In Defense of Unread Books

May 20, 2019

Do you feel like that pile of unread Tolstoy and Márquez on your bedside table is mocking you? Fear not. According to Karen Hopkin at Scientific American, just the presence of those books is enough to encourage literary habits. “What we were able to demonstrate,” states sociologist Joanna Sikora, “was that people who grew up around books had better literacy, numeracy and digital problem-solving skills than people who had fewer books growing up but had similar education levels, similar jobs and even similar adult habits in terms of reading or engaging in various numeracy-enhancing activities.”

Image credit: Abhi Sharma

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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