Closing the Book on Reading?

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An article in the latest issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (Americans Are Closing the Book on Reading, Study Finds, v. LIV, no. 14, Nov. 30, 2007, p. A12) reports that the National Endowment of the Arts conducted a study that determined that literacy is declining in America. The NEA issued a report that indicates that 15- to 24-year-olds spent just seven minutes per weekday on voluntary reading in 2006. "[P]eople between the ages of 35 and 44 devoted only 12 minutes a day to reading." The article says that it's not just books that people are failing to read, but that as a nation we're reading "less and less of everything, in any medium." The article points to the obvious impact declining literacy has on our workforce. Just as obvious is the fact that this will adversely affect the quality and preparedness of students to succeed in graduate study.