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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Reading: Pleasure, Duty or Both?*

A reader of last Tuesday’s moderated discussion disagrees with the Queen’s statement in The Uncommon Reader that "one reads for pleasure. It is not a public duty." The reader writes:

"Reading is indeed a pleasure — an escape to different or better times and places but I think it's also a duty. We have to take responsibility for the information we receive and read widely on various subjects…"

Reading is on the decline, according to a recent National Endowment for the Arts study released last November. The study found a correlation between the decline of reading and test scores and was a follow-up to a study done several years earlier that documented the decline of literary reading for pleasure.

If reading is indeed a duty, as well as a pleasure, how do we instill that sense of duty in a younger generation? Certainly public libraries and other educational institutions are grappling with this issue. Any thoughts? Let us know.

*Once a week, library staff will post an entry here on The Uncommon Reader, this year’s All Fairfax Reads selection. The project invites all residents of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax to read and discuss the same book. Check our Web site for a book discussion guide and upcoming events as they are scheduled.

1 comment:

jefferson said...

I think that the best way to instill the love of reading in children is to read to them every night.