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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Harris Poll: Bible is US's Most Popular Book

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When it comes to literary pursuits in the United States most people agree on at least one thing -- the most popular book is the Bible, according to a new survey.

    It came in first in a Harris Poll of nearly 2,513 adults but the second choice in the survey was not as clear cut.

    "While the Bible is number one among each of the different demographic groups, there is a large difference in the number two favorite book," Harris said in a statement announcing the results...
    Other books making the top ten (might not be in exactly the right order):
    Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
    The Lord of the Rings. (JRR Tolkien)
    Harry Potter titles (JK Rowling)
    The Stand (Stephen King)
    Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code,"
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee,
    "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
    "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
    "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

    Some of the books are good. Seeing two Dan Brown books in the list makes my skin crawl, though. (And Ayn Rand still makes the list!? Amazing.)

    It was done through a Harris online poll, so that might give you an idea of demographics. I am also not sure what the poll looked like -- if there were just blanks for entries, or a predetermined list.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Other books making the top ten (might not be in exactly the right order):
    Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
    The Lord of the Rings. (JRR Tolkien)
    Harry Potter titles (JK Rowling)
    The Stand (Stephen King)
    Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code,"
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee,
    "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
    "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
    "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

    Some of the books are good. Seeing two Dan Brown books in the list makes my skin crawl, though. (And Ayn Rand still makes the list!? Amazing.)

    It was done through a Harris online poll, so that might give you an idea of demographics. I am also not sure what the poll looked like -- if there were just blanks for entries, or a predetermined list.
    The thing that surprises me is how freaking long some of those books are. The Bible is, obviously, not a novel to be read front-to-back in order, but Atlas Shrugged and [IMG]The Stand[/IMG] are upwards of 1,100 pages, Gone with the Wind is like 900 pages, some of the Harry Potter series are like 600-700 pages, The Lord of the Rings is a big endeavor, couldn't even tell you offhand how long the whole thing is. I guess the fact that there are legitimate novels in there is a positive (it's not a list of my mom's Sue Grafton and Danielle Steel novels), but it's not a particularly tremendous collection of material. This is also why People's Choice Awards aren't prestigious but Oscars, Pulitzers, Emmys, etc. are coveted by artists.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #3

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    A forum full of smart folks may not be the best place to admit this, but I loved both Dan Brown books and you couldn't pay me to read Tolkien or Rand. I'm not sure how it works for other people, but if I want something intellectually rigorous, I read nonfiction. When I infrequently pick up a novel, I just want to be entertained.

    Plus, "Lord Of The Rings" and "The Fountainhead" bored the crap out of me.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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    /Nohari

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Plus, "Lord Of The Rings" and "The Fountainhead" bored the crap out of me.
    My shocking admission:

    - Yes, parts of The Lord of the Rings (particularly in the Two Towers) are as boring as hell.

    - I only ever read about 25 pages of The Fountainhead, then never got back to it.

    Still, there are parts of LotR that stick with me until today... I guess for me that's how I judge a "good" book. Grisham and Crieghton and the others might be fast page turners, admittedly, but the stuff I consider good quality resonates with me years after I read it. ("The Firm" is one of those rare instances where I thought the movie was far better quality than the book.)

    Hmm, funny that Dosteovsky did not make the list, he's usually highly touted. But probably not popularly read enough.

    And good point, p_m, about the length of the books selected. Apparently the people committed to reading aren't intimidated by length. But I'm thinking there has been a large shift in our culture to visual/audio multimedia in the general populace.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And good point, p_m, about the length of the books selected. Apparently the people committed to reading aren't intimidated by length. But I'm thinking there has been a large shift in our culture to visual/audio multimedia in the general populace.
    To take the point even further, I wonder how many people polled who claim to have read these lengthy works actually only saw the movie.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    To take the point even further, I wonder how many people polled who claim to have read these lengthy works actually only saw the movie.
    Cynic.

    (regardless of how accurate you are ;P)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    To take the point even further, I wonder how many people polled who claim to have read these lengthy works actually only saw the movie.
    I am willing to bet most of them have read the books. Tolkien has been one of the most popular authors in the United States since that list started; Rand, too. I would think that the average age of the responders has gone up significantly, though. Many of the youngest fans of the LOTR movies didn't even know they were book adaptations when they first came out.

    And for the record, I am not an Objectivist, but I enjoyed We the Living and The Fountainhead, but just couldn't keep myself committed to reading Atlas Shrugged. 57-page monologues aren't my bag.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I read LOTR three times in Junior High. Besides To Kill A Mockingbird (and the better part of the Bible) I haven't read any of the others.

    How does one pick a favorite book anyway? I can't even pick a favorite food.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    It's difficult. I've been disappointed by a lot of books that were supposed to be great, too. Catch-22, for example, was witty but not a tremendous achievement in literature, IMHO. Here is a list of wonderful books:

    Brideshead Revisited
    A Confederacy of Dunces
    Brave New World
    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Pale Fire
    American Psycho
    The Adventures of Augie March
    Ragtime
    All the King's Men


    Anyone have some recommendations for me?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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