My husband was pretty excited to find this post over on the First Things blog yesterday. He and I have about five giant bookcases in our small one-bedroom apartment... and that doesn't even account for the books we have squirreled away at our parents' homes. To be frank, we love books. Like, really love them. Old books, new books... I enjoy just looking at all their spines, ready and waiting for someone to pluck them off their sagging shelves. I adore reading with and to children, and we've already started a small collection of books to enjoy with Baby Boy once he decides to arrive...assuming he savors the written word as much as his parents.

The First Things post is about a study which finds that “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. This is a large effect, both absolutely and in comparison with other influences on education,” adds the research team, led by University of Nevada sociologist M.D.R. Evans. “A child from a family rich in books is 19 percentage points more likely to complete university than a comparable child growing up without a home library.”

Now, to me, this just seems obvious. Children take their cues from the world around them, and if Mommy and Daddy spend hours a day watching television, then the children tacitly understand that television is highly valued. Children have far more common sense than we give them credit for - just take a look around you the next time you're at Mass. Find the children who don't kneel or sing along or reverently receive the Eucharist - are Mommy and Daddy kneeling or singing along or reverent? It follows that a home with books (and not just as decoration, but as something read and shared and discussed) will foster children who see that reading and thinking are worthwhile endeavors.

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