The Post Gazette says that NEA has found that reading has dropped 10% in the twenty years after I left undergraduate school.
First, no one EVER interviews me for these things. They’d think reading had picked up- BIG TIME.
Second, is literature really THAT important? I mean, I love Beowulf, but Saul Bellow, who was the rage of lit in the 80s is so passe now that few read him. If our culture is reading, even if we aren’t reading literature, would that be good? I don’t read much literature. I don’t like it. It is almost a requirement of literature that it does not have a happy ending. (See this entry lecture for why.)