Communicator (communicator) wrote,

The unnoticed spread of literacy

Did you see the report that people read books more now than they did thirty years ago? It goes against conventional wisdom (you hear so many people say books are dying out).

The average time spent reading has gone up from three minutes to seven minutes a day. Of course that's a peculiar figure, averaging out lots of different reading behaviour. About a quarter of adults don't read books at all - I thought it would be more than that.

I think a lot of this increase is due to the loss of that generation of people even older than my grandma, people who were born before there was widespread free education. Many of them never read books because they were illiterate. My grandma told me that in the pre-talkie cinema, when the captions came up, if anyone in the audience could read they would shout out the words, for benefit of those who couldn't. Those people have all died now, those Victorian children, but they were still around in the 1970s.

Not sure there's been an increase in reading apart from that generational improvement in literacy. But what is your impression?
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