I was updating my Living Social Visual Bookshelf on Facebook earlier today; adding up new books and giving reviews for few. Some of my books collections:
In between adding up my currently reading book (Outliers, The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell) and adding up the my review on my last week book (Man and Boy by Tony Parsons), I remember the survey that I did few years back during my English class activities. I did a simple survey on how many books that my colleagues read in a year, which medium of literature that they preferred, types of book and do they really enjoy reading or just read because they have too. I have been trying to look for the exact statistics from the survey, but I can’t find it. Nevertheless, I still remember roughly the results of it:
1. Almost 70% of them only read 1 or 2 books in a year (not educational books)2. More than half prefer to read online newspaper and printed magazines (fashion, technology and entertainment), but not printed or electronic books3. Types of books that they really enjoy is comics4. And they prefer playing online games, shopping and hanging out with friends than spending their leisure time reading (reading is never been considered as any of their top 3 leisure activities)
The most mind boggling problem for me is the fact that these future engineers, business persons and young leaders are spending more of their precious time by reading and gossiping about artists (unfortunately I am one of them too, as you can see in my guilty pleasure blog) about new and latest gadgets rather than learning and understanding about the economics, politics and basically knowing nothing about what is happening around themselves.
Most of them are rarely finish reading even a single book in a year with many excuses converging to satisfy their endless craving for online gaming and socializing with their friends. Others blame the high price of books in the market in Malaysia (most of the books here range about RM30 – RM50 while others can reach out to hundreds of Ringgits). Even though I am on board with them by saying; reading limits your ability to socialize with your friends (that are not too keen of reading), I always manage to find a spare time for my books. I usually read them before I go sleep and when the internet connection is
really slow crawling.
Some of the interesting reading and literacy statistic in Malaysia (Malaysia Reading Profile Survey 1996):
1. Malaysian that are able to read = 93%2. Reading habit = 87%3. Only 29% Malaysians use the library4. 22% develop their reading ability via TV/Video medium
Malaysia is ranked number 89 over 179 with 91.9% of Literacy Rate as included in United Nation Development Program Report 2009, which is below Japan, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. More countries can be found here.
Meanwhile, in United State, some of the reading, literacy and education statistics are (source):
1. The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years (8 words per day)2. 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems3. 44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child4. More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage5. 15% of all 4th graders read no faster than 74 words per minute, a pace at which it would be difficult to keep track of ideas as they are developing within the sentence and across the page6. 15% of all 4th graders read no faster than 74 words per minute, a pace at which it would be difficult to keep track of ideas as they are developing within the sentence and across the page7. 46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine.Dyslexia affects one ot of every five children - ten million in America alone
These data and statistics certainly put on view of the danger our society today will be facing if reading habit continues to deteriorate in the future. If the books are too expensive, borrow from your friends. If you cannot find the suitable time to read, do it while you are waiting (instead of twittering others) or if you are really busy, make an effort to read a couple of pages a day before you sleep. Hopefully, the world will discover the beauty of words again.
Do you enjoy reading book? Any favorite? How many books you read in a year? Oh and don't forget to join the poll "How Many Books Do You Read in A Year" too (on top right of this page)
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