Saturday, December 08, 2007

Doing My Duty

While I sipped my hot chocolate this morning, I read an editorial about the decline of reading in the U.S. The reporter, one Kevin Horrigan, was pondering the irony of Amazon.com selling out of Kindles in the same week the National Endowment for the Arts reported that the U.S. is experiencing a reading crisis. According to the NEA, which got its info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the average American, age 15 and up, spends three hours and six minutes every weekend watching television and only 26 minutes reading." In addition, the NEA cites a 2002 survey which said that 43% of Americans hadn't read a single book for pleasure in 2001. Seriously? That's appalling.

Considering all this, I thought I should do my part to support booksellers and encourage reading in my home. It was all out of duty, I promise. So, I hit Borders, where I bought the following:

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig - I love Gone With the Wind and am excited to read this "official" sequel (prequel?) to Margaret Mitchell's classic
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James - I'm planning a Jane Austen binge for the Triple 8 challenge, and thought this one would fit in nicely.

Then, because my sense of duty was so overwhelming, I forced myself to go to a big sale at the Scholastic warehouse in Phoenix. Obviously, I took the obligation seriously, because I couldn't stop myself from purchasing these goodies (all at 30-60% off - yipee!):

Magyk by Angie Sage and Mark Zug - I've seen some great reviews of this YA book
Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle - This YA mystery/adventure caught my attention
The Secret School by Avi - I'm excited to read this one for the Newbery Award Project
The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue - This is the story of a woman hovering between Earth and whatever comes after death - sounds interesting
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - It's Neil Gaiman - what more do I have to say?
The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - I've read great reviews of this one
Monday with A Mad Genius - This one is for my daughter, who loves the Magic Treehouse Series
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck - This book cracks me up, and it was only a dollar! What a steal.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson - I thought this historical novel about a young woman who works a homestead in Montana sounded intriguing
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis - This one has gotten fabulous reviews. I can't wait to read it.
Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin - This one is for my son, who adores Diary of a Worm
The last book is a book about weather for my science-obsessed son.

Phew! I love stacks of books - they carry such promise. Plus, they give me something to write about when I haven't quite finished the book I've been reading for a week. I'm getting there...hopefully, a review of The Golem's Eye will be up tomorrow. Until then you can feast your eyes on my bargains :)
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5 comments:

  1. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Now all you have to do is read them all. :-) I am sure that will be pure torture. Haha

    Seriously though, enjoy your new treasures!

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  2. Thank you for helping keep the average up for another year.

    You know, I have to say that I'm actually surprised that the stat you quoted on hours watching television is actually that low. We are a nation of television zombies and I would be willing to be that the average adult in this country watches three or more hours per evening and more on weekends. I find that to be a bit scary.

    Way to go on the books. You picked up some interesting stuff...

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  3. I'm always glad to do my duty, as long as it involves new books!

    Sam - I agree that the statistic is probably low. Maybe it meant people spend at least 3 hours and six minutes. Whatever it is, it's crazy. Maybe the Kindle will actually make reading seem less passe, but I kind of doubt it. I think it's just another "have to have" gadget, that will end up gathering dust in a forgotten corner.

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  4. Well, Harmony is now on to the 6th Harry Potter book.She is always reading more than one at a time though.So maybe all is not lost! But I am glad that you did your duty! I know I need something new to read. Finding good books here is not easy! :)

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  5. Marie - I'm glad Harm is such a bookworm. Has she read The Princess Academy? I might have to pass that on to her after I read it.

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