The Real “Kindle Killer”

 Posted by at 7:49 PM  Tagged with: ,
Aug 252010

Please excuse me for poking a bit of fun at all the “iPad [or whatever magical device] is a Kindle Killer” article headlines, but it seems to me that the only real device with a chance of “killing” reading is the television. I just saw this report by Bowker, which proudly announced that “More than 40% of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book in 2009.”

Now, not to delve too deeply into the math, but if 40% of Americans bought a book in 2009, then that means almost 60% of adults didn’t buy even one single book all last year. That’s a pretty depressing number to me. I mean, I know reading isn’t “cool” anymore, but I would have thought more than half of Americans would buy a book in a whole year.

It’s especially depressing when you compare it to TV statistics: 99% of American households own a TV, and on average, watch it between 4-6 hours a day. Hours a day vs. not even one book in a year. I couldn’t even find statistics for the percentage of people who watched at least one show on TV last year, presumably because everyone knows it’s 100%.

The sad thing is, most of the crap on TV is just, well … crap. Anything even remotely good (*sniff* Firefly *sniff*) gets cancelled anyway. If it wasn’t for Gator football games, I’d have pretty much no use for TV. As it is, I don’t own one (my wife has a small one hooked up to rabbit ears — no cable), although we do watch a few shows on Hulu.

Anyway, I need to head back to some reading / e-book forums to restore my faith in humanity, by hearing more stories of people who read 10 books a week and have a “to be read” list of 500 titles on their Kindles. Until then, feel free to leave a comment below telling me how often you read instead of watching TV.

Yes, I guess I can wait until the next commercial. *sigh*