Committed To Regular Reading
Over a year ago in these entries, I gave some reading statistics from bestselling author Harvey Mackay's newspaper column. They are disappointing:
"* Only 14 percent of adults with a grade-school education read literature in 2002.
* 51 percent of the American population never reads a book of more than 400 pages after they complete their formal education.
* 73 percent of all books in libraries are never checked out.
* The average American watches 32 hours of TV every week.
* The average American reads only eight hours (books, newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages, etc.) every week.
* The average American annually spends 10 times more on what he puts on his head than what puts into his head."
With these statistics, it is little wonder that parts of the publishing business are struggling (and even predicting the struggle will continue for some.)
If you want to be involved in some aspect of publishing (books or magazine writing where your work appears in print), then you need to be committed to reading on a regular basis. It's important to take in great information through reading. The experience will fill your mind and heart with something important which will influence your writing. Create a habit of reading. Why?
Consider these additional statistics from Harvey Mackay:
* "If you read just one book a month for 12 straight months, you will be in the top 25 percentile of all intellectuals in the world.
* If you read five books on one subject, you are one of the world's foremost leading authorities on that subject
* If you read just 15 minutes a day -- every day for one year -- you can complete 20 books."
Often my own reading for pleasure happens early in the morning or late at night. It is a consistent part of my writing life to be reading nonfiction and fiction in many different areas. I read way beyond the books and magazines that I write about in these entries--and I do it on a planned, disciplined and regular basis. Reading is just as much a part of my publishing life as writing and the two disciplines work in tandem. Do they for you and your writing life? Even 15 minutes of reading can make a huge difference--if done on a consistent basis.
Finally, some readers are concerned if they don't see consistent tweets from me or entries about the writing life. Early tomorrow morning my wife and I are flying to the Austin, Texas area. It's a quick family related trip and I'm unplugging from my computer and not taking any gadget to connect. I will admit to slipping my AlphaSmart in my carry-on in case I get some huge inspiration. My wife's aunt turns 100 tomorrow and we'll be there with other parts of the family to celebrate Aunt Mary's milestone. I'll be back and continue my entries about writing and publishing.
In the meantime, I've got one of my biggest decisions to make: which books to carry on this quick trip for my own reading time.