The NEA has released a (PDF) report about how Americans consume art. It's a fascinating glimpse at culture in America today. And of course, as always, the literature section is full of bad news:
1) Reading of fiction and poetry has declined since 2008, while play-reading has remained at the same, comparably lower rate.
• The rate of adults reading novels or short stories is back down to the 2002 level. From 2002 to 2012, the poetry-reading rate nearly halved.
•The declines in literary reading (novels or short stories, poetry, or plays) occurred among whites, women as well as men, middle-aged adults, and adults from various educational backgrounds.
So 56.1 percent of all American women read at least one "work of literature" in 2012, compared to 36.9 percent of all men. Those numbers are both down from 2008, when it was 58 percent of women and 41.9 percent of men. Only Americans over the age of 65 reported reading more in 2012 than in past years. Of course, this is indicative of the collapse of American culture and the disintegration of society. Except, most of those numbers went up between 2002 and 2008, so maybe it's just a temporary thing? Who knows? We'll all be getting our news from a scent-based delivery system in ten years, anyway, so it's all moot.
If you're at all interested in the arts, I suggest you go read the full report, which has plenty of information about the way America consumes movies, crafts, theater, and more.