Good News for the Publishing World

People ARE reading!!!

According to this article in today’s New York Times, the National Endowment for the Arts has found that a “quarter-century of precipitous decline in fiction reading has reversed.” That certainly deserves an exclamation point!

The report, “Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy,” being released Monday, is based on data from “The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts” conducted by the United States Census Bureau in 2008. Among its chief findings is that for the first time since 1982, when the bureau began collecting such data, the proportion of adults 18 and older who said they had read at least one novel, short story, poem or play in the previous 12 months has risen.

Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts credits this rise with a number of factors. He attributed the increase in literary reading to community-based programs like the “Big Read,” Oprah Winfrey’s book club, the huge popularity of book series like “Harry Potter” and Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight,” as well as the individual efforts of teachers, librarians, parents and civic leaders to create “a buzz around literature that’s getting people to read more in whatever medium.”

This is great news for a Monday morning!