By: T. M. Moore|Published: September 11, 2007 9:26 AM
Writers of the world, don't despair! Yet! The news is grim, it's true. According to Dr. David G. Williams (Alternatives, September 2007, alertly espied by my wife, Susie), the statistics on book readers are potentially disheartening: 1/3 of high school graduates will never read another book; 42% of college graduates, same; 80% of US families did not so much as buy a book last year; 70% of all US adults have not visited a bookstore in the past five years; and 57% of all new books are not read to completion. For someone still sniffing the high of his most recent release, it's hard to believe that there's a pony in that pile of, well, you know. But ever the optimist, I prefer to think that my work may yet capture the 2/3 of high-school graduates, 58% of college graduates, and so on, who will continue to read.
But I'm not taking any chances. So I am herewith announcing the first possibly annual Contest to Encourage Americans to Read Books. I'm even offering the first recommendation for our elite panel of judges -- The Point bloggers -- to evaluate: I propose a tax deduction for every book read -- say, $5 per. You would have to itemize those books on your Schedule A, of course, and be prepared, in case you get audited, to give a one-sentence summary of any book requested by the auditor. But history has proven that whatever gets a tax breaks gets a bump. So there's my offering. We'll take suggestions for the next, oh, two weeks? and then ask our esteemed panel to vote.
C'mon readers, have a little sympathy for us writers! Give it your best effort in our Contest to Encourage Americans to Read Books. I'll send a free and, if requested, signed copy of my newest book,Culture Matters, to the winner.