Reports Says Americans Are Reading Less

Monday, November 19th 2007, 7:03 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- Americans are reading less. That's the conclusion of a new report by the National Endowment for the Arts. "To Read or Not to Read," draws upon a variety of public and private sources.

In 2002, the report says only 52 percent of college-age Americans read a book voluntarily, down from 59 percent in 1992. Employers have deemed the writing skills of 72 percent of high school graduates as "deficient." And the number of adults with bachelor's degrees and "proficient in reading prose" dropped from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003.

Still, reading comprehension scores among nine-year-olds have soared since the early 1990s. And publishers say teen fiction is rapidly expanding in an otherwise flat market.

The National Endowment for the Arts warns the decline in reading is "perhaps the most important socio-economic issue in the United States," and that young Americans won't realize their potential if there aren't changes in attitudes toward reading.