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2009 New Year Resolutions: Take the Reader Survey

abstract: You've popped the cork on the champagne to ring in the New Year, but does your 2009 resolution list include reading books and community interest? Last year we reported the alarming reading statistics from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with a view to alerting people to this negative trend. This year I want to focus on you, the BookBuffet user, who admittedly is already an avid or at least a regular reader, to broaden your reading appetites and engage publicly in the literary arts. Ask yourself, "Do I challenge my reading palette or do I stick to similar books by similar authors?" "Do I include a provocative book on politics, history, economics or science?" "Do I reach into the list of classic literature for the best writing so I can compare all the modern novels I read with authors whose works have stood the test of time?" And finally ask yourself, "What do I do that positively effects the reading habits of others: my family , my friends, my colleagues?" Take the test below and see where you stand.


January 01, 2009

How "Good" A Reader Are You?

Answer these questions and tally your score to see how you rate as a reader. Check all answers that apply.

  1. How many books did you read in 2008?
    a) 0-2 b) 3-6 c) 7-10 d) over 10
  2. The books I read last year included:
    a) a NYT bestseller b) a major prize-winner c) an important biography or other nonfiction d) a classic title from an esteemed author
  3. How do I share my reading interests?
    a) I am in a book group b) I have attended at least one author reading or literary event this year c) I shared a book I enjoyed with another person d) I wrote a book review or discussed books on a blog - literary or otherwise
  4. Proactive Leadership in the Community
    a) I started a new book group b) I spoke about a topic derived from books I'd read or used for research c) I supported a public reading program (such as Whistler Reads or another One Book One City program) by participating or donating money d) I donated books to needy programs
  5. Technology Buff or Not? Considering The Environment
    a) I have a library membership b) I listen to audio books downloaded from the web c) I have an iPod or iPhone or electronic reader and download digital books, thereby saving paper, printing and delivery costs to the environment

Now Tally Your Score

Give yourself 1 point for all (a)'s you checked.
Give yourself 2 points for all (b)'s you checked.
Give yourself 3 points for all (c)'s you checked.
Give yourself 4 points for all (d)'s you checked.

(It is possible you checked more than one thing per question, so add those points to your tally.)


0-6 You read but you don't step out of your comfort zone to broaden reading interests or interact with others around books. Read twice as many books this year and be sure to include a classic novel and a challenging nonfiction title from a vetted list. Start a book group or join an existing public book group and read at least one book suggested to you by others outside your typical reading palate.

7-15 You are a pretty good reader. You are open to the suggestions of others or you belong to a book group and watch the reviews of books. You could still do more to encourage reading in others and broaden the genres on your night stand further.

16—Above Bravo. You are an avid reader who mixes fiction and nonfiction and stays abreast of literature through literary reviews and discussion of books with your peers or colleagues. You also strive to attend public discussions or author readings. You probably mix audio or digital books with the paper books you borrow or purchase and have posted a book review online or elsewhere. You are an example to your family and friends and a valued community leader.  


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