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1 in 4 Americans Haven’t Read a Book in a Year, Can’t Name an Author…… December 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, cultural marxism, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, reading, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.

…….and of those who can name an author, the vast majority of those name Danielle Steele, Stephen King, or some other living, pulp fiction writer. A substantial majority fail to name a single major literary figure.

So, the planned dumbing down of the West’s population, addicting them to the bread and circuses of the elite, continues apace?  There is no way educational systems this bad have not been deliberately contrived, especially after – or perhaps, because of – the trillions of taxpayer dollars pumped into them.  Common core?  Give me a break.  More effective methods were available over a century ago in Catholic National Readers.

Last fall, Pew Research found that 27 percent of Americans had not read a book in the preceding year.

Unfortunately, our friends across the pond aren’t much better in this respect. According to a 2014 survey, roughly 26 percent of adults in Great Britain admitted to not reading and finishing a book for pleasure.

One might be able to dismiss such statistics to busyness or other similar factors. But is it possible that the growing numbers of the non-reading public are instead a sign of the decline of knowledge about books and the canon of literature in general? A March 2017 survey suggests such might be the case. Produced by The Royal Society of Literature, the survey asked nearly 2,000 British adults about their literature reading habits. Similar to the aforementioned 2014 survey, roughly 1 in 4 British adults had not read a piece of literature in the previous six months. [Well I’m not clear what they mean by “literature?” Does reading books about Saints count, or is this only F. Scott Fitzgerald, de Cervantes, and the like?  I think they are speaking very broadly, as in Mickey Spillane would qualify.]

But even more interesting were the responses when researchers asked respondents to name an author of a literary work. As it turns out, 20 percent of respondents were unable to name even one. Of those who were able to name an author, more than half selected a modern, living author, such as J.K. Rowling. [Such pap]

Much of the world in which we live today is laid upon a foundation of knowledge. These ideas can be found in the great literary works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and other men and women who are no longer with us. If many in today’s society can’t even name these authors, how can we expect them to participate in the “Great Conversation” of ideas, insights, and knowledge which still have profound effects on us today?

We can’t.  And that would be the point, my dear.  A population so ignorant is one that cannot think for itself, and must be led by the hand by its self-anointed “betters.”  Interestingly, however, in many cases the anointed are among the most ignorant among us, if the media and academia are any indication.  Oh, they know like religious mantras the left-liberal propaganda they’ve been indoctrinated in, but they are wholly ignorant of great sweeps of subjects, from history to geography to philosophy to theology…….you get the point.  The SAT and other deformations to our educational industry have created generations of clever regurgitators and test-takers who are thus marked, like a superior caste, for the college start of the path of elite credentialization that will chart their course to the new aristocracy, but not intelligent people who can think.  In fact, most of these JournoList types are blithering idiots, and prove it constantly.  I still want my chain saw bayonet option for the AK!

Present company excepted, of course, as I ride my high horse off to my ivory tower.

Reason number infinity plus one to homeschool.  One of the innumerable things of which I am proud of my kids, is that they are almost all avid readers.  The “least” of them is quite above average, while some are absolutely voracious and hard to keep stocked with books.  Having learned to read phonetically, they can read much faster than I can, and easily devour 2 or 3 books in a day. Half Price Books loves us.


1. Julia Augusta - December 7, 2017

I love reading, especially the classics. There’s a reason why the classics have survived through the decades and centuries – it’s because they are great books. What gets me is this: it’s never been easier or cheaper to read the classics. So why don’t more people do it?

In fact, most of them are available online for free at the Project Gutenberg website and other websites around the world (ex. the University of Adelaide ebooks library – so many of these classics are in the public domain in Australia). The works of Shakespeare, Cicero, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Plato, Jane Austen, John Donne, and many, many more!

What really shocks me is that my friends who have advanced degrees from Ivy League universities don’t read! So many of them are addicted to Twitter and Facebook, and spend all of their time on “social” media, an oxymoron if there ever was one. I know someone who even boasts that he doesn’t read books.

The “education” industry thrives on the student loan industry. Education today is all about credentialing. High schools prepare students to take tests. They’re test monkeys. Most students don’t know how to think. They know how to take tests. But this is true now everywhere in the world. As a result, the vast majority cannot pick apart an argument and present a counter-argument. They are ignorant of history, too. No wonder they’ll be replaced by robots very soon.

2. The Lord's Blog - December 7, 2017

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog and commented:

3. NickD - December 7, 2017

Are you kidding me? I’ve read at least a dozen books this year (ignore the fact that they were assigned reading)

But more seriously…over the summer, I got three books in my stack of books-to-read. And my favorite class this semester was a survey on political theory. No Marxist pap, now- we read Aristotle’s “Politics”, Cicero’s “On Duties,” John of salisbury’s “Policraticus”, among others

Camper - December 9, 2017

Are you from UD? You sound like a student. Are you homeschooled?

4. skeinster - December 7, 2017

We ( and by ‘we’ I mean Mr. S.) just packed up 57 banker’s boxes of books to clear the way for the repairmen and painters.
So, I think we’re in the clear.

For comparison purposes: I own an antique copy of “Good Housekeeping” from 1918. Its 170+ pages are filled with articles on not just homemaking and child-rearing, but also on social issues, like women in the labor force, Income Tax and even one on “What is Bolshevism?”. These are pages long, two column works set in 8 pt
Now, this was designed to educate and entertain middle class women who had no radio or television. There were other, simpler publications aimed at other groups. But even they were tabloid-size, tiny type issues that took some work to read.
This held true until about the early-mid 1960’s.

Now compare a magazine from today’s check-out line. We have to factor in television and the internet for decreasing bulk and size, but they are written for people with the attention span of gnats.

No wonder we have the “mindfulness” explosion.

And to be perfectly honest, I do fall into the “tl.dr” category on some sites. But I attribute that more to aging than anything else..

Tantumblogo - December 7, 2017

Awesome comment. Pray all goes well with the repairs, I know you’ve been through an ordeal!

Tim - December 7, 2017

This comment was way too long for me…..can you condense it?

Ha ha!

It is quite sad and pathetic, actually.

Tantum is right about homeschooling. My “kids”(21 and 20 now) are voracious readers, play three instruments each, sing in the choir, play in a college chambet orchestra have done well so far in college and abhor rock, rap, etc. We certainly had our shortcomings in schooling them, but with just the above it convinces me that that was the right decision.

5. c matt - December 7, 2017

Well, I fall into that category. On the other hand, I have read a couple thousand blog posts over the last year. So it’s not like people are not reading, it is just a matter of what they are reading. As with anything internet, YMMV.

6. Tim - December 7, 2017

7. Numbskull - December 7, 2017

I like to read lists of the 100 greatest books to read. That way I know what’s out there, and when a good-looking broad asks me which books to read, I have a ready supply of books to list. She’s usually very impressed.

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