Reading at Risk

A Survey of Literary Reading in America

National Endowment for the Arts

July 2004, 60 pages. Published by the National Endowment for the Arts, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC, 20506, 202-682-5400,

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This report documents the surprising decline in literary reading by Americans. While overall reading by adults has declined 10 percent since 1992, the rate of decline for the youngest adults, those aged 18 to 24, was 55 percent greater than that of the total adult population. Contrary to the overall decline in literary reading, the number of people doing creative writing increased by 30 percent, from 11 million in 1982 to more than 14 million in 2002.