Reading in Decline

A new report released by the NEA finds that the number of reading adults in the United States has decreased.

Only 47 percent of American adults read “literature” (poems, plays, narrative fiction) in 2002, a drop of 7 points from a decade earlier. Those reading any book at all in 2002 fell to 57 percent, down from 61 percent.

Dana Gioia places the blame on the rise of electronic media, but falls short of offering a recipe to remedy the situation. “I don’t believe the NEA should tell the culture what to do,” he says.