Steve JobsI must add a follow-up to my post yesterday about Amazon’s Kindle: Apple’s Steve Jobs, waxing ebullient about most of the wonders of 2008 technology (such as the iPhone and Apple’s new super-slim laptop), has said that the Kindle is doomed to fail because Americans aren’t reading anymore. Here’s a quote from this New York Times story:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Is this really true, do you think? Are people (and by “people,” I include a major number of young people) reading significantly fewer books than they did B.I.E. (Before the Internet Era)? Will people read fewer books next year, and then even fewer books the year after that? [ominous organ chord] Does this spell the end of the road for the library?

I don’t think so. When I go into good, people-friendly libraries I see as much happening as ever. And I think that children – especially young children – get plenty of the stimulation they need to become literate in libraries. But what do you think?