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Wednesday News: Scribd launches global subscription service; 38% of adult fiction...

Adults who read novels, poetry, short fiction and plays have dropped in every age group since 2008. The biggest ground was lost among readers in middle age; 35- to 44-year-olds dropped by nearly 6%; and both 45- to 54-year-olds and 55- to 63-year-olds by 5%.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ros
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 04:14:20

    “More people are reading for pleasuring”. TMI.

    You can already upload your own ePub at Smashwords, though no other formats yet.

    Oh, and with Scribd’s record of hosting documents without copyright owner’s permission, I’m pretty unexcited about the idea of them setting up a subscription service. They’re only one step up from a torrent service, as far as I can see.

  2. Becca
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 07:12:53

    My understanding is that you can only read the Scribd books through their apps which lets out reading on any eink device. Since I hate long-form reading on my tablet, I think I’ll pass.

  3. Lindsay
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 10:23:39

    I’d love to see any changes in reading for pleasure in the 50+ categories when e-ink first came out, because I know it has helped so many people who had given up on reading almost entirely. My dad has gone from 4 books a year to 20+ now that he shares a Kindle with my Mom (she’s threatening to get him his own). Both of them need glasses for reading and both were sad at the lack of large print books available for authors they’ve enjoyed for years, so to have EVERY book be large print now is amazing.

    My husband also has gone from 2-3 books a year to a dozen just by owning a Kindle, he’s discovered… series, where previous books matter. It’s a novel (heh) concept to him. He’s dyslexic and a big reader on computer screens of news and articles, but his reading fiction for pleasure has taken right off now that he has an e-reader. I don’t know if it’s the screen making it easier or just having access to so many books, but it’s been pretty cool.

  4. azteclady
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 12:01:29

    By now most of you already know this but…Tom Clancy died today.

  5. Estara Swanberg
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 12:54:20

    @Lindsay: For a person of any age with a serious eye condition, e-ink readers are a godsend, they gave me my reading groove back when my eye problems were so bad that I thought I’d have to give up reading for pleasure for any length of time. So fortunate that this happened a year after e-readers really became viable – 2008. I was 43 at the time.

  6. CK
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 13:57:39

    Imho, most people are exposed to ‘literature’ (in school) before they learn the joys of reading which in turn makes them non-readers who wouldn’t touch ‘literature’ with a ten-foot pole. I’m a voracious reader who didn’t appreciate ‘literature’ until college (because I had an outstanding professor) and I still found it most of it to be boring, depressing or both.

  7. Fiona McGier
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 17:06:01

    Re: CK, yes, much of what is called “literature” is depressing and boring. As an English teacher, I told that to my own kids, and the ones I sub for. They often ask why they’re assigned books about people with diseases or dying, and I tell them to give them perspective about how much of a gift life is, not to take it for granted. It helps a little.

    The ones with their noses always in books are the sci-fi readers, mostly. They like to dream about what might be. What irritates me is the male authors who write about love and romance, yet it’s called “literature” because the powers that be said so! But romance written by women is denigrated as not worthy, even when it’s part of the sci-fi genre.

  8. De
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 17:18:12


    I’m in a public library and spend about 20 hours a week on the ref desk. When I get kids coming in with a list or a reading assignment, I ask them what kinds of movies they like. I try to match up them up with a book that fits their movie taste. It’s not fool proof, but it’s better than just randomly grabbing something. (I read romances and watch Buffy and Teen Wolf, but can’t stand RomCom movies and fantasy books. )

  9. Maite
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 19:52:39

    I don’t know whether to congratulate the NEA for admitting that reading for pleasure is a good thing, or smash them for insisting on this Literature/literature divide. I dislike “The DaVinci Codex”, but it got my classmates discovering that books could be fun and engaging, fighting sleep for “one more chapter”.
    A special note on poetry: IMHO, poetry is not to be read, but recited/heard. So audiobooks on poetry should count towards the number of people enjoying poetry.
    On Scribd… that’s the site that had “Download or Print for free” all over the webpage until you actually tried to do so and discovered that “Free” might mean: “For a very small fee”/”In exchange for uploading a file”/”Uploader didn’t allow that for this file”/”Just kidding”/”Yeah, go on.”. I’ve got nothing against just showing files, I’ve got something against bare-faced lying. So, not believing a word they say this time.

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