The End of Literacy? Don’t Stop Reading.

An  interesting piece by Howard Gardner of Harvard discusses the various forms and formats that reading has taken since the age of hieroglyphics, through the invention of the printing press, and finally to the present digital age. He takes a surprisingly optimistic viewpoint, despite the current concerns about the computer crowding out reading time, thus contributing to the general decline in literacy skills. He does, however, predict that the wealth of different literacies and the ease of moving among them — on an iPhone, for example — may undermine the once-hallowed status of books. He also states that the convenience and portability of the book aren’t easily replaced, though under certain circumstances — a month-long business trip, say — the advantages of Amazon’s hand-held electronic Kindle reading device trumps a suitcase full of dog-eared paperbacks.

So, reading isn’t dead, it’s just being reincarnated…


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