More Americans Reading Fiction: NEA

Study indicates literary decline might be reversing
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2009 1:37 PM CST
A new study by the National Endowment for the Arts indicates the first increase in adults' fiction reading in decades.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The percentage of Americans reading fiction has increased for the first time in years, a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts indicates. The reported 50.2% of the population who picked up a book for pleasure marks a turnaround from a statistical decline in literary culture over the past two decades, the New York Times reports.

Perhaps the most heartening increase was among 18- to 24-year-olds, who had previously been sliding at the fastest rate. Dana Gioia, NEA chairman, partly credits programs such as Oprah’s book club and the popularity of series like Harry Potter and Twilight.