So you know how you've been harboring a sneaking suspicion that people are just getting dumber? The latest report by the National Endowment by the Arts would seem to back you up. The Associated Press reports that the NEA is releasing a report Monday that indicates people - that's kids and adults - are reading less. Surprise, surprise. What are all those people doing in Barnes & Noble and Borders, then, buying coffee?
The report says that in 2002 only 52 percent of Americans aged 18-24 read a book voluntarily. OK, maybe the college kids are
partying studying too hard to settle down with a good book. And there is some positive news: the report says 9-year-olds have improved their reading comprehension skills impressively, possibly due to a certain young wizard and his adventures.
But Harry Potter is grown up and married with kids of his own now, so it's time to move on. And apparently readers aren't: The scariest stat says the number of adults with bachelor's degrees who possess something called "proficiency in reading prose" dropped from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2002.
So don't blame the
drunken exhausted college kids; they have an excuse for not reading for pleasure. If you're not reading, and you're not teaching your kids about reading, the problem is you. And don't give me that "I'm too busy to read" nonsense. If you like to read, you always find time. You may hit a period where you read less, but you always find time.
By the way, reading Television Without Pity doesn't count, no matter how entertaining it is.