National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces the release of a PDF Report called To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, a new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States. The new reading study, To Read or Not To Read, gathers statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading habits and skills of children, teenagers, and adults. The compendium reveals recent declines in voluntary reading and test scores alike, exposing trends that have severe consequences for American society.
"The new NEA study is the first to bring together reliable, nationally representative data, including everything the federal government knows about reading," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "This study shows the startling declines, in how much and how well Americans read, that are adversely affecting this country's culture, economy, and civic life as well as our children's educational achievement."To Read or Not To Read expands the investigation of the NEA's landmark 2004 report, Reading at Risk. While that report focused mainly on literary reading trends, To Read or Not To Read looks at all varieties of reading, including fiction and nonfiction genres in various formats such as books, magazines, newspapers, and online reading. Whereas the earlier report assessed reading among adults age 18 and older, To Read or Not To Read analyzes reading trends for youth and adults, and readers of various education levels. To Read or Not To Read is unique for its consideration of reading habits alongside other behaviors and related outcomes including academic achievement, employment, and community involvement.
Read the rest of the story here, and/or download the whole PDF or just the Executive Summary. In some ways, the fact that people are reading less doesn't seem too breakthrough to me.
My take: It's obvious people have more choices when it comes to news, entertainment and learning channels. For publishers, this represents an amazing opportunity to differentiate. For publishers with truly unique and distinctive offerings, this is a time to identify and leverage properties and opportunities. Product opportunities and communication opportunities. Storytelling has never been more in vogue, and good stories stand the test of time. Publishers who listen, communicate and respond to their current and potential consumers stand to gain brand loyalists. Loving a brand beyond reason (aka LOVEMARKS) is possible when relevant relationships are forged, and when a company not only delivers need but also anticipates and exceeds it. I look forward to being a part of creating opportunities for a publisher who sees this information with a lens of optimism. And who responds with a renewed desire to see good books, or in my case The Good Book, perform better than ever with new and exiting new avenues and communication methods.
(via The Penguin Blog )
Labels: Brand, children, Compendium, Lovemarks, PDF Report, Penguin Blog, Publishing, Reading at Risk, Reading Habits, research, Teenagers, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), To Read or Not To Read