Reading Chicago Reading

Who reads? What do they read? How do they read? These are questions essential to the study of literacy, yet fine-grained answers to these questions are difficult to come by, as noted in To Read or Not To Read, a 2007 report from the NEA. Our project Reading Chicago Reading represents a rare opportunity to seek empirical answers to these questions within a large metropolitan area, with a wide variety of texts, and across a great diversity of readers. Read more

Why “City Scale” Matters

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Reading Benjamin Barber’s suggestive If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities (Yale UP, 2013) reminds me of the lofty aspirations Mayor Richard M. Daley had for the One Book One Chicago program in its early years.

In a prefatory note in the guide for the third season, fall 2002, on Willa Cather’s My Antonia, he wrote: “One Book, One Chicago encourages all our citizens to read the same book at the same time to create a citywide book club. … One Book, One Chicago cultivates a culture of reading and discussion by bringing our diverse city together around one great… Read more

What does your demographic profile say about your leisure reading habits?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor American Time Use report, in 2014 women spent an average of 6 minutes or more reading for pleasure than men. People aged 75 and older recorded the most amount of time reading by far — an average 61.2─67 minutes per day. People aged 15─19 and 25─44 read the least, an average 5.4─11.4 minutes a day. In a breakdown by race, Whites reported leisure reading three and a half times more than Hispanics or Latinos. The latter spent the least amount of time reading for personal interest, 5.4 minutes on weekdays and 6 minutes on weekends. Unemployed people read three times… Read more

Azure for Research Award

Today we got word that Microsoft will be supporting Reading Chicago Reading for another year with their Azure for Research program. The program supports research projects by providing free access to Azure cloud computing services. Read more about the program here.

The award will ensure continuity for our data storage, analysis and social media extraction efforts for the next year.

 … Read more

Do Americans Read for Leisure?

According to a 2014 American Time Use Survey, on average people aged 15 and older spent more than three-fourths of their leisure time – a total of 234 minutes (77.4% of their free time) on any given day – either watching TV, socializing and communicating, playing games, or using the computer. They spent only 19 minutes a day on leisure reading, 6.2% of their free time. The rest (52 minutes) was spent relaxing, thinking, or on other leisure activities.

Time Use GraphRead more