Monday, August 27, 2007

She/He Loves To Read

Well, that may be what proud parents say about their 9-year-old, but recent facts about the American reading public are disappointing. A study reported that the average number of books read by adults last year was four--and that 25% of adults in the US did not read even one book all year. Women are the most avid readers and religion and popular fiction are what is read most.

Sister Joan Chittister's latest book, Welcome to the Wisdom of the World, has only been out 5 weeks, but the publishers, Wm. B. Eerdmans, have already distributed 6,000 copies. If you love wisdom stories and always wanted to know something about the major world religions, in a non-threatening way, with non-theologically choking vocabulary, you'll love this book. Since 3,000 copies is an average yearly run for a book, these early numbers are terrific.

Here's another look at the publishing world: Nielsen BookScan of White Plains, NY, reports that 1.44 million different books were sold in the US last year and 1.12 million of them (77%) sold fewer than 99 copies! I believe the seven Harry Potter books have sold something like 325 million in 65 languages. WOW! And, yes, I just finished the latest one...and it WAS great.