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How Not to Contribute to America’s Declining Book Readership

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of non-book-readers in the United States has increased threefold since 1978.

In 1978, 92% of Americans read at least one book, 42% of the population read 11 or more books, and 13% of the population read more than 50 books.

By contrast, in 2013, nearly one quarter of the U.S. population didn’t read a single book.

The decline in book readership in America isn’t good, but it may be inspiring to know that as a Missouri parent, reading with your kids can — in theory, at least — make a positive difference.

According to The Atlantic:

…the number of books an American reads tends to be closely associated with his or her level of education. Even those with just a little bit of college read far more, on average, than men and women who only finished high school. That may be because people who grow up reading are far more likely to enroll in higher education. But it seems at least somewhat likely that reading books in class conditions people to read books later in life.

The logic is pretty straightforward:

Kids who grow up reading are more like to enroll in higher education, and the more educated the individual, the more likely they are to read more books. The average American read 5 books in 2013, the high-school educated American read 9, the American who had some college under his or her belt read 13, and the college graduate read 16.

What will you do in 2014 to inspire reading in your home? Here are just a few ideas:
· Lead by example: Read books of your own in front of your kids at home.
· Read together: Read with your young children. (Scholastic.com has some great reading resources available online for parents of kids ages 3-5, 6-7, 8-10, and 11-13.)
· Pick books for your child that fit his or her interests.
· Take your son or daughter to the library or a book store, and let him or her explore (and, hopefully, choose a new book or two to take home).
· Read a bedtime story to your child at night.

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