Where have the readers gone?

I read some horrifying statistics today. I'm generalizing here, but the article said that only one-third of high school graduates pick up a book after graduation, for the rest of their lives. College grads were even worse! Something like twenty-eight per cent deign to read a book after receiving their sheepskins.  There was a further breakdown, but oh my stars, did I feel discouraged. With so few young people reading, the publishing market is bound to cater to those sacred few. I just didn't see the trend as clearly as I do now. The aisles between YA books always have more people than any other section, even the ones with cookbooks and devotionals, so mercy me, I hope those few stay faithful to the printed word.

Reading is one of the great pleasures in life. Cliché, yes, indubitably. I can't imagine a life without books in some form or another. So I feel sorry for those who never want to go near a novel again for as long as they live. Then again, who am I to judge? There's certainly great storytelling on the TV (I just started in on RAY DONOVAN on cable), but some of the best TV drama comes from novels. LONGMIRE, anyone?

I'm mailing copies of OUTLANDER to friends who are too young for its first iteration in 1991. I know they'll be caught up in the series now airing on Showtime (I think), and will want to see what's been left out in the necessarily truncated TV version.