The lethargy of the reading public

CNN wrote an interesting article concerning the fact that over a quarter of Americans adults had read no books this year. It of course seems ironic that such a report is likely to go unnoticed, but I thought I might make a little comment regarding this sad state of affairs, and also of the underlying religious corollary behind it.

It seems a little bit funny that one of the people they interviewed, a man from Texas, claimed reading made him sleepy. No doubt the idea of furthering one’s education, or even vocabulary, would seem to be an exhausting chore. Mr. Richard Bustos would much rather spend time in his pool, enjoying the benefits of living in a society where knowledge and intelligence is not a pre-requisite for success.

Now, I’m trying to make my living writing, so these kinds of stories tend to depress me a little. However, an interesting tidbit, which most would have probably ignored, was the interesting finding that those who did not attend any church services read more than double the amount regular attendees did. Also interesting was the fact the Bible was the most popular book listed by those read in the survey, proving once again that despite the fact it never seems to crack the best sellers list, the book still seems to dominate our modern culture.

With all that said, it’s a wonder authors aren’t flipping burgers just to get by. It’s also equally sad that the general population is getting less and less educated, despite the fact we possess a fantastic opportunity to be the most educated civilization in history. The fact that as reading levels decrease, religious doctrine gains a greater foothold on the masses. It is within our interest as atheists and humanists to ensure at night, that the lights stay on a little longer.

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