Media Monday - The On-Time Version


This week's Media Monday starts off with some good news. And admittedly this is a pretty long Media Monday. I apologize. I'll try to engage my internal editor more next week.


The National Endowment for the Arts

  • We interrupt our normal practice of diving straight into reviews to bring you some good news, courtesy of the NEA. For the first time in more than 25 years more people are reading literature. Here are some details:

    • Literature reading by adults (novels and short stories, plays, or poems) rose by seven percent.

    • The absolute number of literary readers has increased significantly (growing by 16.6 million readers).

    • The increases followed significant declines in reading rates for the two most recent ten-year survey periods (1982-1992 and 1992-2002).

  • That is some encouraging news, but it doesn't end there. Last week, a story broke that IKEA was redesigning its popular Billy bookshelf, ostensibly because fewer and fewer people were reading books. Many of us were very upset by this news. No more books on bookshelves? Say it ain't so, we cried. Well, it turns out it ain't so. According to the London Review of Books: "A correction came three days later from the Reluctant Habits blog, the writer of which had taken the trouble to call IKEA (my emphasis) and ask a question, unlike the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal, the Week, Time, the Daily Mail and the Consumerist. In fact, it’s an additional Billy: the open-fronted, book-sized original will still be available, the IKEA public relations manager explained." IKEA is still making bookshelves, people are reading more and more books, and you still can't trust everything you read.

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