Rolf Norfolk Blog | Long Or Short? | Talkmarkets
Editor at Broad Oak Magazine
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Rolf is an Oxford-educated British IFA, now retired. Rolf has been a bear from the late 90s on, hence the byline "Sackerson" (a famous 16th century bear on London's animal-baiting circuit). Rolf runs the Broad Oak Magazine blog; originally named "Bearwatch", it was set up ... more

Long Or Short?

Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020 5:00 PM EDT

It's my feeling that American readers prefer essays, articles and blogposts to be longer than we like in the UK, where we seem to appreciate brevity and conciseness. I casually explain it to myself as Americans liking to 'get their money's worth' but more seriously wonder if there may be a couple of other factors at work.

1. Although both the UK and the USA are slightly below the international average in literacy rates, those Americans who do read, read more - about 12 books per capita p.a. compared with 10 in Britain.  Also, this infographic (below) places the USA 7th globally in terms of 'literate behaviour characteristics', behind Nordic countries and Switzerland; we rank 17th on the same basis.

world reading habits

2. American attendance at Christian churches is double that in the UK. Maybe they're more used to long sermons - remember Meghan's preacher starting to let himself go at the wedding? On the other hand, the most religious may not be the most well-read.

So is my impression correct and if so, what are the reasons?

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