Jimmy Kimmel proved reading is a dying hobby on his ABC late-night show.
Intrigued by a Pew Research Center study finding almost one in four Americans has not read a book in the past year, the host sent a camera crew outside his studio onto Hollywood Blvd. to ask pedestrians a simple question: Can you name a book?
Literally, any book. Having read it wasn't even a requirement. And yet, what Kimmel got was nearly a dozen people who struggled to name drop any literary titles beyond "The Lion King" (the book?), Dr. Seuss (author,not a book!) and "Horse" written by author "Moby Dick" (who is not an author, but a book and/or fictional sperm whale dreamt up by actual author Herman Melville).
"I haven't read a book for like 12 years," admitted one woman. But our favorite exchange came after another woman said, "Sorry, I am totally blanking on books."
"What do you do for a living?" Kimmel's interviewer asked.
"I was a librarian," she responded. "Now I'm unemployed."
We understand that screens are the preferred medium in our culture these days, but even if you've been watching movies and television regularly, this is not a hard question. "Harry Potter," "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Big Little Lies" and "Fahrenheit 451" immediately come to mind without any required reading.
At least one guy was smart enough to say "The Jungle Book." Sure, the bro didn't know if it was actually a book before Hollywood adapted it for movies, and probably has no idea who Rudyard Kipling is, but gotta give credit where credit is due.