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Herald-Mail Forums

October 01, 2007

Last week's question:

On Aug. 22, The Associated Press released a poll that found that in the last year, 25 percent of U.S. adults read no books. Have you read a book in the last 12 months and if so, which one(s)? Not any from front cover to back cover.

· Who needs to read books when we have The Herald-Mail to read?

· This statistic is really saddening. No wonder our language is going down the tubes - a fundamental skill is being pushed aside in favor of technology and these stupid text messaging things. I've been a voracious reader since my mom taught me how (I was 4 at the time).

On average, I go through a book a week. Yes, my choices of literature have more than 20 pages and no, they do not have pictures. I enjoy everything from classics like "Les Miserables" to modern novels, such as "Harry Potter" and those by Barbara Kingsolver.

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· I only read technical reference books, newspapers, etc., but usually can find those online. I have no real need to read books like those from a bookstore.

· I am encouraged that the number is only 25 percent, as I have on other occasions read that up to 60 percent of adults never read a book after high school.

· I have always read extensively, particularly in the fields of history and biography. But it is abundantly clear that many who comment on these polls must read nothing, or else their writing and grammar skills would be much different.

I am stunned that so many do not know the difference between their, there and they're, for example. A book I recently read that might be of interest to some for its somewhat local flavor is "Gettysburg Gospel" by Gabor Boritt.

· I think the poor spelling and grammar points to the bigger issue of illiteracy.

· I pity these people. Reading is a wonderful thing. By the way, I have read more than 100 books in the last 12 months and am very proud of it.

· Absolutely, and there are too many to list, but some that I remember are "Running with Scissors," "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," and "The Reader."

· I read to my daughter and I read books about my hobbies - gardening, cooking, feeding wild birds and scrapbooking. I read books about health and how to improve it and books about taking care of my family, improving my Scrabble and books for spiritual inspiration.

Ask my family and they'll tell you that I read all the time. The newspaper, magazines - for pleasure and work-related. I always have a book in the car (and in every bathroom.)

My mother read romance novels, and the Bookmobile dropped them off at her house by the bagful. She always said reading was a way to forget all your problems for awhile. You get lost in a book and you forget about yourself.

· I am usually a nonfiction reader, but this summer I read the new Harry Potter from cover to cover in three days!

· Teachers can only teach so much. Students have a responsibility for their own learning. If a student does not value what is being taught and does barely enough to get by, it is not the teacher's fault if he or she cannot read.

So many students come to school unprepared to learn and if the student does not put forth some effort to learn, knowledge will not be gained as if by magic. Remember the old saying about leading a horse to water?

· I have read two books in the past year but I have very little extra time during which I am relaxed enough to sit and read. I know that's no excuse, but facts are facts. But when my son was young, he and I read a lot together and today he continues to read books, many per year. He is a college student in his third year and he spends his extra time in the evenings reading. He loves the Harry Potter books. So for that I am thankful. I just hope he does not lose the desire or time to read.

· Props to all those parents out there who read to their children. My 11-year old still loves to read and my 3 year old is perfectly content to sit and be read to - as many books as she can shove at you in one sitting. Start them young!

· Don't believe everything you read. I'd bet less than 2 percent of the people participating in this poll were polled by The Associated Press, so where did they get their numbers? Notice how lie is contained in the word believe?

· I have read numerous books in the last 12 months, averaging one a week. Some of the best I have read lately including Lee Server's biography of Ava Gardner called "Love is Nothing" and J. Randy Taraborreli's biography of Elizabeth Taylor called "Elizabeth." The worst - due to the numerous errors and inaccuries in them - were Marc Eliot's biography of James Stewart called "Jimmy Stewart: A Biography" and Farley Granger's autobiography, called "Include Me Out."

· I think in the past 12 months I have read 50 to 75 books. And I am talking about books of 300 pages and over. Reading is fundamental, it gives you concepts, an imagination and helps you to get away from your reality for a short time.

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