lupabitch's post http://lupabitch.livejournal.com/1247880.html#comments got me thinking.
(excuse the font, i'm not super tech savvy)
Anyways, literacy is important, but books aren't the only way to read. There are magazines, published papers, essays, posts and probably other things I'm forgetting, both online and in print. And as much as I love books, there are non-print formats of media that can be just as rich in content too. Documentaries, for instance are pretty rewarding, because they can film the animals moving, or the people dusting off the artifacts, and you can see the facial expressions of the people doing the excavation. This really adds to the experience of learning.
Another factor is liesure time and health. The states has a very low amount time of paid vacation compared to other countries, and with many people having sedentary jobs, they need to MOVE rather than read, for health factors.
Lastly, there is experience vs reading. I've read books on magic, and chemistry, and want to read about backpacking and enamel making, but truthfully, the only way to get good at it is to actually DO it.
So I guess instead of literacy per se, people might get a better understanding of cultural health if there could be an aggregate measure of culture and knowledge being taken in. Sort of a measure of the activity of the brains of the nation rather than just how many books are read.