US report says young people reading a lot less - The Boston Globe: "Only 30 percent of 13-year-olds read almost every day. The number of 17-year-olds who never read for pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004. Almost half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 never read books for pleasure. The average person between ages 15 and 24 spends 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day watching TV and 7 minutes reading. "
Are people reading fewer books? Sure they are but I am not sure that means that they aren't reading. Lots of people have the Internet and there is a lot that must be read if you want to do much.
As for college students after reading tons of stuff during the day for school, reading in general is no longer pleasure. My roommate and I read for pleasure after studying but we didn't know anyone else that did.
If you spend hours at work reading on the Internet why would you want to go home and read some more. It is time for some other activity.
Then you have the Amazon Kindle ebook reader. That should be interesting but something they have got to realize is that they HAVE to make it dead easy to load up and read books. Reading a book is easy but people don't do it for various reasons. They have some pretty stiff competition for reading time. They have to make Kindle even easier to use then iTunes/iPod is for music. That will be a challenge all by itself.
I know one person who uses Palm Pilots to read regularly, and that is it. I only know a few families that have large selections of books at home, I don't know if that correlates to how often they read but so it goes. Those families with few books just don;t have much to read eve if they wanted to, unless they go to the library, and that is hardly ever full.
Update: This article from NPR