Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reading Diversity

Ron Charles wrote a don't miss article about the loss of biodiversity in reading habits, Harry Potter and the Death of Reading.
According to a study by Alan Sorensen at Stanford University, "In 1994, over 70 percent of total fiction sales were accounted for by a mere five authors." There's not much reason to think that things have changed. As Albert Greco of the Institute for Publishing Research puts it: "People who read fiction want to read hits written by known authors who are there year after year."

So we're experiencing the literary equivalent of a loss of biodiversity.
It doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Read the whole article and make up your own mind.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting article and it does make one think about books and reading and who reads what and why. I was never a big Harry Potter fan, I have read them all because family members inundate me with copies until I have, but they strike me more as marketing phenomenon than as literature.

    There are many better children's books and many better fantasies.

    Once a snob always a snob I suppose, and always a girl with her nose in a book, good or bad.

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  2. other18:52

    A bit OT, perhaps, but for mothers of young (early grade-school) daughters, I'd like to recommend an old favorite of mine from my childhood, "Island of the Blue Dolphins." Haven't read it in years, so I hope it holds up. It was a Newbery Award winner. I credit it with setting me on the path to independent womanhood. (Such as mine has turned out to be.)

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