Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This Will Be Quick

By Paul

This is for the youngsters, and I don't want to tax their attention spans.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz delivered this tidbit for the post-Gutenberg age:

"A recent National Endowment for the Arts report, 'To Read or Not to Read,' found that 15-24 year-old spend an average of seven minutes reading on weekdays; people between 35 and 44 spend 12 minutes; and people 65 and older spend close to an hour."

I know that every generation believes that the young'uns are harbingers of the Apocalypse. Finally, it's true!

Okay, I'm old. Apparently not old enough to read an hour a day, but still...old. I believe, along with John D. MacDonald, that "the person who does not read has no advantage over the person who cannot."

And before I forget, which happens a lot to old people, I don't think the Los Angeles Public Library should spend its diminishing dollars on DVD's of "Meet the Fockers" or any other Hollywood picture. In fact, I think those responsible for making "Fockers" should be horsewhipped in the public square.

For those of you not My Spacing or You Tubing, what do you think?



  1. I read more than an hour a day and I fall into the NEA's 12-minute group. Perhaps their study returned false numbers because people aren't willing to spend much time reading government surveys.

  2. Does reading blogs count? I fall into the invisible group of 45-64-year-olds that presumably devote somewhere between 12 and 60 minutes per day to reading. I've used up my allotment, and it's only 9:00 a.m. As a librarian in a public library, I would say that the estimated 7 minute average for 15-24-year-olds is very high. Unless, of course, you count reading IMs, text messages, and the instructions for Rune-Scape.

  3. I read at least an hour a day and if I'm onto a good book it can be much longer.

    I read Pillars of the Earth last week and it took a couple of hours a day.

    This week Mayflower is taking up my time.

    My daughter reads over anhour many days, if her busy life doesn't push her to exhaustion.


  4. Um, I'm 33, so where do I fall into that scale? lol! I definitely read more than an hour a day, on average. Must be I have no life. ;-)

  5. Great post Paul, I would assume that by default everyone reading this Blog falls into the hour a day or more category for reading time if not age.

    As I waited in line at the Library to check out over the weekend I noticed what I always notice, those checking out books are in a clear minority to those checking out movies.

  6. Sigh. I am an old cranky yankee and am disgusted to see how our society is overrun with non-readers and general bobos. Chris Matthews was great the other day haranguing some commentator who kept calling Obama and appeaser just like Chamberlain in 1938 but couldn't say what Chamberlain had actually DONE. Clearly that fellow was no reader! Bush famously claimed at one point that he was reading Shakespeare. Maybe he meant the Cliff Notes.
    Kids spend hours on TV and on line and are becoming less educated by the minute. Unplug! Read! It's our only hope!

  7. The Chris Matthews interview mentioned by Anon above was one of the best 5 minutes in the history of TV. Matthews asked a right-wing talk show host (Kevin something) just exactly what Neville Chamberlain did that made him an "appeaser." Didn't really know who Chamberlain was and did not seem to have ever heard of Czechoslovakia. But he was kept SHOUTING that Obama was an "appeaser" because George w. Bush said so.

  8. And your next book will be ready when for those of us who do read more than an hour a day?

    The Queen

  9. Whether you support Obama or not, it is alarming the pernicious nature of web sites like dontvoteobama.com who spew this baseless vitriol.......I can't even grasp the link asserted between Chamberlain and Obama.....and I see that there's a movie due out shortly about the chad debacle two elections ago.........Surely, the Jeff you refer to thinks "why read about current events when they'll eventually make the movie?"


  10. I'm an avid reader - books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, wikis (in that order). I'm in that invisible group. My grandson, who is 15, reads a lot for fun, in addition to playing video games and watching TV. He's still an A student who is interested in science and math.

  11. ....as a "left handed" complement, Paul, you seem to type pretty well with only one hand...so how's the rehab progressing?

  12. I read more than an hour a day if you count newspapers books and the calorie info on bags of Cheetos.

  13. Verrrrrry interesting. They didn't quiz me, else the averages would be higher. Since grade school the only days I read fewer than three hours was on Scouting camping trips; and now that I've retired, no fewer than five hours a day. Lordy, but I enjoy retirement!

    Jim: Follett's (not a) sequel to PILLARS... is equally as good, if not better: WORLD WITHOUT END.

    And, Paul, I never did understand why libraries had tapes, now DVD's, of movies. I admit, though, that I'm happy when they have those items unavailable anyplace else, such as the Royal Shakespeare Society's production of all of the Bard's plays.

    Hope your rehab's working.

    Tom, T.O.

  14. I am a brand new reader of your blog. This is the first post I've read, but I wanted to give you hope of staving off the Apocolypse for at least one more generation. I fall into the 7 minute category, yet I spend a minimum of 1-hour reading each day! :) I hope that helps you sleep better!

  15. Great post Paul...but get thee to a book young man...

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
    Mark Twain
    US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

  16. Even on my most non-readingest of days I'd probably hit an hour at least, but I've always been THAT SORT. Left to my own devices I'd sit on my arse and read all day except for watching sports on the telly.

    I guess if kids these days are really encouraged to read then they will do so, and will go to become readers like us. But if we let the Playstation babysit them all day then they won't read anything more than game tips and cheat codes. We reap what we sow.

  17. Post-Gutenberg? You mean...the Police Acadamy movies after Steve left?

    --from the "I Really Need to Crash Department">

  18. I always suspected I'm "old" for my age. I'm 40 and read at least 2-3 hours a day (books, newspapers, magazines, blogs). The amount of time I spend reading, increased significantly once we decided to say bye-bye to broadcast television. Back in the days of watching television, I'd find myself too exhausted to read at the end of the day.

  19. Paul, I'm not sure how your post ended--I only read 12 minutes a day and it was too long. I'll have to finish it tomorrow.(for the record I do read more than 12 minutes a day).

    Those numbers, if true, should be startling and alarming to everyone in this country.

    As for the previosuly mentioned Chris Mathews moment--I watched it live and loved every second of it. The "expert" apparently failed World History 101 and Mathews knew he had a fish. When asked what Chamberlain had done the guest kept yelling "He was an appeaser" and "he appeased". I guess he failed to remember that Chamberlain had given Hitler the Sudetenland--at the time a German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia.

    For the record I have been married for 16 years. Any man who has ever been married is a confirmed and avowed "appeaser". (No offense to the ladies--we have to appease for you to have anything to do with us).

  20. You can see the clip of Chris Matthews and Kevin James on YOUTUBE-- it is great to see someone actually has a brain!