The following are startling statistics, shared by my friend Mike Morris at Cornerstone Church.
“I was reading in the February issue of Discipleship Journal and I came across a disturbing statistic. It was one of those wake up calls because it affects how we teach and how we communicate the truth of the Bible. I’m an avid reader and I think sometimes I assume that other people read as much as I do. Even right now at church we are trying to encourage everyone to start reading their Bibles. We can’t forget the fact that many people struggle to read. To me this just reinforces the need to creatively share stories that teach the truth of Scripture. We also need to come up with ways to teach and connect to people who are not learning through books. How do we overcome this barrier and get people to continue learning throughout their adult life? This is not just a church problem, it is a cultural problem, and we must come up with solutions”.
- One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book.
- 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
- 57% of new books are not read to completion.
Wow, I know that this may not startle a person who is not a reader, but for those of us who read a lot, it is amazing.
I remember when I found a love for reading. I was in high school at CCHS and I had to ride the Big Yellow School Bus from Lambsburg to Hillsville and back home every day. As you can imagine it was pretty boring. I was in the 10th grade. I decided one day to check out the book “Roots” in the library and started to read it back and forth on the bus every day. I knew that my dad had borrowed the same book from his mother and I figured it was a god book. I soon discovered that I couldn’t wait for the time to and from school so that I could read more of the book. I have to admit that when I was home, being outdoors was more exciting.
Since that time I have been a reader. I will read on average a 200 page book most weeks of the year. That may change with the changes that God is now bringing into our lives but I will continue to carry a book everywhere I go. I always keep one with me. I read in traffic jams, while waiting in the dentist office, while traveling (if someone else is driving). I have actually witnessed someone driving down the interstate while reading the newspaper. As my friend Farrah says, “We call those people organ donors” at the hospital.
I truly believe that readers are leaders. I am going to start this next week writing a brief review of the books that I read. Hopefully that will give more people the desire to read and not just give them a place to read reviews.