The Harry Potter Effect

According to Heidi Benson of the San Francisco Chronicle, "Despite what has been dubbed the "Harry Potter Effect" -- which credits J.K. Rowling's blockbuster book series with turning Game Boy addicts into lifelong readers -- reading is in serious decline among teens nationwide, according to a forthcoming federal study."

"What we need is a Harry Potter every week," said Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who oversaw the study.

The endowment's report on children's reading rates, the first of its kind, compiles results from more than 24 government agencies, including the Department of Education, the Census Bureau and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


"Three contexts for reading are assessed by the board: reading for literary experience, reading for information, and reading to perform a task. Kamil believes that "reading for literary experience" has been overemphasized and that today "reading for information" is the most crucial skill. "

Sounds fair to me but by what judgement is reading things online not literary experience?
Some peoples blogs, or forum postings are just as valid as literature as a 'book'. In fact several books have been published copying blogs etc!
Reading peoples forum comments on the current series of Big Brother (as an example) isn't so much reading for information but more reading for a discussion which is closer to reading for literary experience (and some peoples contributions are indeed detailed, well thought out and long). Just because it's not in a certain form does that make it less useful? (Less worthy could be argued but then the same thing was said about Harry Potter at the start).

Chewing Gum for the eyes anyone?