hugs my sweet friend!


    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      We spoke recently of you and an ereader. I think you should be seriously considering it, Ian. You can make the words large enough for you to read or set it to read the book to you. With more than a million free books, I think even you can find something delightful. I think Isaac Asimov is likely one of the best sci-fi writers to ever sit before a typewriter, even though I love most ever punny thing Peirs Anthony ever penned. Have you read much Michael Moorcock?

      • Hi Red! 🙂

        I have no idea if I’ve read Moorcock or not!!! 🙂

        As a child I vacuumed up everything in the library (I had to pay for a few because my dad destroyed them) and when I had money in later years I would haunt the second hand book stall at the market.

        For a long time I was too busy to go to the market for books and spent many long nights working on projects working to impossible time lines, so I eventually reached the point that I would work, eat and sleep – there was nothing else.

        I’ve been looking at Ereaders too hun, but I am on benefits which don’t provide much in the way of spare cash – everything is planned for months in advance – but I’ll get there! 🙂

        Love and hugs!


  5. I’m buying a couple of ebooks today, just because you said to do it. I can say that, now that I finally have a Nook Tablet, thanks to my soon 2 be daughter-in-law. 🙂

    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      How awesome! Tell me how you like it. My little sister has one, but cannot give me a real review. She does not use it enough… I would love to know how you like yours.

  6. As always, a thousand thanks, AM! And great post, again as always! As an aside, we do carry e-books and Indie authors. We’d have more Indies available if (ahem) more writers would make them easily available! 😉

    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      I consider that a direct call to all those who have been in the spotlight! Glad to see you tonight, Robin! Everyone really should check out her book store…it is the link in the post and in the Green Room!

  7. Because I have been working on my Master’s Degree over the last year and a half, I have read dozens of books cover to cover. Some of them were good and some of them were dry. The last book I read because I wanted to was sometime this last year, a memoir that I got at the library. I find I read a lot of books, but not as much fiction as I did in the past. I have read a lot of John Grisham’s books in the past, but not in recent years.

    I do not have a Kindle or Nook, but I think that I would like it. There is something about having the book in hand that is nice, though. Maybe I am just not embracing the change.

    My kids read a lot, so I am doing my part to change the pattern in children. Even my just 5 year old goes to bed with books. Tonight he had a chapter book, even though he can’t read. He just pages through it. I think that is great.

    • Red

       /  March 15, 2012

      That is great. I was disheartened at the Book Fair today at the local elementary school. They had the doors open for browsing, but no buying until Monday…explain that to the autistic seven year old with eight books she wants to read now. Grr. I am a firm believer in a book for every gift giving holiday. My children have far more than their fair share, but as we finish them off for the 18 (hundred)th time, we pass them along.

      I am still listening to my readers for reviews of ereaders. I think it is going to be the next thing I buy.

      • I suppose the e-reader is a fine thing, but I just haven’t gotten there yet. As a side note, the school is foolish to have a browse only book fair. My son brought home a flyer for a book sale and circled several books he wanted to buy. He wouldn’t do well with that either. Our books never last all that long because they get read until they fall apart, we repair them and they fall apart again. The take stacks of books to bed, so that is probably why. As I sit here tonight I hear books falling out of their beds. It happens every night, but it is so great, why stop it?

        • Red

           /  March 15, 2012

          The short version: Don’t. There were three classrooms of little ones in the fair when we arrived. They were all sent home with the keyword “tax” for their parents. What aggravated me was…I was willing to leave a check so she could ring it up whenever. And all I heard was “the register is only open on Monday…” Grrr. Very bearish afternoon.

  8. Last book: “Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success” by K. M. Weiland (good book)
    Last book bought on Tuesday, March 13.
    Love my ebooks
    I donated a few books (at least 100 — I didn’t count them) to the public library a few months ago.
    How can you not read? Not reading does not compute….danger, danger, overload….does not compute.


    • Red

       /  March 16, 2012

      I am with you, but I know oodles of people who the closest they get to fiction is a news magazine in the doctor’s office. Ugh.

  9. I am surprised by the small percentage of the population reads for leisure purposes. There are so many wonderful benefits, like distraction from the day’s stresses and being transported to another world in the pages of a book. I really liked this post Red.

    • Red

       /  March 17, 2012

      The numbers always bother me. Each year they shrink a little more. All we can hope is to infect another generation with the concept of “Reading is beneficial.”

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