A Quarter of Americans Read No Books Last Year

Americans typically don’t read very many books. At least, that’s the consensus of an Associated PressIpsos poll released yesterday which revealed that over a quarter of the 1,003 Americans polled admitted to not reading a single book in the past year.

Included in the AP story is a quote from Richard Bustos of Dallas, who admitted that he was one of the twenty-seven percent who has not read any books within the last year, replied, “I just get sleepy when I read.” The thirty-four-year-old Texan, who works as a project manager for a telecommunications company, says that he would rather spend time in his backyard pool. Terrific.

I don’t want to pass judgment on these lazy non-readers. I realize that not everyone has a passion for reading like I do. But even if people don’t enjoy reading a lot, they still need to do it regularly. Reading is important; its many benefits include stimulating the mind and increasing a person’s comprehension.

Many people seem to think that once they finish high school or college, they no longer need to learn anything, and they can spend all their free time in the swimming pool. But education ought to be a life-long goal. It may not be enjoyable for everyone, but it is vital in order to be a well-rounded, knowledgeable individual who understands what is going on in the world. And while movies, television, the Internet, seminars, magazines, pamphlets, and the like all have some degree of educational value, nothing beats good, old-fashioned “book-learning.”

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