Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Internet and literacy

A briefly encouraging passage from a deeply depressing piece by Caleb Crain on the future of reading. And if what follows is encouraging news — well, just read:

The Internet, happily, does not so far seem to be antagonistic to literacy. Researchers recently gave Michigan children and teen-agers home computers in exchange for permission to monitor their Internet use. The study found that grades and reading scores rose with the amount of time spent online. Even visits to pornography Web sites improved academic performance. Of course, such synergies may disappear if the Internet continues its YouTube-fuelled evolution away from print and toward television.

Twilight of the Books (New Yorker)

A few related posts
American reading habits
Freshmen surveyed
George Steiner on reading
To Read or Not to Read
Words, mere words
Zadie Smith on reading

comments: 3

Anonymous said...

Crain's article was interesting, and picks up on the work of two very sharp folks, Eric Havelock & Walter Ong.

By the way, Crain has a nice blog himself at --


Anonymous said...

You might find these urls interesting, if you have not seen them yet.


Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the links, Timothy and Jean.