OUR ISSUES DO NOT PROVE ANYTHING? “READING is finished” is the portentious quotation from Richard Hoggart's address to the School Libraries Association which we find in small type at the foot of a column of the American L.A. Bulletin. A year or two ago, with apprehension and gravity, an American writer asserted that one of the darker signs of life in the U.S.A. was that a generation had arrived that had lost not only the art but the willing power to read, or perhaps never had them to lose. The first American report we have opened this year is The Brooklyn Public Library Salutes its Readers, its 61st annual one. Mr. Francis R. St. John, the chief librarian, says in his first paragraph “this has been a record year” and continues, “This year readers were responsible for the greatest circulation in our history”. Yes, 9½ millions of it. The question occurs: if no one reads and books are finished, how can these statements and figures be reconciled?
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