When my good friend Reed and I were about to graduate from college, he often mourned the fact that, once out of college, we’d find ourselves talking less and less about books with other people. Though neither of us were English majors, we were voracious readers and felt a little alone in our book love sometimes.
Fortunately, that fear was dispelled quickly.
In writing for a living, I know more bookworms than TVworms (I just made up that word because if bookworms burrow in books, TV-worms burrow in TV shows). People who love books seem to be around me… from my circle of girlfriends who swap books about education and history to the book-quoting bartenders at our writing group’s favorite wine bar to bookwormy kids who share their lives with me. I feel like more and more folks are reading, whether in paperback form, their mobile screens, or e-readers.
But is my perception correct?
I read Pew Internet Research’s recent report about Young Americans Reading and Library Habits to find out. The center wanted to take a “special look at readers between the ages of 16 and 29 because interest in them is especially high in the library world and the publishing world… It flows out of a larger effort to assess the reading habits of all Americans ages 16 and older as e-books changed the reading landscape and borrowing services of libraries.” You can read the entire report on the Pew Internet & American Life project page.
Though I am older than the cut-off date of 29, I’ve observed a definite trend of bookworminess among my children and their friends. They read books in paperback, electronic, and even hardback forms.
And as far as my personal library goes, it spreads its literary goodness from my well-stocked Kindle to my shelves of used books to the coffee table laden with freshly printed books.
To quote Lemony Snicket:
A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.
Exactly, Mr. Snicket.