Are bookworms more spiritual?

VENTURA, California (BNG) — Publishers and marketers are certainly aware that Americans, thanks to smart phones and tablets, are reading fewer and fewer paper books these days.

But pastors and other church leaders need to track those trends as

The spiritual implications of reading habits can have tangible impacts on churches and ministries, said Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group.

Readers accustomed to reading shorter articles, and to jumping from one text to another, makes them less patient with texts like the Bible, she said.

“That real quick-hit culture does shape our spirituality,” she said.

The reading habits of Americans are the focus of a recent Barna study, “The State of Books and Reading in a Digital World.”

“People still like to read, but it’s also the case that … Americans are not reading a lot of books,” Stone said.

Naturally they are reading online, using computers, phones and tablets instead. As a result news and magazine articles, because they are consumed online, are getting shorter. The same is true for blog posts.

“In general we have shorter attention spans and we are jumping from article to article,” Stone said.

“For pastors, it’s helpful to keep in mind how people are getting information, what media they are using for entertainment and how they are absorbing data,” she said.

That information in turn can aid ministers in determining if and how to adapt their ministries to meet those trends.

“It’s important to keep a pulse on how people are interacting with information,” Stone said.

Of all adults surveyed, Barna reported that 67 percent read five books or less per year. That figure consists of 25 percent who read no books at all and 42 percent who read 1 to 5. And a third of adults said they read five or more books annually.

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About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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