Monday, June 3, 2019

Do People Read Anymore? by Mary Davis

Mary Davis
With the advent of television, radio, computers, video games, and smart phones, do people read anymore?

Of Americans, 78% read at least one book a year. Only one? How sad. What’s even sadder is 22% don’t even read one! But the good news is 78% are reading!

The average number of books read or listened to by American adults in a year is twelve. Since this is an average, some adults were closer to the one book a year mark, while many others were reading far, far more than twelve to have this average as high as twelve, because this includes that 22% who read zero. Having so many voracious readers out there is good news for us authors.

How much time do those 78% of people spend reading? According to a 2017 survey, Americans spent an average of 16.8 minutes a day on leisure reading. This is how it breaks down by gender and age for the average minutes per day.

~~Women — 19.2
~~Men — 13.2

~~15-19 — 8.4
~~20-34 — 6.6
~~35-44 — 9.6
~~45-54 — 12.6
~~55-64 — 18
~~65-74 — 34.8
~~75+ — 51

Those numbers seem low but understandable with our busy, fast-paced lives. The lowest number for the 20–34 age range makes sense because these are common years to have small children. It’s hard to find time to breathe some days, let alone read. As people’s children get older and move out (hopefully), there is more time to read for fun. Something to look forward to.

But for us writers, the number of minutes is closer to zero if not zero, zilch, zip, none, nada. Now before you get too upset, hear me out. What author can read another author’s novel and not analyze it or pick up some little tidbit to help them in their own writing? Reading fiction is no longer a leisure activity. It just isn’t. Same goes for reading non-fiction, magazines, or even a recipe. Everything goes into the writing mill. An author never knows from whence an idea will spring. Because we write, no activity is leisure, not even TV, or going to the movies. Not even a ride in an ambulance after a car accident. But that’s an entirely different story.

An author never knows what is going to spark into a raging flame of a story. Becoming an author means giving up leisure reading. I have tried to read just for pleasure, and I can’t. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading. It’s just no longer a leisure sport . . . but neither is it work.:)

Do People Read Anymore? by Mary Davis #amreading #amwriting

The Daughter's Predicament
The Daughter's Predicament
Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series

Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle—always the unfavored daughter—becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love.

Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision. A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer. Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over thirty titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She is the author of The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection, “Holly & Ivy” in A Bouquet of Brides Collection, The Prodigal Daughters series from Love Inspired, and Newlywed Games. Coming in 2019, The Daughter’s Predicament (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series) and “Bygones” in Thimbles and Threads. She’s a member of ACFW and active in critique groups. Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren.