I was delighted to discover this little gem of information from NSSE 2008. When asked to report on how many books they’d read for pleasure over the course of the year, fully 77 % of first years and 78% of 4th/5th year students reported that they’d at least read one book. Not only that, U of T students appear to read on average more than their peers in the rest of Ontario and at the large public US institutions we use for comparison purposes (see chart of our first year students’ responses, below.)
Not only do they still read, they actually report reading for pleasure more than they did in 2004. What does this mean? Not sure, but it certainly runs contrary to growing claims of declining literacy associated with this generation.