Wait, Wasn't Google Supposed To Have Destroyed Our Interest In Reading Books?
from the oops dept
For years, we’ve found it amusing when various technophobes or techno-pessimists would bemoan the fact that kids spent so much time online as compared to doing “real” things like reading books. This seemed odd to us, as there was a long period of time where the alternative was kids watching TV. It seems like having kids actively engaged in communicating with others through text is a great way to improve both reading and writing skills — and there’s been plenty of evidence to suggest that, in fact, kids writing skills are getting much better. And, now, the latest report finds that (despite Nick Carr’s claim that the Google-era is killing our desire to read long form articles and books) more people are reading such things than just a few years ago.
Basically, the decades long trend of people (of all age groups and backgrounds) reading less seems to have been reversed. However, as Valleywag notes, the head of the National Endowment for the Arts refuses to accept the idea that the internet played a major role in the upsurge in reading. There certainly could be other factors — and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out a variety of different reasons for the higher reading rates, but it seems odd to out and out say the internet was a lot less important than other factors.