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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Book Was Better

How often have we heard the above phrase regarding the film adaptation of a novel or short story? How many times have we been the ones saying it?
As Twilight: New Moon opens to record attendance this weekend, I expect that this phrase will be uttered quite often:
"The book was better."
This is not meant to take anything away from the director, the screenwriter, the actors, the editors, or anyone involved with the film. This is simply the nature of the written word. The images that can currently be created from them on the screen pale in comparison to the images that the human imagination can conjure. This will likely always be the case.
This makes some of the following statistics from the Jensen Group, Inc. all the more troubling:

~ 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

~ 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

~ 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

~ 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

~ 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
Now, I share these statistics mostly because they find them interesting. Interesting and saddening.
It also inspired me to go grab one of those books off of my to-read shelf, dust it off, and crack open the cover.


Jenn said...

Fun (by fun I mean depressing) fact:
A good quarter to half of my Children's Lit students at Metro think that Disney wrote Cinderella, Snow White, etc. I find this every time we get to folklore week in that class.

Brady Darnell said...

That IS depressingly fun. I believe it was in my blog on CSF's Hamlet that I mentioned the person who said to me "Well, like it says in the Bible: 'Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'"
And that wasn't the first time I've heard Polonius's speech mistaken for gospel.

Kendall Scot said...

I am sorely tempted to go into a rant about the evils of "texting" and the ever-narrowing attention span of our society.

I blame reality TV...

Not really, but I'm tired of blaming Bush for everything...


I do find the statistics very hard to believe. Maybe because I'm an optimist?