Time spent reading also correlates with higher levels of civic and community involvement. A recent Census Bureau survey indicated that those who read literature are more likely to be involved in their community – including volunteering, voting, and giving to charity. It found that 43% of literary readers were involved in volunteer or charitable efforts, only 17% of non-readers were.
In short, the decline of reading over the last decade or two constitutes a seismic cultural shift, with enormous implications for our national character. A citizenry that values reading is vastly different from a society that is perpetually distracted and unable to focus on or understand a difficult passage, much less a difficult book.