Writes of passage: Why books will still live

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Howard Gardner Wonders What will happen to reading and writing in our time?

Could the doomsayers be right? Computers, they maintain, are destroying literacy. The signs - students' declining reading scores, the huge drop in leisure reading, the fact that half the adult population reads no books in a year - all point to the day when a literate American culture is a distant memory. By contrast, optimists foresee the Internet ushering in a new, vibrant participatory culture of words. Will they carry the day?