Do Americans Read Books? Can They Even Name a Book? ANY BOOK?

in life •  5 months ago

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Following the show's long tradition of interviewing the man on the street, the Jimmy Kimmel Live crew set out to discover if the average American can name a single book.

In the preamble, Kimmel points out that a recent survey revealed that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book in the past year. I agree with him when he remarks that "that actually seems high." I wouldn't be surprised if the real number was a lot smaller.

I know in my own experience I seldom meet other readings. I can barely count the number of coworkers that have seen me reading on break and have remarked that they've never read a book or can't remember the last time they did. Not a lot of people read these days.

Before you watch the video below, I want you to keep these two things in mind:


1. People freeze up when asked unexpected questions.
2. We don't see the interviews that were left on the cutting room floor.

But even with those factors taken into account... this breaks my heart.

I consider myself a somewhat avid reader. I try to read a book a week. I usually fail at that goal and end up doing a book every two weeks. The point is that I'm reading.

Study after study has demonstrated the many benefits to reading. Do I need to cite sources? A quick search will take you there. This isn't controversial. As much as I hate the oxymoronic phrase, "the science is settled", this pretty much is settled.

Do yourself a favour. Read a book. Expand your mind. Read books to your kids. Raise the next generation to be a generation of readings.

~Seth

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I do more reading now than at any other point in my life, just not books.

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Fair. Not all reading is books.

Though I'm sure you could name a book if asked.

I just had plan to read books.

I think soon I can make time to read books.

No other places can ever be good than reading books.

Have you read anything good lately?

I read for entertainment and love a good story. A series that stood out to me recently is the Bobiverse series. The idea of putting a human consciousness into a spaceship that can gather resources and duplicate itself is really cool to me.

I primarily use audiobooks, but if I don't, I read ebooks on my phone. It's possible that a lot of the people that you assume are texting or listening to music are actually reading. I absolutely love that I can go for walk and "read" my audiobook at the same time.

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Story is my passion. I studied film in university. Originally I wanted to be a filmmaker, but then I realized that it's just story that I love. But I'm also interested in learning about the world itself, so I try to balance my fiction and non-fiction reading.

I'm really drawn to speculative fiction and sci-fi. I think it's a great vehicle for philosophy and examining the human condition when done right. Your recommendation sounds interesting! I haven't heard of it.

Some of my recent reads include:

  • The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. It's a great story bogged down by occasionally mediocre writing. Plus, it doesn't go as deep as I normally like my sci-fi, but it's still worth checking out. Though I honestly prefer the TV show.
  • Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women by Christina Hoff Sommers. This is a really excellent book. It was written in 1994, but feels so current. Sommers is a classic "equity feminist" who writes about how the new breed of "gender feminists" have derailed the movement.
  • Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy. Anything by McCarthy lives in its own realm of excellence. I've read most of his books, but there are a few gaps that I'm trying to fill.

I often wonder if those interviews are staged, could those people be production assistants, writers, and interns for the show? Though there is some truth to the decline of reading to the point where some will take pride in that fact. It was only after college that I started to enjoy reading.

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I take any of Jimmy Kimmel's street interviews with a brick of salt. But I know from my own experience that not a lot of people read. And you're right in observing that it becomes this weird point of pride for some people.

I didn't get into reading in a big way until after high school. At least we both got there eventually!

I really don't wanna press 'play' on this one.... I don't wannaaaaaaa :(((