On Sept. 6, when my post, “Bookish & Unbookish: Rock Stars & Writers,” appeared here, a few readers chimed in to say they were bookish, too.
Like me, Ellen Moody can’t leave home without a book. She wrote, “I feel lost if I go somewhere and realize I will have waiting time (there is always waiting time) and find I forgot to take my book.” Clare Shepherd wrote: “I don’t believe one can be too bookish, so back to my book lol.” Sherry Jones, author of the lively historical novel, Four Sisters Four Queens, commented on the “unbookish” part of the post, my new rock groupiedom: “Make sure to see only bands you really love. Otherwise, you’ll wish you’d brought a book.”
We bookish people are a minority. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States published annually by the U.S. Census Bureau (2010), “37.9% of the American population, or approximately 87 million adults, read books for leisure in the previous 12 months.”
Actually, I’m surprised the numbers are that high.
It’s not just reading. It’s also book-buying. According to the Book Industry Study Group, book sales are down.
“Sales from adult hardcover, paperback and mass market; children’s hardcover and paperback; downloadable audiobooks and e-books–were $2.19 billion for the first half of 2011, compared to $2.39 billion for the first half of 2010.”
I spend most of my money on books. “Have you ever heard of the library?” one friend asked when I bought three hardcovers at B&N.
Most of my housekeeping money goes towards books. I can make do with vinegar and water as a cleanser if it means saving a few dollars. As for dinner, why not cook the dregs of the garden and bits and pieces of other things in the refrigerator? I call it soup!
And then I can buy a book…
I read the books I buy. I check out way, way, way too many library books that I don’t read. Right now I have:
J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man
Laura LIppman’s The Most Dangerous Thing
Andrea Barrett’s Archangel
Tan Twan Eng’s Garden of the Evening Mists
Will I read any of them?
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