Add to My MSN

More Debate Over the Decline of Reading

2/13/2008 7:09:00 PM

Tags: Ursula K. Le Guin, Harper's, National Endowment for the Arts, decline in reading

Americans are reading less, reports the Writer’s Chronicle. The article cites a November 2007 report (pdf) by the National Endowment for the Arts, which found that Americans of all demographic groups are voluntarily reading less than 10 to 20 years ago.  “If, at the current pace, America continues to lose the habit of regular reading, the nation will suffer substantial economic, social, and civic setbacks,” the study concludes.  

Ursula K. Le Guin offers an alternative perspective in the February 2008 issue of Harper’s (excerpt only available online). “I want to question the assumption—whether gloomy or faintly gloating—that books are on the way out,” Le Guin writes. “It’s just that not all that many people ever did read them. Why should we think everybody ought to now?”

Sarah Pumroy



Related Content

Pillory the Professional Pessimists

As a rule of thumb, it’s generally easier to sound smart when criticizing something than it is when ...

The Endangered Book Reading

Independent booksellers may begin charging admission for author events. But should they?...

Your Mental Peak May Still Be Ahead of You

With tests demonstrating that cognitive skills don’t dwindle with age, whether or not we can measure...

What Happened to Undercover Journalism?

Harper’s editor Ken Silverstein went undercover last winter to reveal the inner workings of Washingt...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Fred H
2/24/2008 3:20:34 PM
I guess it comes down to how you define reading. Seems to me that pretty near everyone who's online is doin' some reading in one form or another. I'd check what I wrote for errors, but I can't be bothered to actually read it myself . . .



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!