Book Lovers Day, 9th August - Aug '17

By Emily Jack ATA - Founder of Kings Tutors

The 9th August is unofficially known as ‘Book Lovers Day’. It is a day that is all about celebrating reading and it encourages everyone to pick up a book.

A love of books and reading is a great hobby to have. Books open up many different worlds to the reader, whether fiction or non-fiction. Reading expose the reader to new ideas and facts that they might not otherwise have come across. It can be a way of enhancing your knowledge, or it can be a welcome distraction. It can help you to de-stress by allowing you to immerse yourself in an imaginary world for a couple of hours. It allows you to develop empathy for other people by illustrating viewpoints that are different from your own.

But reading can also be beneficial to our studies. A study conducted by the Institute of London looked at 6,000 children from similar social backgrounds, who achieved similar test scores at age 5 and 10. At 16, the children who had frequently read books at age 10, and who continued to read at least once a week at 16, had higher test scores than those who didn’t. Reading was shown to be more beneficial to children than having a parent with a degree. The benefits of reading were seen across a broad range of subjects. The children who read more were found to have a:

  • 4% advantage in vocabulary. This is because reading exposes children to new words that may not be used in general conversation. The more you read, the more you understand and the more words you take in and use for yourself.
  • 9% advantage in maths. Reading has been shown to improve analytical skills, and this is backed up by a study done by Anne Cunningham (‘What Reading Does for the Mind’). This is because reading helps students to understand patterns more quickly. Students can pick up on the symbolism and story-telling tricks used in books, and from these they are able to work out clues regarding the plot – and all this keeps your brain working.
  • 6% advantage in spelling. This, too, can be linked to the wider range of vocabulary and greater confidence with words and literature that reading leads to.

This does not mean that you have to love reading to do well in school; practical experience and hard work are also important - but reading certainly gives students a boost. Even if you don’t love to read, it is worthwhile making a consistent effort to do so, as this will help make you more comfortable with doing so. Once you find a genre or style of book that you like, reading becomes much more fun! Studies have shown that the earlier children start reading, the more likely they are to continue to do so as they age.

Not everyone finds reading easy, however. For those with brains more naturally inclined to numbers and science, or for those with learning disabilities, reading is a challenge. Tutors can help students to develop their reading skills and their love of reading, by helping to recommend books that match the student’s individual skills level and interests, as well as by explaining any vocabulary or symbolism that is unclear.

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