In what shouldn’t come as a surprise, there’s been a drop in the number of Americans reading. In the past ten years there’s been a 4 percent drop in Americans who read any book at all (from 61% to 57%) and a 7 percent drop in Americans who read literature (from 54% to 47%, and literature was defined as poems, plays and narrative fiction).
The National Endowment for the Arts is calling it shocking, but it seems surprising the numbers aren’t worse. With the rise of the Internet, video games, Tivo, the growing prominence of movies and an ever-shrinking attention span, it’s a wonder Americans read at all. Not even Oprah or Harry Potter can save us now.