Books are their contents, but they’re powerful presences, too. The spaces they inhabit hold an atmosphere made special for the simple fact of containing them. And a home library affects those who share its space on multiple level. Recently, a large-scale study published on the Science Direct website verified the benefits of the presence of books within a home. Those benefits include a higher level of reading comprehension, and higher levels of skills related to digital communications and math.

Apparently, the magic number is 80. According to these researchers, led by sociologist Joanna Sikora of the Australian National University, participants who had that many books or more at home, showed “the ability to read effectively to participate in society and achieve personal goals.” Those who grew up in a home with less than 80 books turned out to have lower than average literacy levels. In addition, levels of literacy showed a proportional increase with the numbers of books in participants’ homes. When numbers of books reached 350, levels of literacy were high and very stable.

These findings resulted from studies conducted between 2011 and 2015 for the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies, dedicated to developing and conducting surveys on levels of adults’ skills around the world. Participants in this specific study were between 25 and 65 years old, and came from 31 countries. First, they were asked for estimates of the numbers of books in their houses when they were 16 years old. Later, each was tested for reading comprehension, understanding of basic mathematical concepts, and skills in the use of digital technology as a communications tool. The results showed a correspondence between their skills and the numbers of books they’d had at home.

Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” argued those who conducted this study. They also ensured that it was in the area of reading comprehension where they saw more benefits. It isn’t yet known if digital books have the same impact, and experts wonder if printed books will be less prominent sources of knowledge in our own digital age.

Another important question raised by the study is why exactly the presence of books in a house produces adults with greater aptitudes. One possible answer is that adolescents imitate reading parents and understand the transmission of knowledge through reading as an activity that’s not only positive but also pleasurable. Be that as it may, the study demonstrates something that perhaps many long suspected: the presence of books during formative years results in adults more capable, and surely, more sensitive to the world.

 

 

 

Image: Creative Commons

Books are their contents, but they’re powerful presences, too. The spaces they inhabit hold an atmosphere made special for the simple fact of containing them. And a home library affects those who share its space on multiple level. Recently, a large-scale study published on the Science Direct website verified the benefits of the presence of books within a home. Those benefits include a higher level of reading comprehension, and higher levels of skills related to digital communications and math.

Apparently, the magic number is 80. According to these researchers, led by sociologist Joanna Sikora of the Australian National University, participants who had that many books or more at home, showed “the ability to read effectively to participate in society and achieve personal goals.” Those who grew up in a home with less than 80 books turned out to have lower than average literacy levels. In addition, levels of literacy showed a proportional increase with the numbers of books in participants’ homes. When numbers of books reached 350, levels of literacy were high and very stable.

These findings resulted from studies conducted between 2011 and 2015 for the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies, dedicated to developing and conducting surveys on levels of adults’ skills around the world. Participants in this specific study were between 25 and 65 years old, and came from 31 countries. First, they were asked for estimates of the numbers of books in their houses when they were 16 years old. Later, each was tested for reading comprehension, understanding of basic mathematical concepts, and skills in the use of digital technology as a communications tool. The results showed a correspondence between their skills and the numbers of books they’d had at home.

Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” argued those who conducted this study. They also ensured that it was in the area of reading comprehension where they saw more benefits. It isn’t yet known if digital books have the same impact, and experts wonder if printed books will be less prominent sources of knowledge in our own digital age.

Another important question raised by the study is why exactly the presence of books in a house produces adults with greater aptitudes. One possible answer is that adolescents imitate reading parents and understand the transmission of knowledge through reading as an activity that’s not only positive but also pleasurable. Be that as it may, the study demonstrates something that perhaps many long suspected: the presence of books during formative years results in adults more capable, and surely, more sensitive to the world.

 

 

 

Image: Creative Commons