The newest edition of an annual ranking of the nation's most well-read city has found (once again) Houston is not really big on the whole reading thing.
Of the 75 cities ranked, we come in 60th and we're fading: in 2005 we were 53rd.
Central Connecticut State University does the survey each year, tracking such things as "bookstores, educational attainment, internet resources, library resources, newspaper circulation, and periodical publication."
Washington, D.C. is number one, but trends everywhere are ominous.
"The decline in newspaper readership is stark," CCSU president Jack Miller says. "At the beginning of this survey, in 2003, newspapers in America's larger cities had a weekday circulation equivalent to 55 percent of the population of the cities; Sunday circulation was 75 percent. Now, on average, less than one third read a weekday paper and less than half read a Sunday paper."
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Cities with the largest declines: Atlanta, Boston, Miami and San Francisco. (Not us!!)
Despite cutbacks in hours and, sometimes, locations, municipal libraries seem to be serving more and more people, Miller says.
"In terms of accessibility and usability, libraries remain vibrant. Even in these economically embattled times, many cities appear to be providing their citizens with rich resources for developing and maintaining literate behaviors," he says.
Which is all well and good, but where are the TVs in these libraries? People in Houston demand them!!