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The More Books The Better: how your home library is keeping you healthy

October 17, 2018

We know you all love libraries (and so do we) – but have you ever considered your home to be a library, too?

Think about it – you’re an avid reader with a huge, looming to-be-read pile by your bed that seems to be growing taller by the day. And your book collection doesn’t end there – there are shelves of books in your lounge room for when you feel like reading on the couch with a wine or cup of tea; a heap of cook books in your kitchen to encourage you to be a bit more adventurous; and, there are even a few books in your bathroom to, well, help you pass the time and get a few extra minutes of reading in each day.

 If this sounds like your house, then guess what? You are the proud owner of a home library! And whilst we may sometimes feel guilty for buying so many books, recent studies have proven that growing up in or living in a home that houses a number of books is extremely beneficial to your health and wellbeing. 

The large-scale study focuses predominately on children in their formative years, and how access to books at home informs the development of their literacy and comprehension skills. The study, which featured data from 31 different countries, found that adolescent exposure to a book-oriented environment equipped youth with life-long tastes, skills, and knowledge. This means that growing up around books increases a person’s likelihood of continuing to read in their later, adult years, resulting in exposure to information that they may have never acquired from parental education, schooling, or their occupation.

 But how many books constitute a home library? According to the study, anything above 80 books is the magic number that will have a positive influence on a child/teenager’s cognitive development, with the literacy benefits improving as the number of books increases.

For those of you who have surpassed your teenage years, don’t fret – you are still benefiting from your home library, too! Regular reading is great exercise for the brain, increasing your memory, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving skills.

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