Monday, June 25, 2012

READING

The novel took off in the late 17th century and thrived, more or less, up to a few years ago. Recent figures show that UK print sales dropped 26% in the opening weeks of this year. While such figure are not readily available for the Irish market, we are all aware that book shops are closing, vanishing from streets and shopping centres with depressing frequency.

In Ireland we consider ourselves to be a literary nation, but a recent report from Nielsen show that book sales are declining faster here than in any other country surveyed. And it not all the fault of e-books, either. More research shows that about 20% of Americans failed to read a book in any format over the past year - the lowest since polling began in 1978.

At some point over the past decades reading ceased to be something one automatically did - like washing teeth - and it became a hobby, as listed by "celebrities". Sad but true.

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