“When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”Â –Ian McEwan
Well, booksellers, writers, and publicists–take note. Just like restaurant advertising dollars go to women, so should book advertising dollars, evidently: NPR reports that women read more than men.Â (Sadly for me.Â I like writing guy voices. A lot. In fact, my guy voices come easier than my girl voices. Maybe I’m a really a guy deep down inside. But on the plus side, women not only read women’s novels but they read novels with male protaganists, too. Science fiction is probably the big exception to this general rule.)
I find this statistic from the NPR story horrifying: A National Endowment for the Arts survey found that only “57 percent of Americans had read a book in 2002….” In other words, only half of the American public had read a book in 2002–and half hadn’t. How can you possibly LIVE life without READING? I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. How do they survive? Reading is like…eating. It’s like drinking water. It’s like a fine glass of wine. Hell, it’s like an everyday glass of wine. It’s like sex. It’s like good sex, bad sex, any sex at all. Without sex, humanity dies. Without reading, humanity dies. Reading is absolutely fundamentally necessary. How do people live without it?????? I just don’t get it.
And as for the generation that doesn’t read? “‘What all of us are wondering is what will happen with this new generation that doesn’t read much,’ says bookstore owner Carla Cohen. ‘What happens when they grow up?’”