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Book Reading

Steve Jobs recently made some comments about the amount of books people read (i.e. very few) in a discussion of Amazon's Kindle. A few years ago a friend of mine told me that he doubts if half of American adults had ever read ten books all the way through and on their own. I tend to agree with both statements, and it's quite saddening if the numbers are even close to the truth.

So today I ask you this:


I expect these numbers will be slanted by the fact that people coming here are above average intelligence ((Internet users tend to be above average intelligence - I'm making no claim that readers of my site are otherwise uniquely intelligent simply because they come here.)) as well as inquisitive ((Most technology types are inquisitive.)).

11 Responses to "Book Reading"

  1. I listen to a few books a year, and I read portions of lots of technical books, so it's really hard to say how many books I "read."

  2. hehe. I probably score higher on "books read aloud" than the average "books read." A long time ago, I got into the habit of reading novels to my wife to help her get to sleep.. Nothing says "true love" like reading Atlas Shrugged out loud. 😛

  3. I've already finished three books this year, and am in the middle of three more. I'd guess that I'll ready upward of 75 books this year.

  4. I usually read about 3 books every 2 weeks. Public libraries are a wonderful thing. 😀

  5. Seriously -- why correlate intelligence and inquisitiveness with dedication to the hardcover/softcover print medium? I don't get it.

  6. [quote comment="45589"]Seriously -- why correlate intelligence and inquisitiveness with dedication to the hardcover/softcover print medium? I don't get it.[/quote]

    Because smarter people read more books, as do more inquisitive people. If you're an anomaly, so be it.

    And I never said electronic books don't count (I didn't limit it to "hardcover/softcover print medium"). I'm currently reading a 450-page PDF that is available both as a PDF and as a physical book.

  7. I read around 2-4 science fiction or fantasy novels per month, a few job-related books per year, and around 7-8 magazines (3 fiction, the rest non-fiction) per month.

  8. I think this month alone I'm on track to read more than 16 books - Blindsight will be my 18th (and so far it's a splendid book). Then again this month I've had an unusual amount of time to read (travel, lack of work and classes), so it might just be a one-time occasion.

    To be honest, before I got my iPhone I was reading something like 16 books a year, textbooks and technical books inclusive. But after I got the iPhone, got on it, and discovered sites like, I've been devouring books like crazy. I now have more books on my iPhone (both read and unread) than I have songs. I also figured out it's one way to get myself to sleep without using Lunesta every night, although sometimes that plan backfires and I end up staying up till 7am on the second book for the night.

    That being said, I got a chance to play around with the Kindle a while ago and wasn't very impressed. What was half the appeal of reading on my iPhone was that I could do it anywhere - on the bus, plane, waiting for my drink at (insert a coffeeshop here). It's also my phone, my way of being a whore on IRC, my way of browsing websites and replying to emails, not just an ebook reader. I don't want to carry around a dedicated device like a kindle that's somewhat limited in what it can do.

    Lastly, my iPhone is pretty. The kindle is not. Maybe it's my feminine side popping up, but the last thing I do want to carry around is a butt-ugly ebook reader - if I was going to at all, it would have to look at least as good as the Cybook. I might note, however, as a college student, that should the vast majority of textbooks ever be available in ebook form, I'd definitely switch to something like the Kindle anyday. My back hates me for the heavy and huge textbooks I always end up carrying around.

  9. Been on a non-Fiction / Documentary kick recently. Just finished up Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage and going to be starting Detectives on Everest: The 2001 Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition soon and then next in the queue is Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters.

    I need to eventually finish up the The Baroque cycle but they're just too damn heavy to hold above you while you lay in bed. 🙂

  10. about 10 a year, no novels though.

  11. Given that I now have a 45 minute drive each way to/from work now, I listen to aprox 6 podcasts a week, and usually at least 1 book. I try to keep a actual book with me that I read as time permits, but it takes a while to get through them. looks attractive, but with the mass amounts of Books on CD at my local library, there is no reason to join audible. The Library now even allows electronic check out of their audio books, for up to three weeks at a time. (Free).
    Carmel Clay Public Library ( )