Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Weekend With Ted Nugent

This weekend I'll be working through my chores while listening to the audiobook, "Ted, White and Blue" by rock star and activist Ted Nugent. I was taken recently by a quote from Nugent, "Quality control is always much easier and immeasurably less painful than damage control." Interested, I decided to find out where the quote came from, and thus my attention to his book.

I can't say whether I am a fan of Ted's ideas or not. Without investigation, I just can't know. And that's the point. Without investigation and a, "trying on" of ideas, one will never get closer to having beliefs of our own, or developing the knowledge base to become passionate about those ideas.

Like a healthy diet, and to develop your passion and style, you need to consume ideas from a variety of sources no matter how disparate or unlikely. According to a 2007 study:

  • One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. …
  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.
  • Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.Customers 55 and older account for more than one-third of all books bought.
One might point out that this excludes newspaper and magazine data but, for me, periodicals go through a distillation process that edits out data and varies in interpretation based on the leanings of the editorial staff. Books on the other hand, provide a singular voice and focus. It is that clarity of vision which allows the reader to form clear opinions of their own. When coupled with the habit of "grazing" for information, that is, gathering subject information from a variety of sources, a richer experience is created than if only a single source or bias is pursued.

As Homer Simpson once said, "I enjoy all the meats of the cultural stew, " and I encourage you to get information from a variety of sources, gather the tidbits that move you, and develop your own ideas. For now, I've got a date with the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent. Cheers!

For an up to date view of the books I am reading, check out my profile on LinkedIn. If we're not linked yet, send me an invite mentioning this blog and I will accept your invitation.


  1. Astonishing numbers. Thanks for sharing the study. It's unfortunate that in a world made increasingly of technology that pushes bits and bytes our direction, people are forgetting how to seek out the magic, wonder, and breadth of ideas in books.

    Somewhere, my elementary school librarian is sad indeed.

  2. Feline, I am right there with you. As a, "regular" at my library, you can expect to see a future post on all of the services the library has to offer - from books, to audiobooks, to content downloads. Thanks for your comment!