A recent study reveals that people especially young people are reading far less literature—novels, plays, and poems—than they used to. This is troubling because the trend has unfortunate effects for the reading public, for culture in general, and for the future of literature itself.
While there has been a decline in book reading generally, the decline has been especially sharp for literature. This is unfortunate because nothing else provides the intellectual stimulation that literature does. Literature encourages us to exercise our imaginations, empathize with others, and expand our understanding of language. So by reading less literature, the reading public is missing out on important benefits.
Unfortunately, missing out on the benefits of literature is not the only problem. What are people reading instead? Consider the prevalence of self‐help books on lists of best sellers. These are usually superficial poorly written, and intellectually undemanding. Additionally, instead of sitting down with a challenging novel, many persons are now more likely to turn on the television, watch a music video, or read a Web page. Clearly, diverting time previously spent in reading literature to trivial forms of entertainment has lowered the level of culture in general.
The trend of reading less literature is all the more regrettable because it is taking place during a period when good literature is being written. There are many talented writers today, but they lack an audience. This fact is bound to lead publishers to invest less in literature and so support fewer serious writers. Thus, the writing as well as the reading of literature is likely to decline because of the poor standards of today's readers.
It is often said that people are reading less literature today than they used to. What should of this?
Well first, a book doesn't have to be literature to be intellectually stimulating. Science writing history, political analysis and so forth aren't literature perhaps, but they are often of high quality and these kinds of books can be just as creative and well‐written as a novel or a play They can stimulate the imagination. So don't assume that someone who isn't reading literature isn’t reading a good book.
But let's say that people aren't just spending less time with literature, they are also spending less time with books in general. Does that mean that the culture is in decline? No, there's plenty of culturally valuable material that isn't written ‐ music and movies, for example. Are people wasting their time when they listen to a brilliant song or watch a good movie? Do these non‐literary activities lower cultural standards? Of course not. Culture has changed. In today's culture, there are many forms of expression available other than novels and poems. And some of these creative forms speak more directly to contemporary concerns than literature does.
Finally, it's probably true that there's less support for literature today than in earlier generations. But don't be too quick to blame the readers. Sometimes it's the author's faults. Let's be honest. A lot of modern literature is intended to be difficult to understand. Here is not much reason to suppose that earlier generations of readers would have read a lot of today's literature either.
Main points: Reading less among young people has unfortunate effects.
Sub point 1: Decline sharp for literature cause missing out on important benefits.
Sub point 2: Diverting time has lowered the level of culture.
Sub point 3: Writing is likely to decline since poor standards of readers.
Sub Point 1:Doesn't have to be literature to be intellectually stimulating. (History, Political, creative, imagination.)
Sub Point 2: Less time with book does not mean culture is in decline. (Music and movies, more directly.)
Sub Point 3: Writers write modern literature difficult to understand.
The lecturer raises several arguments to counter the reading passage’s strong criticism of the public's declining interest in literature.
(Listening passage 后文提到用L 代替)
(Reading passage 后文用R 代替)
以L 的观点为主要观点，作者写出：L 做了好几个针对R 关于公众对于文学兴趣下降的批评的反驳。
The lecturer argues that literature is only one among many genres from which the public can benefit intellectually. The public also benefits from reading works of science fiction and historical novels, among others genres. Therefore, the reading passage is wrong to claim that the public is suffering great losses by not reading literature.
作者其实是先表示L 准备反驳R 的第一论点，R 认为文文学著作是社会中唯一一种可以获得智慧收益的种类。L 说其实民众读科幻，历史小说或者别的种类也能收益。所以，R 声明的民众不读文学就会有损失是完全错误的。
此段为分总结构。起手先表示L 反对R 的第一点，并详细补充了第一点。经过一番举反例后，达到了证明R 是错误的目的。
Furthermore, the lecturer explains that even if it is true that the public is reading fewer books and watching more television and films instead, this does not necessarily mean that culture is in decline. Television and film are simply modern forms of cultural expression that are also intellectually stimulating and directly relevant to contemporary life.
此段为分总结构。以L 开头，在if 后面总结了R 的观点，然后说L 对其不同意，最后一句总结了L 的意见。
Finally, the lecturer admits a decline in audience and support of literature in today’s society, but she attributes it to the authors themselves. She says they have alienated themselves from the reading public by using overly complex language, structure, and content. The reading, in contrast, blames the lowered standards of the public for the declining interest in reading great works of literature.
在最后一点里，L 先承认读者数量的下降但是他觉得这应该归咎于作者。L 认为作家们使用了过度复杂的语言和内容，把自己和大众读者疏远了。R 却把责任归咎于读者素质的降低。
全文遵从总分结构，起头段直接告诉大家L 不同意R，准备从几点开始对R 的观点进行反驳。在接下来的论段中，L 分别补充了证据，或者对证据作出新诠释，达成了反对R 观点的目的。
Genres：类型，流派 /Category/Variety/ His favorite genre of music is Rock.
Stimulating: 刺激的 /Encourage/Inspiring/ It is a stimulating job outside the school.
Attributes:把….归于 /Ascribe/ Success can be attributes to hard work and a little good luck.
Alienate: 使疏远 /Estrange/ The policy alienate the rich more from the poor.