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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

reading, or lack thereeof

rant wraith has an interesting post about boys' reading or lack thereof.
Once upon a time I was a children's librarian and I remember fondly a small, nerdy, bespectacled boy whose favorite reading was biographies of big, tough football stars. Boys also like stories of survival and adventure. My husband remembers fondly reading Greek myths.
Later I was in charge of purchasing non-fiction for adults. Grown-up men like to read about wars, particularly World War II and the Civil War. I don't know where women are from, but men are definitely from Mars.
Men came to the library for books about fixing cars, plumbing, and air conditioning, building patios and other such projects.
The statistics on Americans' reading habits are depressing. Most people don't read anything, and when they do, they read dreck.

Look at the bestsellers list in the New York Times. I have actually tried to read many of those books and they are depressing. The books by celebrities are the worst--O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Al franken, etc. Whoever writes these books, whether they are left-wing or right wing, they are sub-literate. Pathetic. Awful.
No wonder library patrons make a beeline for the DVD collection, bypassing books entirely.