Caleb Crain analyzes Zogby's poll on American reading habits:

The Zogby poll reflects not only the way that Americans buy books, but what’s socially acceptable to say about buying books. For example, Zogby reports that only thirty-two percent of Americans borrow books, while seventy-one per cent lend them. That might be true; it’s possible to reconcile the disparity by supposing that a small cadre of predatory moochers are taking advantage of a vast cow-like herd of good-hearted people who can’t say no. But the disparity is awfully large. A likelier explanation is that people would rather say that they give books than that they take them.

(hat tip: emdashes)

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