By , September 20, 2004

The National Endowment for the Arts reported that the average American now spends about 24 minutes per day reading; and that includes newspapers, TV guide, recipes… everything. Worse, that same, average American watches over four hours of television each day.

My first reaction to this was dismay– how awful that Americans are such illiterate couch potatoes. It quickly turned to guilt. I don’t watch any television. That means somewhere out there exists some poor s.o.b. that I have doomed to watching EIGHT hours of TV every day. That poor guy! I envision him struggling to fit it all in to his day while still making it to work on time, sleeping, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life.

I felt even worse when I factored in how much I read each day. I spend several hours reading. That means he not only has to endure those 8 hours of television, he doesn’t even get to read at all. Maybe he has to sit and write for like 2 hours and 36 minutes a day, just to make up for my voracious reading habits. He can’t even read the back of his cereal box in the morning, assuming he even has the time to eat breakfast. Wherever you are buddy– I’m sorry.


16 Responses to “Reading”

  1. BigBadBalla says:

    Speaking of reading, and of your comment, I didn’t particularly like Lord of the Flies. It wasn’t I thought it would be. More primitive, I guess.


    Pickled Sour Reply:

    @BigBadBalla, lord of the rings… it was a swell book if yer into that whole “darkness” and “destruction” stuff… i particularly enjoyed the symbolism, such as the conch and the head on the stick. dont forget to read the back notes! thats the icing!


  2. YukiTonbo says:

    whine whine whine….*pout*


    Peasprout Reply:

    @YukiTonbo, ?


    YukiTonbo Reply:

    @Peasprout, oh, yesterday was my attention-hunger day, cuz a hiking trip got canceled, so i was just whining and crying on xanga to everyone.


  3. Kali says:

    you’re adorable.



  4. This made me laugh. A give thee a hearty thanks.

    Hope you don’t mind the random comment,



  5. OzParis says:

    Well I certainly hope that your theory of balance of television and reading time isn’t distributed in that manner. I too would be condemning some poor soul to at least 10 hours of television a day and putting their aloud reading time well into the negative. Hopefully these acts of “over reading” do not effect my karma or the afterlife is going to be filled with nothing but endless reruns of The Golden Girls. I’d go watch some television now to try and make amends of it but I don’t even own one.


  6. SoulLips says:

    Nice to see there are other non-TV watchers! I guess collectively we’re condemning others to a LOT of extra TV time. Meh… I’m not feeling the least bit guilty about it though!


  7. Anonymous says:

    And if they are that illiterate, they are probably way slower readers as well. On the other hand, the problem with polls is that you don’t usually know how the questions were worded.


  8. Idle Beth says:

    I am the poor slob watching your unwatched hours. But I read a lot, too. I find tv relaxingly mindless after 7 hours of legal crap at work. I am also obsessed with pop culture so what better source?


  9. Keri says:

    I was just telling my Mom today that I’m surprised how many people I know that don’t read books. Magazines but no books. I have no cable & absolutely LOVE to read, several books at once. My theory is that we all HAD to read in school. Now that we’re adults we’re apt to read as little as possible. Sad. Great article by the way. =)


  10. Laura says:

    I don’t know… if you count reading FB posts then I think it is more than 24 minutes a day.


  11. Idle Beth says:

    I think some people are born readers and some aren’t. My mom read to both me and my brother growing up, yet I stayed with it and he didn’t. Except for comics. Does that count? Also once you have kids and stuff, TV is something the family can do together (for better or worse), where as reading is a solitary activity.


  12. As usual, you’re awesome.


  13. Teddie says:

    did you factor in how many hours per day the average person spends at work?
    look into that, lemmi know what you find


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