The NY Times presents a symposium on reading on a Kindle/computer versus reading a printed book. Each participant offers something worthwhile considering. (David Gelernter is the one identifiable conservative.) My question, which the academics consider more or less, is whether students read any more. At the beginning of a course I ask students to note books they have read that have influenced the way they think and act. The list is thin--maybe someone will list the Bible or an Obama book. You never see a book from political science. Now, more than when Aristotle questioned whether the youth are fit to study politics, the inclination of the young to indulge their passions meets the least intellectual resistance. Given our technology, books or rather reading (books are too long and require too much effort) becomes just another way to fulfil desires: the ideal reading is the cookbook* (with lots of pictures). It is a rare education that shows students another way of looking at books.
*There are variants on such how-to books, but this is a family-friendly site.