The above question was overheard in a Vancouver Island coffee shop during a blustering snowstorm. A young female barista and a middle-aged male customer bantered how they each might spend their snowed-in weekend. This question (actually, I believe it was a statement) surprised me. I began to wonder how many others would feel the same. So…you guessed it…down, down the rabbit hole I went. See you on the other side!
In 2020, Booknet conducted its annual leisure poll, increasing its survey size to 1,266 English-speaking Canadian adults. 21% of participants indicated that they had not read or listened to a book during the past year. (This was a notable change from just 12% in 2014.) Of the 79% who had read or listened to books, 28% read once a day, 11% read a few times that year. When comparing these results to surveys done in other countries, researchers found that the following percentages of adults had read one book or more during a recent year: 51% UK (2018), 72% US (2018), 86% New Zealand (2017) and 92% Australia (2015). You can find more details from that survey and report here.
According to another Canadian survey done in conjunction with Ipsos Research Company and Indigo Books, “Canadian adults spend an average of six hours per week reading.” (More details here.) Iris reprinted survey results indicating that the average American reads twelve books each year (Iris findings). However, that report suggested that these results were likely ‘inflated by avid readers.’ They concluded that the ‘average American’ was more likely to read four books per year. How many books did you read in 2021?
Crawling back out of my rabbit hole, I continued my readings on peace, read a book for much-needed travel inspiration, stayed up-to-date with my book club readings and indulged in a publication from an admired author-blogger. Without further ado, here’s what’s recently been on my bookshelf. Click on the links to read my reviews — I promise they are short!
Continued Readings on ‘Peace’
Author-Blogger Shout Out
Annika is a writer, blogger and book reviewer. “The Storyteller Speaks” is a breathtaking collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry. It was her first published novel. Annika followed this publication with the children’s book, Oskar’s Quest, which was also published in German. To learn more about Annika, you can visit her website here. I found it very difficult to put this book down. You can check out my full review here.
Soothing My Itchy Feet
Richard and I have been desperate to resume our Camino walking. A friend mentioned that another ‘Camino route’ had recently been established in Prince Edward Island. I quickly ordered the guidebook and dug in. The guidebook was more like a pioneer’s diary with a few places of ‘insert miracle here,’ especially in terms of some trailside accommodations. Still, the possibility of hiking a Camino in Canada is exciting. You can learn more about the Camino de la Isla here.
Book Club Reads
Shirley: When I left you last, Charlotte Brontë’s second published novel, Shirley, began as a bit of a snoozefest. Now that I am three-quarters through, Charlotte has picked up the pace. With a vigorous writing style, she has blended humour and drama in a sweeping social chronicle. There are perilous times, working-class riots, the suppression of women, religious controversy, the challenge of 19th Century conventions, the deep pain of unrequited love…the list goes on! Stay tuned for next month’s post, where I will be able to give you a full review. Spoiler Alert: At the end of our reading, our Classic’s Bookclub will be baking Yorkshire Pudding. So regardless of how this book turns out, there’s always that!
This concludes my past month in books. What’s been on your bookshelf lately?
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111 thoughts on ““Who Even Reads Books Anymore?””
Donna, can you forgive me?! I am so sorry not to have spotted this lovely Author Blogger shout out earlier … during a dark February, this would have meant the world to me and still does on a summery sunny June day! Heartfelt thank you for your wonderful review of ‘The Storyteller Speaks’ and it’s great that you mentioned ‘Oskar’s Quest’ as well. 🙏😀
I LOVE your post but blimey, it is shocking and disheartening how few people read books. Even 12 books a year seems few to me and then to learn that this is ‘inflated by avid readers’ does not lift one’s hope for books in the future. Yet, so many do read – I take heart from that! You share an eclectic selection of books. Emma Donaghue’s book was superb albeit unsettling, I found. It’s brilliant you found an alternative El Camino book and I do want to check out Shirley.
Last year I read 66 books and I truly could not imagine a life without books! One of my favourite reads so far this year is ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’ by Pip Williams – one I can highly recommend and even my husband who reads far fewer fiction books than me still raves on about this one.
Thank you again, hugs xx ❤️
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Hi, Annika – I am so glad that you spotted this review. It is very well deserved. I’ve heard great thingsabout The Dictionary of Lost Words and look forward to securing a copy.