Worth the Risk


“Reading at Risk,” a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and recently released by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that from 1982 to 2002 there was a 10 percent decline in literary reading—defined as novels, short stories, plays and poems. At present, less than half of American adults read literature. While the decline is prevalent in all age groups, it is sharpest among those ages 18 to 24.

Several factors contribute to this trend—particularly the increasing amount of time Americans spend on the Internet. Americans also spend more money on movies and dvds than they do on books. And the average American household now has three televisions.

The decline in leisure reading actually makes us more antisocial and less active as a society. The National Endowment for the Arts believes that reading is a baseline for participation in social activities like community service, visiting or participating in artistic events and involvement in athletic activities.

So if you are looking to lead a more active, healthier lifestyle, it may seem funny, but cuddling up with a good book might be exactly what you need to do.