Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Dying Breed

I’m known at work as the book guy. I read during break times and lunch. I always have a book sticking out of my lunch bag. In fact, checking to make sure I have a book with me is always one of the first things I do before I leave the house. Not just going to work, but pretty much anytime I leave the house. I can’t fathom having pockets of dead time escaping me when I could be enjoying a good book.

A brief discussion with a coworker a couple of months ago stuck with me, and in recent weeks I’ve been thinking more about it. My coworker asked me how many books a month I read, and at the time I was averaging about four a month. He was astounded by that number and couldn’t believe it when I told him I had read, at the time, about 40 books for the year.

The thing that got my mind going recently was the number of books I’ve read so far this year. To date, I’m averaging over seven books a month, and I am currently reading my 23rd book of the year. And the part that really gets to me is that I could do better. There is still a lot of time that I waste doing a bunch of nothing and watching TV.

Since the conversation with my coworker, I’ve paid attention to those around me when I’m out and about. Very rarely do I see someone reading a book. At work, there is no one to discuss books with. I only know of one coworker who reads occasionally. In this age of TV, movies, game systems, and computers, it almost seems as though those who read for entertainment are a dying breed.

I know I sound like an old fart. Heck, maybe I’m becoming one. But I don’t think I’m at a point where I’ll run around saying the sky is falling. Even though it’s a divisive issue, I think ebooks are here to stay and they may encourage a new generation to take up the written word as a viable form of entertainment. I can totally support that. And I was encouraged just a week ago when I ran into a couple who each had a book with them.

It would be a terrible thing if reading for entertainment is cast to the side. I hope I can instill in my kids, if not love for, at least a respect for the written word. And if reading keeps on losing its luster, heck, I guess that would be a good thing for me. I could pick up more books at the used book stores!


Rabid Fox said...

Yeah. I know what you mean about reading as a dying exercise--reading horror especially, as I am the only person I know locally who reads horror beyond Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

Dark Intruder said...

Yeah, that seems to be most people's extent of horror reading: King and Koontz. The ones at work I've talked to and told that I read horror say, "Yeah, I've read something by King." Don't get me wrong, I love the work by these two guys, but there's so much more out there!