Monday, August 07, 2006

Why We Read

Today Allison Hill, our general manager, handed me an interesting article from a month-old issue of Publishers Weekly entitled "The Reader as Lab Rat" by Robert Masello. He details the findings of a survey recently conducted by BizRate Research for Shopzilla, the comparison shopping site. All of the results are interesting, but here's the statistic that caught Allison's and my eyes:

The most popular reason to read is escape, followed by
self-improvement.
But what brings up the rear is interesting: 3% of
survey respondents read to make themselves look more intelligent. Frankly,
I think that number is way too low -- just look at the sales figures for Stephen
Hawking's A Brief History of Time and then ask yourself how many of
these people really, honestly, use the theory of relativity in their daily
lives.

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