Count Your Books

Jay Mathews quotes a 20-year study in his Washington Post blog that suggests that “children who have 500 or more books in the home get, on average, 3.2 years more schooling than children in bookless homes. Even just 20 books makes a difference. The availability of reading material has a strong impact on a child’s education, even when controlling for the effects of parental education, father’s occupation, gender, nationality, political system and gross national product.”

Even more heartbreaking is the recent Times article (“The Case Against Summer Vacation” by David von Drehle) about how disastrous summer vacations are for underprivileged kids.

For an alarming visual of what this “summer” achievement gap looks like during a child’s elementary years, watch the following short video (“Two Steps Forward”) done by the National Summer Learning Association.

If you can’t afford books or you don’t have ready access to them, there’s always the library, my favoritest place in the world.  [And yes, I know “favoritest” is not a word, but it still rolls properly on the tongue, no?]

Despite the fact that I’ve been collecting children’s book for years, I still bring home armfuls from the library, and Liliana squeals every time.

Aw shucks, so do I.

[Post image: Penguin Book Spines, book covers as art]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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