Does Anybody Read Anymore?

harry-potter.JPGThat is, does anybody read books anymore?

Like 8.3 million other people, we bought the final Harry Potter book for our household on Saturday. The huge sales would seem to suggest that people are still engaging in the offline activity. But, beyond the Harry Potter series, I wonder how many people actually read regularly just for the fun of it. Between the people who never liked reading in the first place, those who now listen to podcasts or audio books, and those who read everything online (including Harry Potter), books seem to be getting the squeeze.

What about you? Do you still read books for fun? Or are you too busy IMing, Facebook-ing, Google Reader-ing and video watching?

13 thoughts on “Does Anybody Read Anymore?”

  1. I still read, but I’ve never been an avid reader. Right now I’m in the middle of a Steven King novel, and I have a Michael Crichton novel waiting for when I’m finished. My wife and son are HUGE avid readers, including the Harry Potter series. My wife reads at least one novel every three to four days (mostly fantacy stuff).

  2. I used to read a ton, but my book reading has definitely dropped big time. I still read a lot, but most is online and short form. Back when I had an Axim several years ago I read some digital books, but it wasn’t as fufilling as a real book (those easier to read on a crowded subway). Wonder when Apple/iPod/iPhone will get into digital books?

  3. I have to admit I am the least prolific reader in my peer group, but then again I am the dumbest in said group.

    I am inspired by the people around me, what they read, how they form their opinions on the book’s content.

    I have never read any Harry Potter, but would dive face first into a 1000 page book about how the book is made into a screen play and shot on film step-by-step to give you an idea of what I read.

  4. I read a lot. Lately my work has been in the way, but I still get 1 book in every 2 weeks.

    Reading Harry Potter at the moment!

  5. I tend to get a lot more out of reading than video. With a Sony Reader, since I can easily carry around an almost unlimited supply of good books, I find I am reading for pleasure much more. Weird, it’s almost like I’m re-discovering reading for pleasure.

  6. Jake- That’s encouraging. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

    All- Lest you think my reading is of the sophisticated type, most of my books are sci-fi/fantasy or mystery. Though I try to throw in a good-for-me book once in a while.

    Shamless plug alert: If you’re looking for a book in that latter category, I highly recommend “A War of Frontier and Empire” on the Philippine-American War. My husband wrote it so I may be a bit biased, but it is good reading!

  7. I don’t do Harry Potter. But I read a healthy amount, switching between sci-fi/fantasy and mindless “chick lit”. If I’m not reading, I’m doing crosswords… what can I say, I’m a nerd. The decline of America’s literacy is a shame though…

  8. I read quite a bit. There is something about reading on a computer screen that just doesn’t satisfy me, and although I enjoy them, TV and Movies can never take the place of books. The production costs are just too vastly different.

  9. Being dyslexic, reading has never been an enjoyable experience for me. However, BECAUSE OF some of the sites and tools you mentioned, I have been reading more than ever. Blog posts are often manageable, “bite sized” material that I can read without feeling intimidated by a 400 page book.

  10. Finished a book yesterday, and one last week, and started one today.

    I have been reading non-stop since I could actually do so, and I do not see myself stopping just because of the internet…

  11. I read constantly, as I always have. I suppose internet time has cut into that somewhat, but there are still plenty of hours in the day. I save a lot by watching very little TV (all movies and shows on DVDs)

  12. I found that I prefer reading articles to listening to podcasts. I can read the same material much faster than I can listen to it.

    The past few years I found I’ve spent just as much time reading, but it has changed from reading books to reading articles and blogs online. I became a blogger myself and devoted many hours to writing blogs, as well.

    Three months ago I closed down my blogs (personal reasons) and made a new self-support system to get back to reading more books. I have a comfortable area upstairs with a desk, coffee, heater, etc. where I now spend an hour or two early each morning having coffee and reading books of my personal choice before coming downstairs and getting on the computer. Once I’m on the computer–that’s it–I can’t seem to get off! I think making a self-support system like this is key for anyone who does want to read books.

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