More Surprising Book Facts

Yesterday I posted an infographic about the reading habits of Americans after high school college. I mentioned in my post that it was interesting “if the stats in the infographic are correct,” which is a needed caveat for these notoriously unreliable infographics. And several people did question whether these stats could possibly be correct. So I looked into them a bit more, which didn’t take long since the infographic’s own creator has updated information on his blog.

The short version is that the stats in the infographic are not as authoritative as they appear, but they still reflect an interesting perspective on the state of reading in America. Here are the facts:

  1. The stats do not come from a study by the Jenkins Group, a publishing services firm, as indicated at the bottom of the infographic.
  2. The stats apparently come from a presentation that the founder of the Jenkins Group once made to an industry group.
  3. The stats cannot be fact-checked because the presentation was made about 10 years ago and it appears that no one has the source material.

The end result is that the stats from the infographic should not be cited authoritatively since they cannot be substantiated. But no one seems to be questioning that the data accurately summarizes information presented by someone who knows the publishing industry quite well (and who at least claimed in the original presentation to have drawn the information from reputable sources). From my perspective, that means the information in the infographic still represents an interesting perspective on American reading habits from a reliable person. Granted, that is different from the information generated by a quantitative study, but still worth reflecting on.

Nonetheless, Robb Brewer, the infographic’s creator, has replaced the original infographic with a new one that strives to present information about American readings habits substantiated by more reliable sources. So here is the new version.

more suprising book facts



One Response to “More Surprising Book Facts”

  1. Luke Geraty January 3, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    I think the ethos of what you have shared here and in the previous post remains to be true. One of my personal commitments for 2014 is to read a lot more beyond normal pastoral preparation and being a grad student.

    One of the reasons I’ve taken this challenge is because I’ve noticed that it’s VERY easy to slowly move away from reading and spending time either watching TV or playing video games or sitting around on the Internet. I see it in my own life and the life of my four kids (we’re all iPod, iPhone, Ipad users).

    Growing up, we didn’t really watch much TV and this caused me to be an avid reader. I miss the wonder and excitement of reading for my kids’ sake. I loved it and I think they’ll love it. So that’s part of my goal for our family this year.

    Every other year I read through Calvin’s “Institutes,” so that’s something I’m doing this year too… and I really enjoy that.

    Anyway, thanks for two posts that encouraged me to read more!

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