Don't read this for pleasure
Maybe, like, it's only because we're in the newspaper business, but, like, we find ourselves especially prone to visions of the Apocalypse when we read studies that document, like, the decline in the number of kids engaged in, like, real reading. The latest: A National Endowment for the Arts report released this week. There are so many signs of a doomed planet in this thing, we don't know where to begin.
But how about this: In 1984, 31 percent of 17-year-olds read almost every day for fun; in 2004, only 22 percent did. Or this: A 2005 survey found 65 percent of college freshmen read little or nothing for pleasure. Game over, man! Game over! Okay, to be fair (and maybe to be charitable, since it's Thanksgiving weekend), there are all kinds of complicating factors to consider, like how we all read differently than we used to (for instance, like how all of you are reading this blog instead of curling up with Harry Crews's "Scar Lover" or Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God.") For nuance, check out this Washington Post story here.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter; Times photo, Bill Serne