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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Sigh. I could have gone all week without reading this:


The number of Americans reading print newspapers, magazines and books is in rapid decline.

Only 29 percent of Americans now say they read a newspaper yesterday – with just 23 percent reading a print newspaper. Over the past decade, the percentage reading a print newspaper the previous day has fallen by 18 points (from 41 percent to 23 percent). Somewhat more (38 percent) say they regularly read a daily newspaper, although this percentage also has declined, from 54 percent in 2004.

It's not just newspapers, of course. Print magazine reading dropped 7 percent from 2006, and book reading 8 percent. Reading enjoyment stayed the same, with 51 percent saying they enjoy it a lot, but people are increasingly shifting to digital presentations. What we might be in danger of losing is the ability to focus. Don't people tend to "read" online the way they channel surf on TV, hopping all over the place instead of settling in for a good, long read on one subject?