We know what young people are doing more of: watching television, surfing the Web, listening to their iPods, talking on cellphones, and instant-messaging their friends. But a new report released today by the National Endowment for the Arts makes clear what they're doing a lot less of: reading.
The report - a 99-page compendium of more than 40 studies by universities, foundations, business groups, and government agencies since 2004 - paints a dire picture of plummeting levels of reading among young people over the past two decades. Among the findings:
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.
See the full article for more details -- and buy a young person you know a few books for the holidays...