Real-life recession may cause more people to read fiction

More people are reading fiction for the first time in 26 years, and some of that increase may be due to the recession.

The National Endowment for the Arts reported in a report released Monday that for the first time since 1982, when the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting such data, the proportion of adults who had read at least one novel, short story, poem or play in the past year has risen.

Reading fiction, while the real world around you falls apart, can be a lot more interesting than dealing with reality, it turns out.

WalletPop reported last month how libraries were becoming more popular as a way to save money, proving the value of a free library card.

According to a New York Times story on the NEA report, an education professor said it was impossible to do more than speculate why literary reading rates had increased. But she said the rise could just as easily be attributed to changes in health care or a need for escape in difficult economic times.