Friday, February 02, 2007

This makes me sad.

I came across some statistics, while engaged in my usual, daily web-browsing habits, that sort of made me a little bit sad. Here are the particulars that caught my eye:
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins,

To think that 80% of U.S. family didn't buy or read a book in the last year is just indescribably sad. Even more absurd, the article indicates that other research (which doesn't actually seem to be cited in the article, strangely enough) shows that 80% of the people in the U.S. would like to write a book one day.

Those numbers are just psychotic.

80% of people want to write a book.

80% of families haven't read a book in the last year.

Obviously those aren't the same 80%, but come on, there's gotta be some overlap between them. There's gotta be some *huge* overlap between them. So, why are there so many people who'd like to write a book that don't even bother reading them?

This makes my head hurt. It also makes me sad.

And, of course, I'm a little sad about the notion that 70% of published books do not make a profit and do not make back their advance, particularly at this point in my life, as I begin official editing work on my own novel, the first step towards what I hope will be eventual publication. Publication and, it would seem, eventual failure, if these statistics are to be believed.

1 comment:

Kimberly S. said...

Hallo Todd... This is just a friendly "Hi" from Kimberly (now in Quesnel) and I had a whole bunch of thoughts that I thought you could contribute to. I breifly read this post that i'm commenting to, but i'll have to admit my thoughts were still on My subject.. hehe....
Check out my brief post on my blog ( I was listening to an Art Bell program on the radio the other month, and am still thinking about it all... consiousness, subconsiousness and superconsiousness....