Gee wiz, how nuanced does a report have to be before people start believing that reading skills are on the decline. I was just talking with a tech contractor today about this very thing (he brought it up) and he even admitted he doesn't read or write half as well as he used to and neither do most of the people he works with.
Sigh. My favorite IT guy at the library wants to take a speed reading class. I can't convince him that he ought to just read more often and not worry about the speed--because that would interfere with his TV time. I even told him the Woody Allen speed reading joke ("I read War and Peace; it's about Russia") and he still thinks speeding things up is the way to go.Perhaps if all that was on the TV were lines of scrolling type. . .
My 8 year old niece was complaining about how much reading she has to do (15 minutes a night). Of course she still gets excited when she finishes a book, so I'm not sure its an attention thing or whether she really means it. Her parents are nonreaders, but her mom does buy her books. She said she doesn't need anymore books for Christmas, she has too many. I'm trying to convince her you cannot have too many books. Needless to say I will be buying her books for Christmas.
I buy books for my nieces and nephews when I can get away with it--or at least get them an Amazon gift certificate so that I can pretend they're buying books with it. If they can't tell me at Thanksgiving what they want, then they can rest assured that that's what they're going to get.