If I have a vice or addiction, it's books. My parents were the same when I was growing up. Most of the clutter in our house was books or magazines or journals. I got my first library card at the age of 3 or 4. Now I have 4-legged children and I even find them occasionally perusing the bookshelves (at home - going to the library would involve a car ride). I firmly believe that there are different variants of "intelligence" and some of the cleverest people I know didn't even finish college - but many returned in their later adult years (and I think as better students for having the life experiences they had before). But I do gravitate to well-read people both IRL and in my social media circles.
I retweeted a post by Chris Merle the other day (and subsequently heard the story on NPR) that the rise of use of the internet has cause us to lose focus and not be able to concentrate on tasks because of the way we hop around between hyperlinks and multitask. If I recall correctly, the term used was lack of deep reading. I have been considering buying an iPad and the Apple salesperson pointed out that I could use the Kindle Reader on it and dump my Kindle. I told him that I preferred to read on my Kindle because of the eInk but another selling point for me is precisely because I CAN'T surf on my Kindle and I am better able to concentrate on what I'm reading.
I'm curious about friends who spend a lot of time in social media and whether they have less books in the house and/or do they or their children read less than when they were younger themselves?
A study recently published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that just having books around the house (the more, the better) is correlated with how many years of schooling a child will complete. The study (authored by M.D.R. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, Joanna Sikorac and Donald J. Treimand) looked at samples from 27 nations, and according to its abstract, found that growing up in a household with 500 or more books 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." Children with as few as 25 books in the family household completed on average two more years of schooling