Thursday, December 27, 2007

Most Literate Cities

I hope I have readers who are Twins fans. Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities, are one and three, respectively, on the latest "Most Literate Cities" survey.

But reading is declining overall, and that's a concern I share with the surveyers. "We're getting higher and higher educational attainment levels, and at the same time we're getting fewer and fewer behaviors (that reflect) what we think educated people ought to do," said researcher Jack Miller, who's been conducting this survey for the past five years.

I still maintain that people read a lot. The studies showing how many people skim through Web sites while at work should indicate that. But people are not reading for pleasure, and they may not be retaining well what they read. Another caveat of this story: It seems to point to a decrease in newspaper reading as a sign that reading is declining; it may simply show that people are getting their news from different sources -- the Web in particular.

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