In the most recent addition of The Advocate, the journal put out by the National Education Association (NEA)'s higher education wing, there was a short article reporting on figures from the National Census Bureau (in the US) that literary reading had increased. What was surprising was that those who reported an increase in reading a book, poem, or other forms of literary reading were in the age group of 18-23.
For me, this helps to support my hypothesis that we are becoming a text based society in the US. My students would prefer to write an e-mail, text to their professors or employers (not to mention family and friends), and spend a lot of time reading on the internet.
What the article does not say is what form the literary works take. In addition to new channels (away from the book stores and now moving through the internet), there are new devices for reading books including electronic readers and even iphones/blackberries.
I wonder how these new devises will change the way that we read, although the way we publish and distribute books is already changing. Will readers demand alternative endings to books? Will the books of the future be more interactive? Will readers be able to choose the path of a story as they do in video games now? Is the publishing world even prepared for the new books of the future? I look at the Newberry Awards and the disconnect they seem to have with "popular" taste and the taste of the traditionally "non-reader". Harry Potter, Twilight, and other megahits amoung teens today do not make the list of "literary" awards. And yet, it is because of these series that youth are becoming interested in books again. I wonder if "digital literacy" will change definitions as our "digital youth" turn to new forms of literature.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.