“Doc’s” Blog# 4

Recently, I read the results of a PEW research report on American readers. Some of its findings are thought-provoking, others are not surprising. I thought I’d share a few findings with you.

1. The most likely person to read a book in any format is a black female who’s been to college.

2. Women read more books than men.

3. People who’ve been to college read more books than those that haven’t.

4. People who make more than $50,000. or more a year are more likely to read books.

5. It’s not the case that ebooks are rapidly gaining on traditional book books. More Americans own tablets or ereaders, but still 69% of Americans are reading paper books. Only 28% of Americans read an ebook last year (2013). Actually, that 69% figure is slightly over 2012, when only 65% of Americans did so.

6. The average American reads five books a year, a number that increases as the reader gets wealthier or older.

More fascinating stuff from the 10/8/13 issue of the New York Post:

Several studies done in the United States and Canada show the average reading skill level was estimated to be around 8th to 9th grade. However, one study found that about one in five adults had a reading skill level at the 5th grade or below. Interestingly, most newspapers and magazines are written to a 9th grade level. USA Today, the New York Times, and the New Yorker are written to a 10th grade level. John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and Clive Cussler write at the 7th grade level. And would you believe–romance novels are often written at a 5th grade level.

When parents forego discipline and don’t give their child responsibilities, and instead strive to be their best friend rather than their parent, they all too often produce a narcissistic individual with an over developed sense of entitlement. So it is with writers who dumb down their writing in the name of a few more sales and produce less than noteworthy work that only contributes to the dumbing down of America.

What do you think?

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“Doc’s” Blog #3

When I was in high school, I, like most students had to read William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. I loved it. The characters were memorable. It was thought-provoking, and the action gripping. Golding won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. So when I ran across a copy of his book, The Spire, on sale for a measly dollar I snapped it up. Last weekend I settled down with it expecting an enjoyable read. What a disappointment! I gave up after sixty pages. There was nothing to grab my attention or interest. The protagonist bored me. The plot was a yawn. The collapse of the spire and Dean Jocelin’s faith, while riddled with symbolism, was old news before it happened. I begrudge the dollar.

I put The Spire back in the bookcase and pulled out David Morrell’s, The Shimmer. I had read his trilogy, Brotherhood of the Rose, many years ago and remembered my excitement in the read. In the first chapter–only four plus pages–of The Shimmer, major action of the hair-raising variety grips the reader and continues with brief respites to the end. Unexplainable natural phenomenon, heroism, love reclaimed, and horrific violence kept my attention all the way.

Golding strove for a literary work; Morrell presented a thriller. Very different. Nevertheless, whatever the genre, it should evoke interest.

I’m now writing the very last chapter of Escape From Xanadu. and hoping it will interest readers–given my rant in the last few paragraphs.

For Indie authors, the website, bookfuel.com may be of interest. They seem to give a lot of service for not so much money. Check it out.