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Home Libraries Make Kids Smarter

NExt time you decide to thin out your bookshelves, be sure to hang on to at least a few hundred books. There’s a fascinating piece over at Miller-McCune on the effects of home libraries on child development:

After examining statistics from 27 nations, a group of researchers found the presence of book-lined shelves in the home — and the intellectual environment those volumes reflect — gives children an enormous advantage in school.

“Home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status and other family background characteristics,” reports the study, recently published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. “Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books."

Source: Miller-McCune

Miller-McCune is a 2010 Utne Independent Press Award nominee in the category of science and technology.