Reading: Some Scary Stats

Pat Wilson, VP of Orlando Magic was on Fox News this morning talking about his personal campaign to get Americans reading. In his interview he cited these statistics that I find unbelievable:

– Only 5% of Americans ever even enter a bookstore

– The average American male will never read another book again after leaving high school

– 59% of American homes do not contain even one book (he said, “not even a cookbook or a Bible”)

That last one really puzzles me. I realize that with literally hundreds of books scattered around my home (I lost count at 550+) that I may be at the extreme end (and I’ve got several friends that read at a much quicker pace and may double that number if they went to counting), but come on! How does that even work?! And most men never read a book in adulthood??? No wonder so many women think that men are ignorant. Guys, we can do better than that.

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3 Responses to Reading: Some Scary Stats

  1. Bill says:

    I would really like to see the source of Pat Wilson’s stats. It is very hard to believe them. Maybe I am just hanging out with the ‘other guys’ too much and don’t see the evidence.

    I will share that there are illiteracy statistic sites on the net that contend that women comprise the larger percentage of illiterates internationally.

    And there is a US site ( ) that states that it ‘appears’ that the United States is more illiterate than it was in 1992….


  2. James says:

    Internationally, I’d believe it. There are large societies that devalue women to the point of not seeing much reason to educate them…even in 2007.
    Illiteracy, however, is just part of the equation. What he’s getting at is that even perfectly literate people are choosing not to read…many just at the time that they’ll finally start really comprehending what they read. As the NAACP always says, “The mind is terrible thing to waste.”

  3. bigmikelewis says:

    I’d heard some of those before. I am not surprised, but at the same time, how can you not have one book lying around somewhere? Even something you’ve never read?

    These stats should be informing the way we approach worship on Sunday too. The style and forms and methods we use to congregate and preach are not going to work with men. Men learn differently.

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