"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Are Americans reading less?

Sent to the New York Daily News, Sept. 27, 2013

The Daily News reported that "Less than half of Americans read for fun last year, National Endowment for the Arts survey shows" (Sept. 26).
This is not quite accurate.
The NEA reported that 54.5% of those surveyed said they read at least one book last year, nearly identical to the results of the 2008 survey.  About 47% said they read at least one work of "literature" (novels, poetry, plays) last year, about a 3% dip from 2008; much of this was a decline in reading poetry.
It is not clear in the NEA study if "book" reading included e-books. There has been an astonishing increase in the percentage of adults owning e-book readers in the US: According to Pew 26% of adults in the US now own an e-book reader, up from 2% in 2009.
When we consider the constant defunding of libraries, and the increase in poverty, it is amazing that people are still reading so much. 

Stephen Krashen

Source: Pew Internet Mobile: http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/February/Pew-Internet-Mobile.aspx. Updated, Sept 18, 2013.
original article: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2013/09/less-than-half-of-americans-read-for-fun-last-year-national-endowment-for-the-arts
this letter posted at: http://tinyurl.com/lplmbqq

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