Why 500 Books?

Evans and her colleagues reported in a journal article in 2010 that having 500 books at home is equivalent to three years extra formal education. They state that:

Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class. ……………This is as great an advantage as having university educated rather than unschooled parents, and twice the advantage of having a professional rather than an unskilled father (p171).

They concluded that this finding was independent of parents’ education, occupation, and class. This reinforces research reported by Maryanne Wolfe who found that by the age of five children from language rich family backgrounds will have heard on average 32 million more words than children from language impoverished backgrounds. Reading 500 books to children early in their school careers will ensure they are well on their way to benefitting from their rich and imaginative