Read a Book Per Month in 2017


reading

When was the last time you checked Facebook or Twitter? How many hours did you spend watching TV this week?

God, I sound old.

But the data tells a story. The percentage of American adults who read literature fell to at least a three-decade low last year, according to a new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts. Just 43.1% of Americans read a novel, short story, poetry or play in 2015. Another Pew Research Center survey found that 72% of American adults have read a book (in any format) within the last year, down from 76% in 2013 and from 79% in 2011, the first year the survey was conducted.

There are things we get from books that we can’t get from short snippets in electronic media – rich descriptions, well-considered arguments that exceed 44 characters and an appreciation for history that can be instructive. Reading demands that we sit still, remain focused and quietly concentrate hard enough to weave the letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages and chapters into a comprehensive narrative.

As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, make a plan to read more. Maybe one book per month?

I’ve already started and just finished TED Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson. It’s a great book with practical tips for delivering compelling, effective speeches to groups of any sizes. It’s about spreading ideas – something that books, speeches and public dialogue help foster.

So, what’s next on your reading list?

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”  ― Ray Bradbury