Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Do Books Make You Smarter?

This recent study states that the more books you own, the further your children will advance in their education. It would have me believe that if I just go out and buy a bunch of books and put them on shelves, my kids will go to college! How wonderful!

Unfortunately, it doesn't ask any of the relevant questions about reading today. For example, how does reading on a digital device compare? Can my kids read on an iPad or Kindle and still go to college? If they read books (which they do), should they also read digitally? Should they be well versed in attaining knowledge in a variety of ways, including video, audio, still image, print, digital text, etc...? Will this help or hurt their chances of going to college?

I have said it before. I am not anti-reading. I'm not even anti-traditional reading from a book. My kids read books daily. They are excellent readers. But... this isn't the question in my mind. The question is, "Do other media negatively impact a student's ability to attain knowledge?" If my kids read books, and watch video, and listen to podcasts, and, and, and... does this hinder their education or benefit it? My contention is that it benefits them.

The key is that they have a love of learning and the initiative to delve deeper to learn more substantively. Do books on a shelf do that simply by being in the house?

Read more on the study at http://www.miller-mccune.com/culture-society/home-libraries-provide-huge-educational-advantage-14212/.

Photo thanks to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brokersaunders/3500220701/