Writes of passage: Why books will still live

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?