Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Literature in translation

The number of original translations of fiction and poetry published or distributed in the United States is minuscule relative to the larger publishing industry. Fewer than 600 fiction titles in translation were published in 2014. Dalkey Archive Press published 30 translated titles in 2014. AmazonCrossing plans to publish 77 titles from 15 countries and 12 languages in 2015 (final numbers not available at time of this writing). AmazonCrossing’s publisher Sarah Jane Gunter said, “while we are now one of the largest publishers of translated literature in the United States, translated fiction is still a tiny fraction of new publications.”

Alex Shephard, “America’s Biggest Publisher of Literature in Translation Is Amazon,” New Republic, October 19, 2015, (retrieved December 2, 2015).

Effect of technology on life

“A majority of Americans believe that technology has improved the overall quality of their lives (71 percent) and encourages people to be more creative (68 percent). At the same time, strong majorities also believe technology is creating a lazy society (73 percent), has become too distracting (73 percent), is corrupting interpersonal communications (69 percent), and is having a negative impact on literacy (59 percent).” About 68 percent of Americans indicated that they could live without Internet access for one week or less.

Allyssa Birth, “More Than 7 in 10 Americans Think Technology has Become Too Distracting and is Creating a Lazy Society,” The Harris Poll #68, November 4, 2015, (retrieved December 1, 2015).

Advertising in search results

A study in the United Kingdom found that 69 percent of kids aged 12 to15 cannot tell the difference between a Google search ad and the rest of the links in the search results. That number is even larger (84 percent) for children aged 8 to 11. Fewer than half of 12 to 15 year olds who go online are aware of the potential for vloggers to be paid for endorsing products or brands. The study found no differences by gender across age groups or by household socioeconomic status.

“Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report,” Ofcom, November 2015, (retrieved December 1, 2015).

Student debt

“In 2014–15, total annual education borrowing declined for the fourth consecutive year. Overall, students and parents borrowed 14 percent less in 2014–15 than in 2010–11.” Those who do not graduate, however, are particularly vulnerable to default. “Older, independent students, those who take longer to earn their degrees, African-American students, and those who attend for-profit institutions accumulate more debt than others. Student loan default rates are consistently two to three times as high for borrowers who attend for-profit and public two-year institutions as for those who attend private nonprofit and public four-year institutions.”

College Board, “Trends in student aid 2015,” College Board Trends in Higher Education series, 2015, (retrieved December 2, 2015).

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