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NEA Reading at Risk Follow-up

Last week, the NEA announced the release of To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, a “new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States.”

Of course, we all already know the bad news—people are reading less.

Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. Among 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20-year period, from nine percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.1

On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.

Seven minutes?!? Wonder how much time kids spend reading online . . .

It’s been mentioned elsewhere, but this is a classic, depressing finding: “Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.”

Actually, I’m surprised it’s not higher.



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