Poll shows 1 in 4 Americans read no books last year. But books aren't everything . . .
debaron at uiuc.edu
Wed Aug 22 05:16:01 UTC 2007
There's a new post on the
Web of Language:
Poll shows 1 in 4 Americans read no books last year. But books
aren't everything . . .
27% of Americans read no books last year, according to an AP-Ipsos
poll just out. The media immediately reported that the nation’s
literacy is in free fall.
Every time there’s a literacy crisis, and they come about once a
decade, the usual suspects get the blame. Movies, comic books, TV,
rock 'n' roll, and now the Internet have all been faulted for this
perceived decline in reading, along with permissive parenting,
overcrowded schools, and illegal immigration. . . .
Finding a solution to the latest reading crisis won’t be easy. When
the economy tanks, the Fed increases the money supply to stimulate
spending . . . But there’s no invisible hand steering the nation’s
literacy. Even the heroic efforts of J. K. Rowling, the literary
Alan Greenspan who flooded the market this summer with more than 12
million copies of Harry Potter 7.0, hasn’t reversed the decline in
literacy rates. Yes, people read the Potter series, but a July
report by the National Endowment for the Arts shows that most of them
don't go on to read other books.
And yet, Americans do read. Maybe we don't all read books as much as
the NEA would like, but we all go through life surrounded by the
printed word, and few of us have the will power to resist reading it.
We drive our cars through gauntlets of signs telling us where we are,
how to get where we’re going, and what to buy when we get there. And
when we get out of the car . . .
interested? read the rest of the post on
the Web of Language
Dennis Baron home:
Professor of English and linguistics mobile: 217-840-0776
University of Illinois fax:
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana IL 61801
read the Web of Language:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Lgpolicy-list