Read a book in a day

When knitting gets you down, you know what you got to do? Just keep knitting…

Or, you could just read.

Which brings me to the subject of today, my book challenge. One of my goals this summer was  is to read more books. I have found that I read less in college than I have my whole life! My high school librarian (or media specialist, as they call them now) told me that only 10% of avid readers in high school actually read regularly the rest of their lives, and even less read when they have full time jobs. I thought that the statistics on that fact might have been a little dated, so I went to check it out my self. Most Google results involved a significant emphasis on child literacy, but I did come across a blog (WordPress, no less!) that indicated actual percentages about reading tendencies in adults:

  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.

Granted, it’s a post from 2009, but I guess this is good as it gets. The fact is, we’ve got a problem here, folks. More and more people aren’t investing time in reading books! Now, you could argue that reading is a daily part of your life, right? Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler? Or maybe you read blogs (like this one, thank y’all) and call it a day? Please don’t include the CNN marque you get at 9 am weekly before you go to work. That doesn’t cut it.

There is a sense of quietness that comes with reading that I think may cause people to avoid it. There’s no instant message, no colorful flashing ads. You can’t post a passage to Facebook and have everyone ‘Like’ your wittiness. If you read physical (or in my terms, real) books, you’ve got 235+ pages staring you down, and that’s about it. No bells, no whistles.  Heaven forbid the book be given to you as a gift—you’ve got enough on your plate without your enthusiastic friend hounding you for your reactions to chapters you haven’t read yet. But if you can get beyond the intimidation of opening to the first page, you’ve got a world of possiblities at your finger tips–er, local Barnes&Nobles. Or hey, your local library! That’s where I get all my books!

And, yes, I’m still sad about Borders going out of business. I don’t want to talk about it.

I think I have gotten a bit off topic…

So about the book I read in one day (in 3 hours! It’s possible!): Start Something That Matter by Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

“It was a simple concept: Sell a pair of shoes today, give a pair of shoes tomorrow. Something about the idea felt so right, even though I had no experience, or even connections, in the shoe business. I did have one thing that came to me almost immediately: a name for my new company. I called it TOMS. I’d been playing around with the phrase “Shoes for a Better Tomorrow,” which eventually became “Tomorrow’s Shoes,” then TOMS. (Now you know why my name is Blake but my shoes are TOMS. It’s not about a person. It’s about a promise-a better tomorrow.)” ~ Blake Mycoskie

All I have to say is that this was a really, really inspiring book. It’s allowed me to see entrepreneurship for the greater good as a viable path to pursue. He’s shared so much of his story about creating TOMS in this book, and shares the successes of others as well to inspire readers.

Read the first chapter excerpt (from Barnes&Noble)

Yep, I like non-fiction, especially the inpirational kind. I’m on a mission to get that love of reading back, and this my second book towards that goal. The first was the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Total life changer, I loved it.

“Like 44 percent of Americans, I make
New Year’s resolutions—and usually
don’t keep them for long. How many times
had I resolved to exercise more, eat better, and
keep up with my e-mail in-box? This year,
though, I was making my resolutions in the
context of my happiness project, and I hoped
that would mean that I’d do a better job of
keeping them.” ~ Gretchen Rubin

Geez! Long post! Well, this is all to say, get reading. It will take you to places you’ve never been, and hopefully heighten your senses to the world around you.

And now that I am done, back to knitting :) Progress post next!


3 Responses to “Read a book in a day”

  1. I’m not gonna promise I’ll be able to check out that book, but I’ll chip in about the whole reading after high school thing. It’s happened to me. I’ve barely finished anything since high school and it kinda sucks, because I loved reading in high school. I did it during lectures, home room, whenever I could. Now? Psh.


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