"People are reading less. They may buy Kindles or iPads, but I venture that they're just showcasing their ability to buy the latest gadgets rather than reading much on them.
I encourage you to attend a class in which I attempt to teach college students raised on texting, the internet, video games (which their ignorant parents tell them are educational or intelligence boosters), and various other iPacifiers. My students are thoroughly distracted. They tell me that it is physically painful for them to sit and read for more than ten minutes. They are always looking for the next text, the next google search, the next hit. They're like addicts who can't control themselves. Their brains are not like the brains of students I had only five years ago.
They also think that they don't need to know anything, because they can just use google--something they treat as a collective brain. God help them when they're told that being an educated person means going a lot deeper than the dubious entries in wikipedia.
The drop in the literacy levels of my middle-class, largely white, suburban students in the last 2 years alone is staggering. Don't tell me that people are switching to e-reading. They're not. People are reading less and if my students are any indication, many of them are not reading books at all."
This was written by an anonymous college professor in reply to an article in the NY Times about why people aren't buying books. I thought the comment was pretty relevant to what is really happening - especially with students.