ERIC Number: ED447448
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Reading the Future.
Given the strong sense of passing time which seems to be wired into human beings, it is only natural that the Year 2000, or Y2K in contemporary jargon, should lead to serious speculation about the future. Reading and literacy, old skills relatively speaking, continue rightly to figure in those predictions (along with the technologically advanced media) owing to their perceived importance in the contemporary world. This paper discusses the prediction of the educational and media future which was made by an American futurologist P.H. Wagschall in 1978. The paper reviews where Wagschall was correct--the capacity of the computer to communicate vast amounts of information, for example--and where he was wrong--understating and undervaluing people's reasons for reading, for example. It then considers the reasons human beings read, for utility and for pleasure, principally. It also discusses how governments have encouraged literacy education (sometimes intervening directly), and the transformation of libraries and publishing in recent years. The paper notes that readers have the hardback book, the paperback, the Book Club edition, the audiobook, the abridged book, and now the e-book. And it muses about a way to combat the failure to read voluntarily by those who know how to read. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Reading Association World Congress on Reading (18th, Auckland, New Zealand, July 11-14, 2000).