Reading on the rise as economy falters

Dennis Baron debaron at illinois.edu
Wed Jan 14 00:07:25 UTC 2009


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Reading on the rise as economy falters


With the economy down, Americans are reading again. According to a new  
report from the National Endowment for the Arts, more than half of  
American adults report reading a novel, poem or play in the past 12  
months. It looks like reading may be an indicator of hard times.

The NEA, whose budget was in decline even before the economy went  
South, is celebrating the first increase in "literary reading" in a  
quarter of a century, an exciting reversal in the long downturn in  
American literacy.

According to the latest figures from the Census Bureau, all of us,  
whites, blacks, Hispanics, men, women, and children, are reading more  
novels, and young adults, ages 18-24, have shown the biggest increase  
of all, going from a 20% decline in 2002 to a 21% gain in 2008. . . .

[and]  the NEA's Dana Gioia is thrilled that today's Index of Leading  
Literary Indicators looks a lot healthier than the Dow . . .

read the rest of the post on the Web of Language: http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

http://illinois.edu/goto/debaron

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http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage











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