An Updated UPDATE:
This article continues to receive a lot of attention. I’m sure you have questions and I’m glad you found my site. I hope what you find in this article answers your questions.
The most common question I receive is, “Can I copy or reprint your infographic?” If you’re referring to the graphic that begins “33% of High School graduates never read…” then I have to decline. As I state within this article, I no longer trust the data source, so I’m unwilling to perpetuate the myth. Unfortunately, the internet is not conducive to forgetting.
You might also be interested in another article related to the infographic:
10 Lessons Learned from Bad Research
The Original Post from 2012:
An infographic I posted a while back has produced much interest. Several websites used the graphic on their own pages which has caused large numbers of people to blow up my email wondering about my statistical sources.
First, I created the graphic because I’m a book lover and wanted to express my passion for reading through a different method. While I’m well-versed in research methodologies, my goal wasn’t–and still isn’t–to produce a quantitative, peer-reviewed product. I simply wanted to illustrate reading importance.
Second, I was curious to know if I could create an interesting graphic. I’ll just assume I found the answer to that one.
Here’s what I’ve discovered about the source on the original graphic:
According to a Jenkins Group Facebook post in 2011, the reading statistics are incorrectly attributed to the Jenkins Group. Apparently Jerrold Jenkins, owner and founder of the Jenkins Group, presented the observations to a group of small publishers using data from the Book Industry Study Group, American Book Sellers Institute, and US News and World Report. https://www.facebook.com/jenkinsgroup/posts/10151053968015564
A New York fundraiser who hosts a reading blog contacted the Jenkins Group to ask about their study. She discovered the company distances itself from the statistics; while they admit their owner, Jerrold Jenkins, presented the material, they never actually published the report. http://www.libereading.com/2012/04/in-which-i-execute-some-hard-hitting.html
I think it’s safe to say the stats from the original graphic are questionable, and I am therefore recanting any and all connection to them.
At the same time, I still believe in the absolute viability of reading and it’s ability to radically impact a person’s life. In an age where our smartphones will read aloud to us, we risk watering down this life-changing skill. So here’s a new graphic. The stats aren’t as juicy, but it still supports my original point: reading is important.
[By the way, I’m not changing the last box from the original graphic. I like Earl Nightingale’s thought. It’s not research-based, but it makes me feel good–just like reading.]
This is the old graphic. It is no longer trustworthy. I have left it here only for archival purposes. Please don’t copy it.