Questions about NEA’s “Reading on the Rise” Report

Already, questions are being raised about whether the new NEA study, which shows a rise adult reading of literature, is truly comparable to the 2002 study. Michael Cader in the online newsletter, Publisher’s Lunch suggests that the outgoing head of the NEA, Dana Gioia, is using the report to show that under his leadership, the NEA’s efforts (such as The Big Read) have had been successful. Cader indicates that the rise is more likely due to the fact that the new study includes reading online. He quotes the report,

…eighty-four percent of adults who read literature (fiction, poetry, or drama) on or downloaded from the Internet also read books, whether print or online. Nearly 15 percent of all U.S. adults read literature online in 2008.

According to the NYT report, Gioia discounts the impact of the change in the study,

Mr. Gioia said that Internet reading was included in the 2008 data, although the phrasing of the central question had not changed since 1982. But he said he did not think that more reading online was the primary reason for the increase in literary reading rates overall.

The text of “Reading on the Rise” is downloadable here.

One Response to “Questions about NEA’s “Reading on the Rise” Report”

  1. Austin personal trainers Says:

    It might be a demographic thing. Boomers are aging and reaching retirement and have more time for reading.