I realized recently that it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen anyone reading a book in public. Being a writer, this concerns me – and so, since I am well versed in several methods of research, I set out to discover the reason behind this lack of book consumption.
Based on my survey of ten McDonalds employees (where I work undercover as part of my efforts to thwart the black market kangaroo meat trade), I discovered the following:
-One in 10 people read books for pleasure
-Five in 10 people read only the newspaper, because it is available free at work
-Three in 10 people do not read
-One in 10 people wish me to stop asking stupid questions and clean the fryers
After I extrapolated the results of this survey, I determined that according to the current world birth and death rate, for every reader that dies, 0.003 readers are born. This is an unacceptable replacement rate. Therefore, I concluded that my survey was flawed, and I sought a more comprehensive source of data.
According to The Jenkins Group:
-1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives
-42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college
-80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year
-70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years
-57 percent of new books are not read to completion
-70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance
-70 percent of books published do not make a profit
These statistics raise the extrapolation of reader birth-to-death ratio by several tenths of a percentage point. According to The Jenkins Group’s information, for every reader that dies, 0.34 readers are born. This is slightly more acceptable.
I will provide you with one further set of statistics, which forms perhaps the single most important conclusion in my research:
-80 percent of survey focus groups choose a flawed set of participants to answer survey questions, such as stock market traders and Singapore housewives
-95 percent of statistics are made up on the spot
-70 percent of surveyed high school college students had just been forced to read and interpret Beowulf
-64 percent of Americans responded that they are far too busy reading books to take part in ridiculous surveys
Take from my research what you will. I have come to my own conclusions, and they include heavy marketing in Singapore.
Here is today’s Zen statement: If you always tell the truth, you do not have to remember everything.