The idea that reading is a good thing has been a constant and generally unchallenged assumption in the progressive American canon. True, we functional literates tend to shy away from the logical contradiction in the liberal causal relationship argument that nice books build character whereas ""obscene"" or sleazy reading trotter has no effect one way or another on behavior; nor do we tend to favor quotations like, ""Verily, when the day of judgment comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done"" (Thomas a Kempis). The Smith and Fay survey of programs designed to motivate folks of all sorts and ages to read accepts without a passing thought the idea of the book as elixir. But, as Marshall McLuhan and other communications specialists have repeatedly told us, this is a pie-in-the-sky or ostrich-in-the-sand attitude, depending on where your printhead is. That's the basic problem with this book about pushing books, sponsored as you might have guessed by the promotion-oriented National Book Committee: it flies in the face of contemporary reality. It is very hot, not cool. And in the end, if, like us, you're still hooked on books, best read and reread Daniel Fader.