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!
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
- Novels and Novellas
- Short Stories
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.
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.
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.
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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