A facebook photo here makes the following claims (quoted exactly, errors are in original photo):

  • 33% of High School Graduates never read another book the rest of their lives
  • 42% of college grads never read another book after college
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a book store the last five years
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year
  • the more a child reads the likelier they are able to understand the emotions of others
  • Reading one hour per day in your chosen field will make you an international expert in 7 years

(Can anyone prove or disprove any/all of the claims?)

Is there a short answer proving the reliability/trustworthiness of this source?


The last claim is probably not true.

If you spend one hour per day for 7 years reading, you will invest 365 times 7 = 2555 hours learning about your chosen subject (ignoring leap years). This time will never be sufficient make you an expert in your field.

According to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, which aims to standardize university degrees across European countries, a student who aims at a typical three-year bachelor degree will have to earn about 60 course credits per year. One course credit is roughly equivalent to 30 hours of workload. So, in order to earn a bachelor degree according to ECTS standards, a student has to invest 60 times 30 times 3 = 5400 hours, and this is just for a BA degree.

Granted, this workload required for includes time spend in classrooms, and not only reading time, but it clearly shows that in order to become an "international expert" (which probably means an education that is at least equivalent to a PhD), you need to invest much, much more time than a measly one hour per day.

  • 3
    The conclusion you reach is likely correct, but the way you reach it is not logically sound (note though that logic-only answers are not accepted here anyways). You are comparing hours of University workload with hours of reading. You are comparing becoming an "international expert" with earning a bachelor degree. None of these things are comparable so the conclusion does not follow from the premises. – Sklivvz Nov 5 '16 at 21:04
  • Fair enough. University workload does consist of reading to a large extent, so I don't think that this part of my argument is actually an invalid comparison. But I do concede that my answer is fully theoretical in nature. – Schmuddi Nov 6 '16 at 1:12
  • Heh, I'm pretty sure a lot of people with BA degrees out barely did any work at all during college. If you want an example, the number of people that get a diploma on CS and can't even write a single line of code is terrifying. Getting a degree is easy - being a professional, or even an expert, is something completely different. Heck, there is even a lot of PhD's out there that don't understand basic programming. – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Nov 7 '16 at 14:36

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