Reading was on my mind this week. I read a lot, newspapers, magazines, books, and mostly on paper. I like paper books. I was wondering if reading things on paper was becoming a hallmark of the geriatric segment of our society?

Detail from "The Bookworm"

Detail from "The Bookworm"

I do know that the Harry Potter books are read by ‘tweens and octogenarians and all points in-between. Anyhow, who reads these days?

“Among those who said they had read books, the median figure — with half reading more, half fewer — was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.” (From an AP-Ipsos Poll conducted in 2007 and summarized at

Might book reading become a cultural divide between the elderly and everyone else? This was a difficult question to find any information about. Reading can bring people together. Debora Powers (2009) describes an multi-generational book club that was successful in getting children, parents and grandparents talking and sharing around a common book.  But still I wonder if the young will still get lost in the wonder of books.

What about electronic books (ebooks)? Are they just a high tech tool embraced by the Millennials and all those younger? Do ebooks have appeal for us old paper guys? One article mentions that ebooks, due to their adjustable text size and bright, clear screens actually make reading easier for older people with our older and less flexible eyes (blog post by Tony on March 3, 2010. eReaders for the elderly – A useful gadget for older people.

What are your reading skills? Just for fun, follow this link and take a quick reading speed and comprehension test.

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department


Powers, D. What generation gap? Reading Today, 2009, 26(4), 28 (


“The Bookworm” by Carl Spitzweg, 1850 (