Tyger AC originally shared this post:
Remember the good old days when everyone read really good books, like, maybe in the post-war years when everyone appreciated a good use of the semi-colon? Everyone's favorite book was by Faulkner or Woolf or Roth. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens.
All this to say: our collective memory of past is astoundingly inaccurate. Not only has the number of people reading not declined precipitously, it's actually gone up since the perceived golden age of American letters.
Not only has the number of readers not declined since the golden age of American letters, it has gone up.