The state of reading appears to be evermore convoluted. Studies have consistently shown the dramatic decline in literacy and reading comprehension over the last few year; but even with full readerly capacity, nobody appears to have a desire to read. Where's the passion? The maniacal, insatiable need?
A Guardian article surmised that the decline in reading correlates with an increase in online reading. Of course, if you look at how we read online, and the focus of online writing (to simplify, streamline and enhance--through multimedia)--such an evolution still doesn't necessarily represent the salvation of books and literature, particularly as academic institutions turn to digital/multimedia/online forms of teaching/learning in ever-increasing numbers.
In a Reuters article, Alex Dobuzinskis writes, "Digital textbooks are expected to grow to 4 percent of overall sales this year from under 3 percent, rising to 11 percent by 2013." Since "74 percent of students still preferred physical texts," publishers appear to be targeting younger readers. Get 'em young, get 'em used to the idea of digital only, and you've got converts for live, right?
How about putting more books into the hands of young kids? Organizations like First Book strive to bring books to needy kids, but it also reminds us of some of the complexities of the reading dilemma. With lots of reasons why we don't read, we'd like to think that we could solve the problem--quick, easy & effective. But technology can complicate things. We want to reverse the troubling decline in reading... Why not start by doing more of what we do right? Read more to kids. Put more books into the hands of kids! And, then continue to inspire reading through all ages. Bridge the gap. Online reading should still brings us back to our initial passion for books!