Friday, April 11, 2008

I Hear America Reading

Not surprisingly, The Harris Poll reports that Americans' favorite book is The Bible. The results of the poll are below.

As of 2002, just 57 percent of Americans said they'd read a book in the past year, according to And only 47 percent said they'd read "literature" (defined as novels, short stories, plays and poetry), so I suppose we should be grateful that this list is primarily fiction (or entirely, depending on how you feel about the Bible) and doesn't include Who Moved My Cheese? and its ilk.

I share my fellow citizens' admiration for five of the titles (the ones I've added links to), and can understand why Mitchell, King and Rand made the top 10. But the choice of two books by Dan Brown, whose sentences are risible, shows that people care more about stories than writing, and that's appropriate but disheartening.

Or maybe it's too hard to pick just one. I know it is for me. I'd probably choose the OED.
1. The Bible

2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien

4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

5. The Stand, by Stephen King

6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown

9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Thanks for the post title, Walt.

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