A Brief Commercial for Reading

My name is Joe and I’d like to speak with you for a moment about reading.

Were you aware that the average American watches approximately 4 to 7 hours of television every single day?

That means that over the course of his or her lifetime, an average American spends a minimum of 11 years of that life watching TV.

Yet that same average American reads half of a book each year.  That’s right, HALF.

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book in their entire lives.

42% of college graduates never read another book their entire lives.

There’s nothing wrong with watching a little TV. I love movies, enjoy several funny shows, and of course…SPORTS!

However, if an average American reader were to spend one hour of television time per day reading instead of watching, then that person would complete at least 52 books in a year.

Try to imagine the changes in your life if you were to take up the challenge to read for one hour a day.  That means that in one year you could read:

  • 10 great works of theology
  • 10 books on Biblical studies
  • 10 books that will help you share your faith, pray more effectively, and minister to the hurting and marginalized
  • 10 books that will help you be a better husband, father, wife, mother, or friend

And after all that you would still be able to read 12 novels, plays, poetry collections, classics of literature, or whatever  “brain candy” you enjoy. (I have a particular fondness for Westerns myself.)

All that in just one hour a day! That’s just two sitcom re-runs or one episode of Law and Order. Don’t you think that would make a huge impact on your life and on the lives of the people around you?

So what do you say? Let’s all put down the remote and pick-up a book!


4 thoughts on “A Brief Commercial for Reading

  1. I have almost completely given up tv! At first, there was a little withdrawal anxiety. We gave up the majority of the dish stations except for the most basic 30 or so to save money. I love to read anyway, so it was a goal to spend more time reading. I am still addicted to a couple reality shows, but they are something we do watch together as a family and discuss & have a few laughs. Although I didn’t get as many books read as I would have liked (I think I read about 5 over the last 7 months), I did spend a lot more time with God in prayer, reading my Bible (bought another translation), memorizing and writing scripture and journaling, and searching commentaries and studying some truths. I now begin, as well as end, most of my days with prayer and Bible reading. He grew my faith tremendously! I see how much more of Him I need and this is good to know because I can have as much of God as I want!

    • Lisa: That’s awesome. I am going to be giving up all TV (except for family movie night) for the whole summer. There are so many other things I want to get done, and I must confess, TV eats up too much of that time. Someone once told me that the most productive people are the ones who don’t watch TV. I imagine that may be true.

  2. Good stuff Joe. I remember when I would come home, turn on the tv and sit there for hours. Thankfully around 5 years ago the Lord gave me a passion for reading. This had to come from the Lord because I would even touch a book if it were up to me. Reading forces me to slow down and engage my mind. Good, deep, books stir a passion that can’t be achieved any other way.

  3. Agree 100% Joe! I’ve had a passion for reading good Christian books for some time now and encourage everyone I can to read good, biblical books. As part of my ministry of encouragement, I created a blog to post “bytes” of the books I have read and a good recommended reading list. You can find it at: http://www.goodbookbytes.blogspot.com. Maybe it could be an encouragement to someone you know.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Coram Deo,

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