Teen reading habits

"In an effort to better understand the reading habits of teens and the positive impact of reading in a teenager's life,StageofLife.com, a writing community for teens and college students, asked young adults from across the US to participate in its “Books and Teens” survey..."

Teen "statistics from the survey include: 

--34% of teens see their mothers reading more than their fathers, compared to just over 12% of teens who see their dads reading more. Nearly 30% of teens rarely see either of their parents reading 

--29.4% of teens use an eReader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) and 13.5% say they read on their mobile phones 

--The majority of teens (63.5%) buy printed books from big brand brick & mortar stores like Barnes & Noble 

--40.2% of teens have purchased a book online from web retailers like Amazon.com --1 out of 2 teens will buy an average of 2 books spending anywhere from $10 to $20 per month on books 

--3 out of 4 teens had a parent, teacher, church leader or other adult recommend or give an inspirational book to them in the last year. ...

A surprising number of teens admitted that their book choice saved their lives as books acted as guides or crutches for support during particularly harsh moments."

From: http://www.stageoflife.com/StageHighSchool/OtherResources/Statistics_on_High_School_Students_and_Teenagers.aspx

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Christmas Eve Tradition: Reading

"So Icelanders love books. And that love involves most of the population, according to Baldur Bjarnason, a researcher who has written on the Icelandic book industry. ...

In the United States, popular holiday gifts come and go from year to year. But in Iceland, the best Christmas gift is a book — and it has been that way for decades.

Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders. But what's really unusual is the timing: Historically, a majority of books in Iceland are sold from late September to early November. It's a national tradition, and it has a name: Jolabokaflod, or the "Christmas Book Flood."

"The culture of giving books as presents is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday" ... "Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading."

From: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/25/167537939/literary-iceland-revels-in-its-annual-christmas-book-flood

SpyWriter Jack King


How to understand women?

Quick answer: By reading women's fiction.

"In the Herald recently Dr Byrski wrote that men lose out badly by not reading fiction by women: "… does this account for some of what so many of us women see as emotional ignorance, and men's inability to express their feelings or to attempt to understand ours? … So could men benefit from reading women's fiction? I'd say without a doubt that men's relationships with women would benefit profoundly. ...

But can women's literature help men? Byrski's point is that it influences women over a lifetime of reading, by helping develop an intuitive understanding and providing a shared vocabulary which allows for the expression of emotions.

Perhaps women are more drawn to that kind of writing because they are naturally more emotionally literate, or more receptive to being taught. If men don't read it in the first place then perhaps they are less attuned and less teachable.

But you can turn that on its head. If men are by nature less emotionally intuitive, then maybe they need to make a more conscious effort to learn. Literature is one obvious teacher and has the great advantage of allowing the reader to engage with emotional issues without the storm and stress of direct personal involvement."

From: http://m.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/answer-to-battle-of-the-sexes-may-lie-between-the-lines-20121220-2bpat.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Books expand the world

"I have been told that many schools have changed their core reading curriculum to include more modern commercial novels...

I believe there are serious consequences to the exchange of commercial writing to classic literature in curriculum. We are graduating students from American high schools, some on their way to four-year universities, with a limited and vapid literary foundation of vampires, werewolves, and wizards. This ignorance means that they will neither be able to complete a New York Times crossword puzzle or receive mercy from an English professor who's been teaching before Stephenie Meyers was even an idea in her parent's heads. At its worst, this American generation will go forth in a world with a great dearth of general knowledge, undoubtedly inferior to their contemporaries overseas who have had a more meaningful education, that will detract from many aspects of their lives.

Literature is not just an exercise in creative expression, it reveals and resolves, it engenders compassion and understanding, it expands our world far beyond the borders of the written page."

From: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/fantasyland-the-limited-world-of-todays/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Where you live defines how you read

“Statistical modeling shows that the biggest factors at play when it comes to different reading habits are people’s ages, their level of education, and their household income,” Pew wrote in a post about the survey. “The type of community in which people live is not an independent predictor of their reading behavior or their activities at libraries.

Although reading books is a common past time, technology is helping to change how people read books.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, reading is experienced differently depending on whether people are located in urban, suburban or rural communities.

Pew said that 78 percent of Americans age 16 and older said they read a book in the past 12 months. According to the survey, 80 percent of urban and 80 percent of suburban residents are particularly likely to have read at least one book in the past year.

Rural residents, Pew said, are less likely to have read a book in the past year, with 71 percent of the survey participants living in this area admitting to reading a book.

Among the urban community, 22 percent of the population read an e-book in the past 12 months, compared to just 17 percent of the rural community."

More: http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112753041/reading-depends-on-community-122112/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Every Executive Manager a Poet

"Poetry can also help users develop a more acute sense of empathy. In the poem "Celestial Music," for example, Louise Glück explores her feelings on heaven and mortality by seeing the issue through the eyes of a friend, and many poets focus intensely on understanding the people around them. In January of 2006, the Poetry Foundation released a landmark study, "Poetry in America," outlining trends in reading poetry and characteristics of poetry readers. The number one thematic benefit poetry users cited was "understanding" — of the world, the self, and others. They were even found to be more sociable than their non-poetry-using counterparts. And bevies of new research show that reading fiction and poetry more broadly develops empathy. Raymond Mar, for example, has conducted studies showing fiction reading is essential to developing empathy in young children and empathy and theory of mind in adults. The program in Medical Humanities & Arts  even included poetry in their curriculum as a way of enhancing empathy and compassion in doctors, and the intense empathy developed by so many poets is a skill essential to those who occupy executive suites and regularly need to understand the feelings and motivations of board members, colleagues, customers, suppliers, community members, and employees."

More: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/11/the_benefits_of_poetry_for_pro.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Sick society without literature

Can reading fiction cut selfishness, stop growth of mass-shooting psychopaths? One thing appears certain: reading fiction gives rise to empathy, and empathy leads to a more compassionate society.

"Schools don’t exist as job-training camps. They exist to educate students. To be truly educated, students need to graduate with more imagination, not less. They need to face questions about what it means to be a human being — they need to stop sleepwalking, if they’ve started it already — and they need to start learning how to love strangers. We all know that becoming properly educated is a lifelong endeavor. But Washington gives students a huge disadvantage if it leads them to think that memorizing data and processing facts is 70 percent of living well."

From: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335520/goodbye-liberal-arts-betsy-woodruff?pg=1

"Based on the results of the post-reading exercises, Johnson concluded that the more immersed the readers were in the story, the more empathy they felt for the characters. In addition, he found that the heightened empathy led to an enhanced ability to perceive subtle emotional expressions such as fear or happiness. Individuals who experienced higher levels of empathy were also nearly twice as likely to engage in pro-social, or helpful, behavior as individuals experiencing low levels of empathy."

From: http://news.blogs.wlu.edu/2012/02/21/washington-and-lee-professor-finds-that-reading-fiction-leads-to-empathy-helpful-behavior/

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How writers achieve literary immortality

... "neurobiological forces designed for our survival naturally make interest in art fade. But the forces don't stop artists from trying for timelessness.

what writers can do to block or slow that natural erosion over time? ...

We are evolutionarily designed so that we focus on new objects and ignore familiar ones ... When the mind confronts a new object, our perception is intense and vivid, but it soon dies with familiarity. Every minute, this feeling fades as the mind grasps the object.

Many writers in the Romantic tradition are animated by an impossible ambition to indefinitely extend that intensity. ... the strategies some literary greats have used to slow the brain's familiarity and create a never-fading image.

Where science can learn from literature is that it's not recreating the feeling of the first experience of the drug encounter, but that initial imagery associated with the intensity..."

How to achieve literary immortality? Combine an inkling of familiarity with the unknown. "Literary immortality is achieved by immersing the reader in an extraordinary experience outside the realm of their reality. Vagueness also works to keep the mind active. It isn't about a good or complicated plot in the story."

READ MORE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213151442.htm
SpyWriter Jack King: www.SpyWriter.com | FaceBook | Twitter


A constant invitation to read


"No greater force for good can be introduced so economically into the life of a growing child or an ambitious young man or woman" than a Globe-Wernicke Sectional Bookcase.

The bookcase "is a constant invitation to read" and the fact that it can expand "has the natural effect of subtly encouraging the reading habit."

"In a hundred ways, Globe-Wernicke exclusive patented features facilitate this habit of reading books."

The above from a bookcase ad.

From: http://blog.seattlepi.com/bookpatrol/2012/12/13/a-bookcase-that-encourages-reading/

Image by Book Patrol

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


When did reading become uncool?

"Since when was reading so uncool? I hear more kids exclaim that they hate reading and would rather die than work their way through “Huckleberry Finn” or “Where the Red Fern Grows.” For me, reading provided hours of vivid entertainment that extended beyond the length of a movie or the battery life of a handheld video game. It showed me more than my small, Midwestern hometown of Hays, Kan., would ever have to offer.

Reading isn’t just the interpretation of letters on a page — it stimulates creativity. It’s a lifestyle, a learned skill."

More: http://politicalfiber.com/articles/12/13/essay-learning-life-lessons-through-a-love-of-literature/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Writers of popular literature should graduate to serious writing

"Writers of popular literature, who are close to people, have great responsibility in moulding society’s thinking.

...common man related better with the popular literature that included short stories and novels. Apart from presenting a dreamy world, such literature had been an ideal foil for a reader during his good and bad times. This placed great responsibility on such writers to encourage healthy thinking among people. ... writers should be keen observers and be up-to-date of the happenings around them."

Even "minimal words could be used to express ideas and thoughts. This is the way popular literature writers’ should graduate to serious writing".

From: http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/encourage-healthy-thinking-among-people-writers-urged/article4195271.ece/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

How technology shapes espionage

“So, we’re constantly looking and trying to figure out who are the intelligence officers and who are they meeting with? So, covert communications is the way that a spy passes information secretly to the handler, or the handler passes requests and other information back to the spy.  ...

The way information is stored now makes it not only easier to use, but makes it far more vulnerable. If we can penetrate a network, we have everything. We own the kingdom.

So now, where throughout history spies stole the information and technology was used to convey it, it’s now just flipped around. The spy is now often the person that is simply the conveyor of the gadget that penetrates the network, because we now select spies, not by access to the secrets that they personally can get, but the access to the networks. So the person that maintains the network or the person that hypothetically buys the office equipment, such as the printers, could embed a chip into the printer and the printer, when they plug it into the network, now infects the entire network and now you’ve got a virus in the entire network. Now the human is the carrier of technology, as opposed to the technology being the carrier of small bits of information. How information is stores determines how vulnerable it is.”“The digital world has changed everything we know about espionage."

From: http://m.technobuffalo.com/2012/11/26/interview-spy-historian-h-k-melton-explains-how-tech-changed-spying-forever/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Climbing the social ladder starts with a book

"IF kids can learn to love books when they are young, it can set them up for life.
... books continue to form the cornerstone of childhood education and development ...

Nothing can fire up a child’s vivid imagination more than reading a book, or having one read to them, because it is their imagination that is creating the images from the words they’re reading...

The academic and social benefits that come with enjoying reading have also been well documented. But for kids it is the absolute joy they can find in reading that is so important. ...

Reading aloud and talking about what we’re reading sharpens children’s brains. It helps develop their ability to concentrate at length, to solve problems logically, and to express themselves more easily and clearly.

The benefits of reading have been shown over and over again in research. A German review of 146 international studies and 10,000 students found that children who read a lot end up higher on the social ladder."

From: http://mobile.news.com.au/news/nurturing-a-love-of-reading/story-fnelnuip-1226534903794

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

The Final Revolution

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961.

The final revolution will take place when you stop reading books. Pick one up now. Read. Free your mind. Free yourself.

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Books to the mind what exercise is to the body

"Students took part in a procession, holding school banners and placards with slogans such as ‘Reading books cleanses the mind’, ‘Books are our silent friends’ and ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’.

Following this, there was a half hour session of reading and other fun activities to celebrate reading.

Books are our life-long companions and they help you visualise things the way you want to. No two persons have the same imagination."

From: http://m.thehindu.com/life-and-style/kids/relax-read-a-book/article4184074.ece/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

The best Christmas gift

"Middle-class America has been duped. For decades we have been told that the notion of higher education is suspect and bad. Why? Because an uneducated citizenry will believe anything their leaders say, lies and all. Politicians and industrialists rely on the ignorance of the populace to fund and fight their wars, and to run their factories. As philanthropist John D. Rockefeller is reputed to have once said, “I want a nation of workers, not a nation of thinkers.” ...

Materialism has become part of the problem. Money is our new God. There is little joy in reading books and learning."

From: http://www.times-standard.com/guest_opinion/ci_22156902/how-dumb-have-we-become

Declining readership is as troubling as lack of education. Education, however, does not necessarily make one a better person. An uneducated person may follow every demagogue, but one who does not read books is on the path to becoming a sociopath: Studies show reading books builds empathy, and empathy leads to compassionate society. So, dear friends, you can do plenty good by gifting a book this holiday season...

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Literature is Freedom

“Even when a country is not free, its writers are free.” It is, therefore, important for a writer to “speak the truth and keep the conscience. ...

“The rulers of the country are not worth the literature the country is producing ... literature stands for “freedom of the mind in the past, present and the future”.

When the political atmosphere in a country does not allow for unbridled free speech, metaphors have always served as the “hiding place” for writers. Many have managed to speak between lines through metaphors during the reign of the most draconian rulers."

From: http://m.thehindu.com/news/states/karnataka/literature-equals-freedom-of-the-mind/article4177593.ece/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Fiction vs Non-Fiction

"The major problem with the new Common Core State Standards is that they further diminish something that is greatly undermined from the moment we enter school: our creativity.

School essentially limits innovation. The best way to succeed in school is to repeat exactly what the teacher says. But the most effective way to express one’s creativity in school has always been through the reading of fiction.

Through fiction, we are able to let our imaginations run wild, assign meaning to complex passages and have a chance to attack certain situations and moral dilemmas without living them. Reading fiction is an active, involved process."

From: http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2012/12/05/ac2f6df2-3e2e-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_story.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Novels are second lives

"Novels are second lives. Like the dreams that the French poet Gerard de Nerval speaks of, novels reveal the colors and complexities of our lives and are full of people, faces, and objects we feel we recognize. Just as in dreams, when we read novels we are sometimes so powerfully struck by the extraordinary nature of the things we encounter that we forget where we are and envision ourselves in the midst of the imaginary events and people we are witnessing. At such times, we feel that the fictional world we encounter and enjoy is more real than the real world itself. That these second lives can appear more real to us than reality often means that we substitute novels for reality, or at least that we confuse them with real life. But we never complain of this illusion, this naïveté. On the contrary, just as in some dreams, we want the novel we are reading to continue and hope that this second life will keep evoking in us a consistent sense of reality and authenticity. In spite of what we know about fiction, we are annoyed and bothered if a novel fails to sustain the illusion that it is actually real life."

From the opening paragraph in The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist, by Orhan Pamuk

Immerse yourself in another life, read my Novels: www.SpyWriter.com


Reading is crucial to success

"The hard fact is that either directly or indirectly parents are role models to their children. ... As regards reading, parents need to become readers first since its even easy for children to copy what parents do than hear what parents tell them to do. Therefore, set the example. ...

Reading is very important. It is through reading that we learn to think and write. ...

Even at pre-school age, children that are read to tend to perform better than those that are not read to, because they are exposed to books and new vocabularies which helps their language development.

Latest research studies link reading proficiency with better grades in all subjects. For example at 8 months, when comparing two babies of the same age, it was indicated that a child that was read to had receptive vocabularies (number of words they understand) increase by 40 per cent since baby hood, while the child that was not read to had an increase of only 16 per cent.

Even at pre-school age, children that are read to tend to perform better than those that are not read to because they are exposed to books and new vocabularies which helps their language development.

Children that are read to develop longer attention span which is an important skill for children in order for them to be able to concentrate and it builds listening skills and imagination. Henceforth, reading books is one of the most important activities that make children obtain better grades in their academic endeavors."

More: http://m.allafrica.com/stories/201212040095.html/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Reading fiction affects perception

"Can people change their minds by reading fiction?

There's not a lot of systematic research on how reading fiction changes people's opinions or behavior, but one study found that a majority of serious readers reported that one or more books had in some way helped them or made a big difference in their lives. Another study found that people's ratings of their own personalities changed more after reading a Chekhov story than after reading the same information presented as if it were a real court transcript. The fictional version also generated a greater emotional response, even though it wasn't judged any more interesting than the non-fiction version. ...

But what about the content of what you read in literature? The arguments? Can they change your mind about something important?

Not that much is known ... especially about what you might consider to be 'something important.' But we do know that people partially compartmentalize what they read in fiction, keeping it separate from what they believe is true of the real world. But at the same time we know that there can be some leakage. For example, if you read a story in which a character mentions, in passing, that most mental illness has been shown to be contagious, you'll have a harder time rejecting the idea later on, at least for the few minutes after reading the story. You can also pick up 'misinformation' without later realizing that it comes from the story."

More: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/12/03/166362989/learning-facts-through-fiction-an-imagined-encounter

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


The Internet no substitute for Books

"The world is changing fast and we are fed with opinion that internet does more bad than good and that the addictive nature of the internet has drawn people away from the habit of reading. ...

It’s time to spread the message to the world that though teens feel it’s cool to drop books and newspapers and chose the internet as an alternative, media moguls whose businesses thrive on the internet allow books and newspapers to complement the internet. Reading is an activity that one can cherish which also allows a peep into the diverse cultures of the world and a way into the hearts of creative individuals. Some might argue that videos on the internet do the same. Books do it in a way that make memories last longer."

More: http://www.nation.lk/edition/undo/item/12572-why-books-shouldn%E2%80%99t-die.html

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Reading Books as Important as Healthy Food

"Books contain an endless source of knowledge and pleasure for children. If we teach our children to make reading a habit, we are handing down a special kind of magic to them. There are many ways to help our children become voracious, lifelong readers. We will discover some unexpected bonuses too. Our children will do better in school, improve as a reader and enjoy a richer and fuller life and be able to keep themselves from negative things. We as parents take our job seriously by making sure that our children eat healthy food and take proper rest. But what about their minds? Are we feeding that endless curiosity that causes children’s minds to grow in a healthy way? That’s where books are imperative."

More: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=TOPICS%3ABooks+as+source+of+inspiration&NewsID=355772

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The Building Block for Literacy

"Reading aloud is one of the most important -- and enjoyable -- parenting and grandparenting activities we can share with our children. Science tells us it's the first building block for literacy. Babies love the soothing sounds of a familiar voice reading. Even when they prefer "eating" their books, they are beginning to make the mental connection we want. They're associating reading with comfort, security and enjoyment. That link is a great foundation for raising readers. ... it also creates emotional memories that last a lifetime."

More: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/181275901.html

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