Virginia book fact of the day

College students at UVA checked out 238,000 books during the school year a decade ago; last year, that number had shrunk to just 60,000.

It is not just UVA.


The most entitled generation is the now most illiterate one too. These little socialists will fail at life guaranteed.

I’m pretty sure I’ve read more books than you and nonetheless I voted socialist in last week’s European elections

"I’m pretty sure I’ve read more books than you"

How on earth can you be sure?

It's the same wrongheaded certainty that led to socialism.


It's remarkable to pay a visit this site and reading the views
of all friends regarding this paragraph, while I am also zealous of getting knowledge.

Don’t leave out the arrogance.

Also, if all you read were L. Ron Hubbard books, for example, I'd give the advantage to the guy who read less.

Likely (How on Earth can I tell?), they were comic books.

Keep voting socialist. Andrew Sullivan, "The populist right is winning everywhere." Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K. and others . . . Brexit party largest number seats British Parliament.

Updating a recent post/photo link, a second American climber has died on Mt. Everest, the list of the fallen grows. RIP.

Sometimes, being a couch potato pays.

it is the deep surveillance state!

Captain President Bolsanaro encourages all Brazilians to lick cane toads.
I'm on my third one today! Yip! Yip!

it is the imposter poster

That's the impersonator.

a distinction without a difference
historically the fbi has surveilled
americans library reading lists

It's the highest form of flattery in Brazil.

No, the highest form of flattery is to be mocked by imposters.

This certainty of belief despite no factual basis whatsoever is a good microcosm of both millenials and socialists.

He's surely correct.

Meh, buried in the Atlantic's article are the more important statistics: students and faculty alike are reading electronic versions of the books rather than printed versions. And articles instead of books.

Indeed. Even 10 years ago, when I was studying you could find half of the books in the electronic versions. Hopefully, nowadays, it's even easier and without semi-(il)legal hoops.

I agree, it is incredibly easy to get books now. Many of the classics are in the public domain and available for free through Project Gutenberg or similar sites. Anything newer can usually be found with a cursory google search with appropriate restrictions or using dedicated search engines like Library Genesis.

Factor in the availability of books and ebooks on Amazon and it's not at all surprising that fewer works are being checked out of the library.

It is really worth highlighting that information - 'UVA’s ebook downloads totaled 1.7 million in 2016, an order of magnitude larger than e-circulations a decade ago.'

However, a post highlighting that fact would be more accurately titled something along the lines of 'Virginia reading fact of the day,' and then point to the benefits of expanding access to knowledge.

It would be valuable to find out how many books the students are *reading*. Obviously which medium they use to read them is a second-order question.

I've always liked bookstores, but once I got to college, I stopped liking libraries.

Steve i visited some college libraries in the US and UK and they are superb. How come you came to dislike them?

No one likes spending time in the library studying for exams you stupid cuck

I was at UC Berkeley and UT Austin for three and very rarely set foot in the general libraries (as a grad student virtually everything I needed was in the department libraries). I was at Harvard in 1997-1998 and went to the general library or Harvard-Yenching every day, to catch up on things I couldn't obtain when I was working in Asia.
Libraries can get too big to be useful. As I recall Harvard undergrads weren't permitted in the stacks and had to request books, which means browsing wasn't an option, in which case, less need to go there. UCLA's library was not too bad for browsing, however, as I recall, in 1993-1994.
I have not adapted well to e-book technology. I can't read effectively unless I can scribble at the same time.

Maybe it's because professors require students to get the latest editions of their books?

Well, the university library always used to buy the standard textbooks, and they were basically always checked out.

These days, even the slackest student can undoubtedly find most textbooks online, and thus there is minimal need to use the library.

It's been a while since I've used my old slide rule and abacus. Where's the whiny article on that?

That was written in 1981.

From The Atlantic article: "Statistics show that today’s undergraduates have read fewer books before they arrive on campus than in prior decades, and just placing students in an environment with more books is unlikely to turn that around. (The time to acquire the reading bug is much earlier than freshman year.) And while correlation does not equal causation, it is all too conspicuous that we reached Peak Book in universities just before the iPhone came out. Part of this story is undoubtedly about the proliferation of electronic devices that are consuming the attention once devoted to books."

And this: "The sharp decrease in the circulation of books also obviously coincides with the Great Recession and with the steady decline of humanities majors, as students have shifted from literature, philosophy, and history to STEM disciplines—from fields centered on the book to fields that emphasize the article."

Not mentioned in the article, but Peak e-Book occurred before the invention of the i-Pad (i.e., when e-books were read on e-readers). One explanation is that the i-Pad (and the smart phone), unlike the e-reader, has all kinds of distractions while reading a book: messages, emails, music and videos, social media.

It also depends on how UVA defined "circulation". In the old days articles were set aside for students to check out and read; nowadays, the syllabus has links to the article which can be downloaded from the internet.

For the same period under consideration how did UVA campus textbook sales go? Did campus textbook sales plummet?

Would this mean that students are not keen to retain college textbooks for future consultation or use? (that is: coming to their post-secondary cognitive liberation playground of personal choice and parental intrigue not illiterate but not prone to read, they leave as they intend to leave, not stupid but not curious or prone to learn--e. g., if they sincerely don't want the latest ed. of the Norton Anthology to read or re-read odd literary passages, Norton and other venerable college text publishers would be struggling, short of or even after converting all content to digital format: has THAT occurred?)?

Perhaps researchers will yet find data (a pity that empiricism is NEVER finished!) suggesting that generalized but prolonged and regular exposure to "learning technologies" and "computer-assisted learning" in fact compromise cognition due to radiation levels and doses currently considered harmless.

Not only do students rarely read books anymore, college libraries are being converted into coffee shops with books shipped offsite.

Why is this news? Kids download everything now.


Misleading post. Print loans down by 178,000, but electronic article downloads up to 3,000,000. Easy to spot commenters who want to complain about the youths not reading while they, without a trace of irony, choose not to read the article themselves.

....that there is a shift from books to articles/blog posts/tweets? Plenty of reading, but does anyone read books?

Before smartphones in my teens I actually read books for fun, that had nothing to do with school. Do teens today do that?

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