Scariest quote was this:
On the whole, men between the ages of 20 and 50 do not read fiction.Wow. I can't imagine not reading fiction. I think I got my first library card about the time I was able to write my name on the application. And read voraciously thereafter. I vividly recall the summer after I graduated from college, sharing a house with three other people rented from an English teacher. The entire living room and dining room walls were covered with bookshelves, and I reveled in the chance to do recreational reading after having little time for anything other than assigned material for so many years.
Reading fiction has always been a fulfilling part of my life. On the other hand, I'm a little unclear on what question people were actually asked in these surveys. Oddly, a search of the net turns up lots of discussion of the media reports of these various surveys, but no links to any primary sources.
I can't think of any book I've read that was truly "life-changing," but when phrased (as it is in the article) which books "meant the most," I can certainly name lots of them. Most specifically, there have been a number of books that changed the way I think about books and literature. Off the top of my head:
- The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein
- The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
- Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
- Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
I suppose one could get a graduate degree with a thesis on this, but for now, a blog entry will suffice.