On literacy

by Jess

My cousin just finished her master’s degree in literacy and culture.  I’d never heard of the degree before, but it sounds really fascinating.  Now I want one.  If I could stay in school forever, notching my gun with each new degree I’ve earned, I would be one happy girl.

Anyway, I was reading about literacy online today, and I found this website, which has about a gazillion links to studies and articles and reports on literacy (topics like parents reading to their children, reading in schools, reading and the brain, volume of reading, and particularly the relationship between TV and reading).  One link I clicked on led me to an article called “The Long Decline of Reading” on the blog Mssv, which quotes some sad statistics (like this one: “In the US, only 47% of adults read a work of literature – and I don’t mean Shakespeare, I mean any novel, short story, play or poem – in 2006.”) from the 2007 National Endowment for the Arts report To Read or Not to Read.  Mssv also linked to The Big Think, which is supposed to be like YouTube for intellectuals (argh — the baby is crying, but all I want to do is watch The Science of Laughing by Robert Mankoff).

With all these links and videos and articles to comb through, I almost wish I were back at my dead-end job with eight hours to fill with mindless Internet surfing all day.  Almost.