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Unit 6: Literature – Seminar

In Seminar this week you will discuss reading trends. In 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts put out a study about “Reading at Risk” about the decline of reading in America. In 2007, another study showed that 1 on 4 adults read no books in 2006. However, recent studies show reading is increasing from the 2006 figures.

Read the articles below to compare the studies prior to Seminar. Be prepared to discuss the following articles with the class.

As part of your Seminar discussion this week, you will also consider three genres of literature, the novel, short stories, and poetry.

 â€œOne in Four Read No Books Last Year.” 

Source:  Fram, Alan. (2007, August). “One in Four Read No Books Last Year.” The Washington Post  Retrieved from  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/21/AR2007082101045_pf.html” 

 â€œReading on the Rise for the first time since 1982, NEA Reports” 

Source: Thompson, Bob. (2009, January). “Reading on the Rise for the first time since 1982, NEA Reports.” The Washington Post.   Retrieved from  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/11/AR2009011102337.html 

  1. What might account for the change in reading trends?
  2. What does a decline or increase in reading of literature say about a culture? Why is reading literature important?
  3. In this unit you considered poetry, which is rarely a best-seller. Why might poetry be less popular than fiction? Where are some places that poetry does exist and thrive in our culture? What are some of the unique benefits poetry can offer to the reader or listener?

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