Simon Dumenco wittily dismisses Steve Jobs’ dis of the reading public (“The Written Word? It’s So Totally Over, According to Mr. IPod,” Advertising Age)–but that still doesn’t change the fact that, riding the bus last Friday, I was sandwiched between two guys watching TV on their iPods.
As for Jobs’ stat, it seems he extrapolated it from an old National Endowment for the Arts study, which found that in 2002, just 57% of American adults reported reading a book. Then again, according to an Associated Press-Ipson poll released last August, 27% of American adults read no books last year — ergo, nearly three-quarters did. In fact, the poll revealed that the “typical American adult” read four books last year.
“Who are these ‘people’ to whom Steve Jobs is referring?” Publishers Weekly Editor in Chief Sara Nelson asked me last week. “Not the million-ish who are devouring Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or the ones who line up for Harry Potter and/or James Patterson novels.” She added: “All I can say is that when I sat in restaurants and airports or on buses or trains and pulled out my Kindle, I got more attention than if I’d shown up naked — with an adorable puppy.”
At this point you should type “Sara Nelson naked with an adorable puppy” into Google Image Search.
To save yourself the typing time, click here.