Our bleak outlook on the future of reading owes itself to a doomsday reflex, the pervasive belief that things are bound to get worse, author Dave Eggers writes in Esquire. "It must be true, we think—just yesterday I saw some kid on the bus, and he wasn't reading a book!" But "few if any of these dire assumptions … are born out by any proof whatsoever."
More Americans are educated now than ever before, and books are easier to find and afford. Still, Eggers writes, "books, inherently, require faith. Faith in an author that he or she will reward the many hours you'll spend in those pages, faith that a good story will be told, a lesson will be learned, a light will be shone upon a dim corner of the world."